Barb's pre-departure post
August 27 2008 0830
I'm sitting in the Olympic Laundromat on Chebucto Road with 4 loads of wash agitating away - my head is equally agitated so I thought I'd put a few thought s down for the blog. I truly believe that I have done all that I can to get ready for this adventure - if not, so be it! There have been so many changes in the last 5 years as our preparations have been made. We sold the house in Tantallon and lot of excess worldly goods including the van and moved downtown to a 2 bedroom apartment within walking distance of the offices. Then 2.5 years ago we moved to my family home on Allen Street after Mum and Dad moved to a nursing home. With that move I packed 95% of our possessions and we moved them to a stuffed UHAUL Storage unit in the north end. At that point Mike really stepped up the boat prep and has spent the last 2 seasons replacing and adding safety and electronics equipment, a freezer and a watermaker. We have stuffed ourselves with Canadian Power and Sail Squadron courses in the meantime. Then the BIG changes: my Dad passed away, Mike's Dad suffered strokes and falls, I was laid off in May after 10 years with the same firm, Christopher moved to Drumheller , Alberta, working for Corrections Canada, I put my family home up for sale, I went through 80+ years of accumulated stuff in the house and proceeded to throw out, give away, sell, and pack some things for further storage (more than a few tears were shed, mostly of frustration), we helped KT move to her apartment, and finally one month ago my Mum passed away after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Now the house has been sold and I winnowed down our clothes and books and my craft supplies to those that are needed on the boat and all else is in storage (we are up to two units that you could get nothing more than a toothpick in at this point - I wonder what our situation will be when we come to empty out the units?). I have provisioned the boat and taken inventory, hauled Al and Peri to the vet for their Health Certificates and last shots, I finished sewing the bridesmaid's dress that KT will wear in her friend Nadine's wedding in October. It is no wonder that when folks say "You must be soooo excited about your trip!" that I stare at them like a deer caught in the headlights and say that I have hardly had time to think past the to-do list.
Well - short of finishing the laundry, filling the safety deposit box at the bank and taking the car for pre layup servicing the list has dwindled to .... NOTHING.
Mike is finishing his pared down list of boat tasks today , Pat and Lisa are bringing their gear aboard tonight and then we can finally start on the course plans that Mike laid in over the last winter - right after the retirement roast at the club .
What will I miss you might ask? Being in frequent contact with the kids, seeing familiar places and friends, 2 weddings that KT is bridesmaid in, and let us not forget the annual Christmas baking of scads of favourite cookies - oh yeah - having a bath tub to soak in.
I won't miss the office politics, thoughtless and rude drivers, being driven by a to-do list, shovelling snow and breaking ice, and heating and lighting a house.
Most importantly here is what I am grateful for - my parents are no longer suffering the indignities of combinations of cancer, COPD, and Parkinson's Disease; our children are capable and self-sufficient; our meagre finances are being well managed by the RBC; we are relatively healthy and pretty fit for creaky 52 and 57 year olds; we have a safe, sturdy, and well-equipped boat.
I'd like to make note of a few people who have helped us - the ever patient and reliable staff at the Binnacle, Dave Hickey of DRH Canvas and Marine for his skilled craftsmanship that keeps us dry and out of the sun in the cockpit, Chris Cavell at Canalian who rebuilt the anchor windlass twice, Kevin Marsen at MarineNav for the Leviathan computer, Eric at Victory Sails; Rosemary, Shawn and Ian at the Royal Bank; Rebekah and Bianca at Cox & Palmer; Martin Jones; Bryan Regan at Bryant Realty.
Well, the laundry is now dry so I'm off to the base to pick up Mike (it is pouring buckets) and return to the Nelleke. My next entry will not be for a week or so - I wonder where we will be?