23 January 2012
I would like to be able to blame my laxity in not starting and pursuing my blog on the hectic schedule and rigorous demands of the cruising life. However, that would be somewhat dishonest. The fact of the matter is that I have been quite indolent and irresponsible. So I will endeavour to make amends by filling in the blanks since we signed off last spring.
This post will be a summary of our late spring, summer, early fall adventures and challenges. At the risk of this sounding like one of those family Christmas messages, it might be worthwhile giving a "cook's tour" of our non-cruising life.
So, Judy and Chopin deserted Sea Sharp mid March from Stuart and left me with the decommissioning chores, which of course I did with aplomb. As has become our practice, Judy and Chopin flew to New Jersey and I finalized the preparation of Sea Sharp for a harsh summer "on the hard" in Florida. I then drove to New Jersey and we all spent a most pleasant week with Judy's family.
My mother who lived in Bathurst in our ancestral home had some serious health issues over the winter and we knew that she was deteriorating to the extent that she would not be able to return home. My brothers and sisters, in particular Margie, had been most diligent and caring in their attention to Mom and her needs and Judy and I felt that, having returned from our idyllic and self-indulgent lifestyle in the Bahamas on Sea Sharp, we needed to focus on my mother's dwindling time with us.
Mom asked me to look after the disposition of our family home in Bathurst. She knew she was not going back and none of my siblings indicated to her any interest in moving into the home so the difficult chore of readying and listing a 100 year old home, full of that same 100 years of heirlooms and pure junk, in a city with diminishing prospects and a slumping real estate market was assumed cheerfully by Judy and I.
Short version of the story....... Judy and I and my family worked hard to distribute and dispose of the "stuff" in the house and find Mom a place in a nursing home closer to Fredericton where more of us live. Finally Mom moved down to the White Rapids Manor in Fredericton Junction, a wonderful, caring nursing home 50 km from Fredericton. Judy and I and my family had the privilege of spending the last six or so weeks with our beloved Mother while she was in the care of sensitive and competent staff at this wonderful place. Mom's final couple of days might classify as the ideal way to pass; a gentle, demise surrounded by her family. Of course it was sad but none of us will remain on this moral earth and Mom, knowing that her time had come, decided to leave us in a graceful and gentle way.
So back to the disposition of our family home...... Not only were we trying to sell an older but gracious home in the throes of the worst real estate market in decades , but these conditions were exacerbated by the fact that our street was being torn up to renew the infrastructure. So imagine selling a 100 year old, reasonably well maintained but ageing home with the street looking like a war zone? We had accepted the prospect that the home would be on the market for a long while and hunkered down for the long term......more to follow....
So to summarize in point form the rest of our summer:
- I made it back to Fredericton the same day as my loyal and intrepid assistant Janet was feted for her retirement
-We attended the wedding of our nephew and godson Brian
- We flew to Hawaii for the wedding of our beloved niece Colleen to a wonderful man, James Jesso
- - We spend two fantastic weeks at the cottage we rent at Grand Lake
- Judy flew to Newfoundland to spend two weeks with her brother Bob
- I went on a motorcycle trip with a couple of my buddies
- I did a bit of consulting with the City of Fredericton
- We drove to Lachine to spend time with my cousin Joe and his son; our niece Laura joined us which made us very happy
- We spent several days in the Pugwash area at our dear friends Harold and Ann's cottage.
- we spent two additional weeks at the rental cottage, where we were joined by Mike and Debbie, Bob and Carolyn and their great little grandson Avery
I will reserve my great experiences sailing this summer for a separate posting but suffice it to say that our summer was one of emotional flux, which as you will discover in subsequent posts contributed to our decision to not stray too far this winter.