Home again and again
13 September 2016
Nearly had my back broken last night. This beautiful island girl screamed and jumped in my arms. We schleped my cargo to Uproar, then went to the restaurant for hamburgers. I then set foot on Uproar for the first time in 2 ½ weeks. “I'm home!” It is amazing how solid something can feel that is in constant motion.
Today was a complete lay day. I didn't leave the cabin at all until 3:00 in the afternoon. I talked with Lisa, unpacked and slept much of the day. Then we went to the pool, soaked for an hour and then back to the mother ship. I'm sitting in the cockpit as the sun goes down, digesting some grilled pork chops and pumpkin chunks, sauteed with onions (the most delicious squash you can imagine). A likle rum doesn't hurt either.
Yes, I'm home. Lisa is too. She called me during my visit in Milwaukee and said, “Sell my car! I don't need it any more.” Who wants a very rare (only two in the USA) 2001 Alfa Romeo 156 v6. It's now on Evilbay if anyone is interested.
The flip side of my homecoming is my visit to Milwaukee, Ohio and Michigan. Kenny asked me, “What do you miss about home?” That's an easy one, family and friends. But I also told him, “Kenny, there is a reason you guys live here. I have had so much fun with my sailing friends.” During the two weeks I was in Milwaukee, I crewed for 6 races. We won 4 of them, got second in one (by only 3 seconds to a boat who fouled us) and one was canceled for no wind. I have some very fast racing friends. I went to the Grudge Race party at SSYC and saw at least a dozen friends I have raced with or against for over 30 years. Milwaukee is a great place on a great lake! We have beautiful marinas, beautiful water and dedicated sailors.
I stayed at the River Retreat while in town. Kelsey, Brice and Peter have kept the tradition of “party house” alive. Peter was decanting wine he was producing for a friend's wedding in October. These guys are keeping the place up well and set up a nice guest room for me. As my grandmother said of a sound, night's sleep, I slept on both ears. Couldn't resist having some cookouts at the RR either. We had a nice one for Labor Day and another on Tuesday for my moto friends.
Milvinmoto has garage nights at various locations. I didn't have anything (except for my 1992, 900SS Ducati and a 1960 Alfa) in the garage to show them. They still came and we had a great reunion. Thanks guys and girls. There is a special bond among those who ride and race and repair together. Godfrey is the new Sargent-at-arms with his cool piece strapped to his hip!
Most of all, I spent a lot of time with my kids. Could have spent more time but I enjoyed every minute. Liz and Victor had just received an accepted offer on a house in Wauwatosa. I got the grand tour with Frank and Jeanine, Victor's parents. We can just visualize the happy family who will live and grow (hint, Liz) there. Steve provided the Predator Van for me to move my stuff out of storage and came to all the gatherings. I even got to sail with Steve and Carla on their Butterfly, 14 foot sailboat. Ah, back to my roots as a dinghy sailor.
Logan's appearance was at the Labor Day cookout. He came with two friends but without a shirt. “I got bilge water on my shirt and it's trashed,” he said as he gave me a spine crushing hug. “Great, mom sent a shirt for you.” I handed him a wreak of the Rhone shirt. Logan loved snorkeling on the Rhone when he joined us in the BVI. He loved the shirt too. I'm so pleased to hear about Logan's new job operating laser cutting machinery for heavy fabrication.
Kelsey and her RR team seem to be enjoying life. Too bad their boat wasn't running this year. Peter built a sturdy canoe/kayak rack and they have been paddling the river on occasion. Kelsey traveled two days to Arkansas. She visited Walmart purchasing for seasonal items her company, Fashion Angels, produces. Kelsey started as a sales assistant two years ago and now they are flying her to key customers. Way to go Kelsey! Thanks so much for your hospitality and the chocolates on my pillow.
I made a trip to Dayton, Ohio to visit my parents. Stopped at Indy to meet my best college friend Larry for lunch. His wive, Mary invited me for a splash in their pool. That would have cost me another whole day! Mom and Dad are aging as best they can. They have a lot of help from loving caregivers. I drove Dad to Detroit to see his new great grandson, Conner Morgan. My favorite aunt Merdie, uncle Larry,brother Bob and cousin Ken were also there. I am so lucky to align a visit with these special people in my life. Joe and Suzanne were gracious hosts for this mini family reunion.
My life in the islands and my life in the USA couldn't be further apart. But the spirit couldn't be more similar.