Pursuit of Dreams

It was the love of water that brought Mark and Jan together some 48 years ago, splashing it out as little kids on the community swim team.

And it's the love of water again that draws these newly-retired love birds down the Tennessee, out into the Gulf, past Florida, and onto a new adventure. "We started out on the water together," Mark said, snuggled up to his wife of 37 years in their new "home," the neatly organized interior of their sail boat.

That's right. They moved into their sail boat.

Starting in September of 2014, these two packed up their belongings and made real the life-long dream of navigating the Bahamas, and maybe beyond, with their own two hands.

But Mark and Jan have earned their stint in the sun. Along the way Mark has: Worn head lamps and rode elevators into the earth as a coal miner, picked up night classes for a decade. Became an engineer and worked at the power plant in Joppa. While Mark went down into the coal mines, Jan finished her degree in accounting and put it to use in the medical, banking and retail fields.

"We have always planned for retirement," Mark said. "But never doing the math and seeing where we stood."

"What we found out was that organizing it was a mess," he continued. "Because we had all these little pieces of accounts. It turned out that we had a nice little nest egg, but it was really hard to keep track of."

Jan said that if they hadn't planned as well, they wouldn't have been ready to make the trip in quite the same fashion.

Oh, they were going to make the trip! Even if they had to come back to work afterwards.

"If we had gone thinking that's what was going to happen," Mark said, "it would have been a different kind of trip."

Now they can relax, enjoy the wind, the silence, and the process of navigating the waters ahead.


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