Home for the Holidays
21 December 2009
As we approach the holiday season, our thoughts turn to our loved ones. There are lots of folks at our marina who are leaving their boats for a week or two and returning home to visit family. We realize that we are retired and don't have to cram things into our lives as we used to have to. We are not measured by our productivity and performance so if we want a diversion we will not get a bad performance appraisal and forgo our bonus.
We decide that Judy should fly to New Jersey, where her parents, three siblings and several nieces and nephews live. I will stay on the boat for a few more days and Chopin and I will drive up before Christmas. In some ways we are reluctant to leave Sea Sharp and the great weather but we need some family contact so we arrange a flight from West Palm Beach to Philadelphia for Judy. I will follow later.
Chopin is now stuck with me and while he tolerates me he is really Judy's Master (no I don't have that backwards, contrary to dogs, the cat is the Master). Judy leaves me with very strict instructions to be careful with him, give him attention, take him for his now required daily walks and generally be good to him. I try my best but there is that look of indifference if not distain which he so well displays on his face.
I help my boat neighbour, Blair on a very nice Morgan 46 do some installation and continue the maintenance on Sea Sharp.
The weather is foreboding both in Florida and all along the eastern seaboard but it's now time to get up to New Jersey. They're predicting a very vigorous front in Florida and, of course, a strong winter storm up north. Nonetheless, I move the boat out to a mooring and prepare the boat for leaving her for a couple of weeks. The storm starts and it pelts rain. The wind also picks up and Chopin and I bounce around quite a bit on the mooring but the moorings are very secure. The upside is that our new wind generator is working overtime producing lots of amps. I am hopeful that between the solar panels and wind generator, we can replace our required energy demands.
We leave on Saturday morning (December 19) for the trek north. It is a challenge getting poor Chopin off the boat but I commission the Marina skiff and while he roars on the way in, he's fine and he should not give an unfavourable report to Judy.
It's not a bad drive on Saturday; I split the difference and stop in Florence SC, about halfway to Judy's home. Of course the storm has hit the Virginia, DC, Maryland Pennsylvania and New Jersey area and I expect to drive right into it on Sunday. And I do. They are not prepared like we are further north for winter and the removal is rudimentary. It is a slow, nerve-wracking trip; at times the traffic was bumper-to-bumper for as far as the eye can see. I finally make it to Judy's family home around 8:00 pm; tired but content. Chopin as a trooper. He tolerated the trip but I'm sure will confide to Judy that I'm a poor substitute for her intensive care.
So, here we are in frigid New Jersey with mounds of snow but looking forward to a nice holiday season before returning to Sea Sharp early in the new year.