by Harold Duffield - Florissant, Missouri - USA


Click to Download I wrote a book for my kids and have had some good comments on it. it includes some of my articles you previously published. (Searching for Sven and Fourteen Minutes of Fame) This article is also from the book. I'm attaching the text so that your readers can download it. I give the internet version for free and offer a printed version for sale as a gift to others. Harold Duffield

"Cement," I said. Solid as a rock!"

"Are you sure",  my wife responded . "Have you ever seen one made  of cement?"

"Actually, it's concrete. The cement turns into concrete," I added.

"But, won't it sink?", she asked. "Won't it sink? Concrete doesn't float, does it?" She said with a puzzled look.

" If it was solid concrete, but it's not a solid rock of concrete, only the hull walls are concrete; only half an inch thick," I assured her. "Only half an inch thick".

And that's how it began. The first big boat I ever built would be "solid as a rock", a ferro-cement sailboat! But not  a huge ferro-cement boat that I had read about others making. Instead, a small one by many standards. A starter project it's called. One that gives you the experience, without a great investment of cash and time.

And at the time, I didn't have much of either. It was 1973 and I was  33 years old, with a Wife and two young daughters. Three women in your life! Just what every man needs! And I loved  those women with every fiber of my being, and still do.

Every adventure I could ever imagine, or Dream I could ever dream, included them being a part of it!

Yet, I don't think they fully understood that Dream I had about building the  boat. But, they didn't need to understand. They trusted  me.  They knew that I loved them totally. They knew they were part of any dream quest I might pursue, any crazy adventure I might embark upon.

And Crazy it sounded to many of my friends. "Build a boat out of cement? Why would you ever do such a thing? Where will you build it? How long will it take? Won't it sink? How can concrete float?, Sounds Crazy!", many of my friends advised.

But my mind was set. There would be no turning back! I was stubborn about my decision to build that boat. A real "block head", many would conclude.

And what a Boat she would be! A real Friendship Sloop with a traditional rig. A gaffer! And with a flying jib! Twenty feet of rock solid beauty!

I bought the plans for that boat from a young boat designer from Seattle, Jay Benford. He'd been designing Ferro Cement boats for a few years, and had offered plans for several. He had published a book about building ferro cement boats, and the teaser plans for the Friendship Sloop were included in his book.

Ninety bucks, and the full set of construction plans were mine! They came to my house one day by UPS, and I poured over them every evening for a week or two. I fixed every detail in my mind.

The lines drawings, the framing stations, the hull lay-up, the interior jointer work, were all firmly burned into my brain. I loved myself into the soul of that boat. The boat of  my Dreams. "Jenny-Kate", I named her; "Jenny-Kate"! She became a living being before she was even built. "Jenny-Kate", after my two young daughters.

"How's your plan for Jenny-Kate coming", my wife would ask? "When are you going to start building her?"

The dream starts out slow like a comfortable tickle, and then it progresses and grows, until it becomes a Howl of laughter and Joy in your heart. It becomes alive; a real participant in your life. A  Companion. A part of your being, and a  Member of your love relationships.

I built her in my garage, over a period of the next two years. With a fervor at times, but not always. I'd get side tracked with the needs of my Business. I'd be overwhelmed occasionally with all the demands of every young Couple. Living expenses, extended family obligations, illness of parents, all temporarily side-tracked the construction over that two year period.

But, I kept plugging away. I established a time routine that allowed me to systematically work on her each day. From 5-7 each morning I would progress one small step at a time. As I work away hour after hour, I saw in my mind the adventure that would come. The Dream of that adventure kept me going forward. One small step each day.

I was also fortunate that I owned my own Business. I had a shop at work that allowed me to fabricate some of the parts during my lunch break. I built the masts, the  booms, and the hatches, by spending my lunch hour each day in my work shop.

I had a good Friend who managed a steel fabrication company nearby, and he helped with those needs. He shared my craziness for building things, and he enthusiastically became my fellow Adventurer.

I wasn't special. I wasn't superior in my performance. But I was dedicated to the completion of the project. I was determined that someday She would be what She was designed to be. And each time I became discouraged with my progress, I would get those plans of Jenny-Kate out, and I'd pour over them at my kitchen table. When I did, it re-ignited my desire; re-kindled my passion. It showed me where I stood with the over-all construction picture. And it kept me plugging along.

Finally, after two years of building, she was completed. I think I was the second, or maybe even the third, most excited one in my house. The most excited, of course, were Jenny and Katie. They proudly stood by my side in front of Jenny-Kate, as my wife took our picture.

Two weeks later "She" was launched. Launched at the lake. The lake where I would one day buy the very Marina where she was moored. I suppose it looked like a Chinese  fire-drill to many that day, but it was a well thought out plan to me. It was an event that I had anticipated for over two years in my mind. "The Dream becomes a reality today", I thought.

