Pets and Gardens

When living aboard a boat, sometimes there are things that you have to do without.
. . .Or do you?

sunflowers
Green Brett

Two things that I have pretty much left to my land life are pets and gardens, and they are probably two things that I miss the most. Not that I’m an expert gardener, far from it, really. It’s more the idea of gardening, digging in the dirt and whatnot. And as far as pets go, I know plenty of liveaboards who successfully cohabitate with four legged crew. But living with two little kids (and a husband, which kinda counts as another kid in some ways) in a relatively smallish space, I have a hard time with the idea of adding pet food, fur, vet bills, and litter boxes or walks to our already hectic life. I do miss having a pet though.

Well, did.

That's right, big things are happening this week aboard Lyra: A pet and a garden. The garden—a little pot with sunflowers that just sprouted a few days ago—and the pet—a snail—take up about six square inches, total. And my daughter loves them. She dutifully makes sure that the sunflowers have enough sun and water and is hounding me to buy them a bigger pot. The snail has his own tiny container and has shown a preference for basil and radicchio leaves. If it all weren't so sweet, it would almost be sad. My little 6-year-old used to beg for a cat (she still does, once in a while), then she lowered her standards a bit and begged for a hermit crab (which could still happen, I mean we've done OK so far with the snail), and for now she's content with a snail. She's a really cool kid.

So, who knows? A fur ball might find it’s way aboard one of these days (what we won’t do for our kids…), but for now I think we’ll settle for keeping the snail happy with salad greens and picking out that new pot for the sunflowers.

In this photo, the snail is lovingly attended to (she's setting up his light.... on top of my refrigerator).