Sailing Into the Heart of America, Where We Do American-Type Things

Sailing Into the Heart of America, Where We Do American-Type Things

posted in: Back to Land, Cruising Life, Omaha | 3

The Burnetts have been busy.  Mel has gone on job interviews and picked a job and a city. 

Oh, man.  This is hard for her to announce.  She’s going to be a neurologist in:


Yes, Omaha, Nebraska.  A place that is 1100 miles from the Atlantic and 1200 miles from the Pacific.  Like, there aren’t even any big lakes around there.  But there sure are a lot of show choirs!

Here’s the deal: it is close to family and has one of the highest concentrations of people with Parkinson disease, her specialty, in the US.  So don’t judge.  Mel makes good decisions.  You should know this by now.

So in the last couple of weeks, the Burnetts have transitioned from lackadaisically floating over crystal-clear water to “getting stuff done.”  The Burnetts have looked for a good public school district, found one, looked at tons of houses in that school district, decided they wanted to build, decided they didn’t want a lot “attached” to a crappy builder which is the biggest load of anti-American crap she’s ever heard of and almost inspired Greg to take the issue to the Nebraska Supreme Court as a hobby, learned what an “escalation clause” was, bought a lot with a house on it that they will tear down (which is almost the only way to get a non-builder attached lot in Omaha), interviewed two architects, ate really good steak, looked for a rental, found a rental, ate disappointing Indian food, signed up the kids for school, picked up the kids who were staying with family in Springfield, got references for demolition men, bought some mattresses to use in the rental, planned a trip to the Kansas City IKEA, planned a trip to the Nebraska Furniture Mart, rented a UHaul, scheduled immunization updates for the kids, etc, etc.

After all of this Mel has to ask, “What up with the beige, Omaha?”  I mean, Omaha seems to want to blend in with the surrounding prairie.  The nicest people she has encountered since Greece, Barbados, and the Bahamas clearly don’t want to make any, er, waves.  Well, watch out, Omaha!  The Burnetts are coming to town!  You won’t know what hit you!

In the meantime, the Burnetts were interviewed by Greg’s talented sister Jeni for a radio show about their crazy life.  The show features fantastic interviews and is usually about the issues facing sports coaches, but it is not too far of a stretch to talk about cruising on it.  After all, Mel needed a lot of coaching while sailing to stop freaking out about things.  This usually came from her level-headed husband and cruiser’s groups on Facebook.  Anyway, the Burnetts hope that they may put the cruising bug into some other frustrated, creative soul’s mind this way.  Check out the awesome show online after 8/9/2017 here!

Back to reality.  We need to go to some sort of “Money ER.”  We are hemorrhaging.  Transitioning from a boat to land is expensive, especially when you, before you left, did the the “sell all of your stuff” clean-out that is so cathartic and liberating and popular, but in the end short-sighted for people in their forties with kids and ambition.  Mel recalls how she would skip the “cost of cruising” questions in the cruising Facebook groups, as the Burnett’s are lucky enough to be in a higher bracket than most, with their tech company and doctor money.  She thought their budget would seem ridiculous, even though it was indeed constrained.  In the end, though, that doesn’t matter.  The inescapable reality is: I don’t care what your budget is, cruising is more expensive than you can plan for.  You see, not only do you have to factor in the costs of buying a boat, provisioning said boat in countries with favorable exchange rates, docking that boat in countries with volcanic coastline, contributing zero money to retirement, and inevitable boat repairs in exotic locales, but also the tons of money that is lost in the transition from land to water and back to land.  The Burnetts are feeling that now, having just bought mattresses once again.  The cost of cruising is way more expensive than admitted on those Facebook groups, because who wants to be seen as the wet blanket??  Cruisers hate wet blankets!

So our money hemorrhage problem would have been easily solved if we had not decided to build a house now.

So the Burnetts have some…creative energy that needs an outlet.  Cruising around and living a lifestyle many didn’t think was possible fed that need for two years.  Now that that innovative solution to our problems has come to an end, we find ourselves searching for another way to feed our love of unusual life experiences.

You see, cruising causes one to get used to making a lot of decisions.  Big ones, sometimes.  The way we see it, what better way to continue making all those decisions than to build a contemporary house — in Omaha.

Mel may blog about it.  Not many of us get to live on a sailboat, and not many of us get to build a house.  So it might be interesting.  Stay tuned. 

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3 Responses

  1. William S Bass, MD
    | Reply

    Wonderful review of your adventure on the Radio.
    Love, Dad

  2. Ken Nellis
    | Reply

    Congrats on the new job!!! Coming from a former “Husker” the people of that area are the “salt of the earth”. If the winters weren’t so darn cold, we would still be in Lincoln. If you would ever need some assistance, advice on eating establishments, etc.. let us know. You guys are the best!!!

  3. Diane Goethel
    | Reply

    Glad to hear you made a decision regarding your practice, was really hoping Northfield would have been a contender! Congratulations on building your home AND going with an independent builder!! There’s something magical about designing your own home. I hope it goes smoothly. Omaha is lucky to have your family!

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