But Dreams never do become reality! A Dream is never real! A Dream is a perception of what "can be", not what is. They're not something that you can feel with your hands, or see with your eyes. Not concrete (no pun intended), but instead a vision. A vision of what is possible. They're  a vision of the future.  And most importantly, a vision that can be anything you choose!

A Dream, a real Dream, is an end in itself! It's  a place in your mind. A place where your ideal can be visited whenever you want. It's a glorious song to be sung by you in the future, not the happy tune that you whistle  today. Jenny-Kate was such a Dream, and she did finally become a boat, a real beauty, and I was justifiably satisfied.

She carried our family on many a fine adventure over the next few years. Days spent on the lake sailing. Nights in the cove, swinging at anchor with the lamp burning. But your needs and priorities change over the years, and She took a back seat to the others facets of my life; other Dreams.

I sold her to a Friend. A Friend who is just as much a Dreamer as myself. She became his companion. His, "prized possession". He still owns her to this day. And his good Wife puts up with the craziness of his Dreams, with the same patience and love that my wife did with mine.

When I look back on my experience of building that boat, I know I incorporated the concepts I now show in this Success Enhancement Plan. I wasn't fully aware of any specific plan in my Dream quest at the time, but I did stumble onto a workable set of steps that served me well in achieving my Dream.

Just where do we get this ability to become Dreamers? Is it something we learn, or is it inherited? Is it a conscious choice we make, like deciding to be an engineer, or a dentist?  Or maybe it's a gift; or  maybe a curse!

I think it just "is"! It's a part of your being, a part of your Reality.

I think my first awareness of anyone being a Dreamer, came when I was about six years old. Much sooner than the "Donna Lee" phase of my life. And the awareness wasn't about myself. It was about my Father.

My Father was a closet Dreamer. I know now, he always dreamed of owning his own Farm. A real Farm, one that could support his Family. One that required all his time and energy. And he never owned such a Farm. But he did realize his Dream. Much the same way I realized mine; my Dream of owning a boat, and sailing around the world. My Dream became "Jenny-Kate", a boat to sail around the lake, or on any river connected to the ocean. And anytime I wanted to go, all I needed to do was to point her downstream! Jenny-Kate, a miniature version of my Ideal, yet capable of carrying me anywhere I chose to sail. Jenny-Kate, one step forward in my Dream. Not the culmination of the Dream, but instead, a part of it.

And later in my life, I could have built the ultimate boat of my Dream, and sailed around the world. But I didn't. My priorities changed, and my Dream became something new. Something different, but just as Real. It was the same with my Father.

My Father's Dream was ten acres in a rural Iowa community. A miniature  version of his ideal. A Dream for sure; a Dream in reality. And part of the realization of that Dream was the Farm auction.

"Dad's buying twenty cows!" I whispered excitedly to my four year old brother, as my Father raised his hand and entered his bid. The Auctioneer chanted on with his rhythmic song. And as the other Farmers entered their bids, Dad finally, shaking  his head, dropped out.

"Dang!", I'd think. "My Dad lost out again. He never does win any of those bids on anything he tries to buy. He lost out on that tractor, that plow, those 50 pigs; Everything! He sure doesn't have much luck buying things", I concluded.

I know now, when I look back fondly, the reason he lost out on those bids. It was because he had about two bucks in his pocket! He would have been up the creek, if everyone had dropped out before him, and let him win the bid! The secret was in the timing, and Dad had that down!

The truth is, He did really want to buy that tractor, and those cows and pigs. That was a part of his Dream. His bidding was his way of satisfying the thrill of realizing that Dream. And I know in my heart, he was satisfied with his Dream.

He was satisfied because He always ended up buying something; A shovel, a lamb, or even occasionally a calf. And my Brothers and I were just as excited about those additions to our Farm, as we would have been with a herd of animals.

As far as we were concerned, our Dad was a Farmer. He just worked in town at the factory because he wanted to, not that he had to. He was a Farmer because we lived on a farm. Our Dad was a Farmer who  had cows (2), pigs (4), chickens (100!), and fields of corn, oats, and beans. He had orchards, grapes, and a garden that provided all the vegetables any family of seven could eat in a year. A real Farm! And in his Dream, my Dad was always a Farmer. His thinking was that of a Farmer. His interests were that of a Framer, and his Love for the land was that of a Farmer.

And my memories of him walking behind the horse as he plowed the ground by hand, are memories of my Dad, the Farmer; My Dad the Dreamer. A Dreamer who realized his Dream by becoming a small, yet satisfied Farmer. And in reality, he was just as much a Farmer as if he had owned 500 acres. The size of his Farm didn't make him a Farmer; the size of his Dream  did.

That's what Dreamers really do. They don't take no for an answer when they set out on their quest for Dream realization. If they can't have the big one today, they satisfy the flame and passion of their Dream with a smaller version. The truth is the satisfaction is equal. The thrill is the same.  And, upon completion of the smaller version the big one may not be desired.   


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