Brunswick Summer – HOT, HOT, HOT
10 August 2011 | Brunswick, GA
Sylvia - Dare I say HOT?
It has now been over two months since I have updated this blog and I am ashamed of myself as well dismayed that I now have to try to write about over two months of activity without this entry of the blog turning into a boring tome. There are quite a few things to write about but the over whelming thing for the last two months has been the awful, relentless heat and humidity here. We went from April weather directly to August weather and it has remained that way through May, June and July. Of course, we are now in August and we are having August weather still. We certainly planned this all wrong. Come to Brunswick, GA and stay for the hurricane season during a summer when the temperature is constantly above normal. Great move on our part.
But there have been a lot of good times in spite of the heat. Our friends Jean-Denise and Louise did come through here on their way back to Quebec and we had a lovely all be it short visit with them and another French Canadian couple, Ben and Sylvie, with whom they were sailing. It was such fun to see them and to meet more sailors. I don't know when or if J-D and Louise will be taking time off and sailing south again but it would be wonderful to see them again one of these years. Meeting and spending time with them was one of the highlights of our trip down here.
After they left it was back to work on the boat. Bill continued the work on the water maker until he was stopped by a part that got damaged and had to be sent out for repair. It was the pressure intensifier unit. Evidently it was shipped with some water in it and we didn't realize it. So when we left the boat on the hard in Rochester all winter the water froze and damaged the unit. Since we hadn't fully installed the system we didn't even think about it when we were winterizing Eos. An expensive mistake but at least we found out about it here in the States rather than down island somewhere when it would have been even more expensive and inconvenient to get it fixed. Oh, the lessons we have learned! But it has been fixed now and Bill should soon be able to get back to the project.
Our new dinghy arrived the first of June. It is an AB inflatable with an aluminum bottom which makes it light but also can handle the rough treatment the bottom will get in the Caribbean. The soft bottom would probably only have lasted a year according to those who have been there and done that. Our Zodiac is now in Wisconsin where my great nephew is trying to sell it for us. It is much better suited for the Great Lakes and other northern lakes. It is basically brand new and is going for a very reasonable price - if anyone is interested in it.
Sherri, the dock master here at BLM, organized a pot luck gathering for the cruisers who were here Memorial Day. We all chipped in and she and other staff provided the BBQ. There were probably around 40 - 50 people gathered. A small combo played music for us. The members of the group are from one of the boats staying here. They were really quite good and we all enjoyed the music, the food and the camaraderie of a group of very eclectic folks.
About a week later Bill was sitting at the table and looked out as a new boat went by the port light. He immediately recognized it as the aluminum "unboat" that was built by and is cruised by Steve and Linda Dashew. For those of us in the sailing community they are one of those couples that we all look up to as having done it. They have written several well respected books about cruising. We wandered over to the dock where they were berthed a little later and we both met Linda. She graciously invited us and a couple of other fellows to come aboard and see Wind Horse. I decided not to but Bill and the fellows did. They met, Steve, as well and Bill came back raving about the pristine accommodations as well as the over all lay out and equipment on her. They were off the next day heading up the ICW.
June 14 we got away from the heat and began our trip back to Minnesota to see doctors and dentists as well as family and friends. We rented a car and drove to Asheville, NC to my brother Bruce's and then the four of us - Spanker, of course, was with us - drove to MO for the first leg of our journey. We stopped at his daughter Kim's and got to spend an evening with her, her husband Dale and their daughter, Megan, and grandson, Peyton. He is a cutie and out first great, great nephew. Makes us sound really old, doesn't it?
Time for a small world story. When we took a pit stop west of Springfield, MO I heard a women ask another woman in the Ladies Room where she had gotten those cute shoes. The answer was Brunswick, GA. I mentioned that we had our boat there and had just come from there. "Are you at Brunswick Landing Marina?" "Yes." "We had our boat there for about 6 years. We are from MN." "Well, so are we. The Twin Cities." "We are, too. Where in the Twin Cities?" "Roseville." " We're from Brooklyn Park" (These are both northern suburbs.) The couple had sold their trawler, Iron Ranger, and were now RVing around the country but they had fond memories of the time at BLM. So here we were in the Midwest flatland of MO and we met up with cruisers who had been at BLM. I, of course, had to call Cindy and Sherri, the dock masters at BLM, with the tale. They remembered Iron Ranger and her crew and were just as amazed as we were that we had such a chance meeting with them. It truly can be a very small world.
Then we were off to NE to see friends and family. Bill and I stayed with Cheryl and Jim Swartz in Lincoln for two nights while Bruce stayed with his long time friends, Jerry and Ruth Ann Snyder. Cheryl and Jim were perfect hosts and it was such fun to spend time with them and to reminisce with Cheech about grade school, junior high and high school. We go a LONG way back. The second evening we gathered with more of my girl friends from childhood and their husbands. We had a great time at Lazlo's in Lincoln in a separate room so we could talk and laugh as much and as loud as we wanted to and not disturb the rest of the diners in the restaurant. What a fun time!!
Then we were off again to MN this time but we stopped for brunch in Omaha so we could see lots of the NE family. My nephew Randy was out of town but we did get to see Suzanne and Kristine, his wife and daughter as well as my sister Kit and three of her children and their families. Kris was working at the Golden Corral so we all met there and descended on her. She was able to come over to our table several times and the buffet was just the thing for that many people. Something for everyone and no one had to do any cooking.
We arrived in MN Sunday, June 19 and Bill and begin our round of appointments the next day. We were only there for seven business days but we ended up with 16 medical appointments of one kind or another. We had only one week-end in MN since my brother had to get back to NC because he was co-hosting a party as soon as he got back and then had family coming for a couple of days prior to leaving for Brazil for two weeks. So between the myriad appointments and the short visit we hardly got to see any friends and didn't spend much time with family either. As I told Bill, "NEVER AGAIN!" That was just too short a time.
We did get to see my niece, Mitzy, and her husband, Tom, for a couple of hours and took a tour and then spent an evening with my nephew, Tim and part of his family at their new home. We saw my nephew, Mark, and his daughter Abby briefly as well as nephew Doug and his girl friend Kelly. We only managed to get together with the Brown's and Sheldon's and families (long, long time friends) because Jennifer Sheldon Upton had a party for her massage therapy course graduation and everyone was there. We only got to spend a few hours there but we did get to see everyone and certainly wouldn't have without the party. We slipped in a week-end brunch with friends Ron and Mary Budd who live quite close to my sister Diana as well as a lunch and visit to see my great niece Shannon and her husband Scott. There was an evening meal with the Lunds and Andersons (Kris and Nanc and I go back to the time when we were all wearing diapers). We saw Joy and Roger Nellessen in between Roseville medical appointments and we got to Serum’s in Anoka for hot wings with the Gary and Judy Robinson and Marcia and Tom Greenbush. But all of the visits were really too short. Even phone calls to friends were hard to work in. And there were so many other friends we so wanted to connect with. As I said before --- NEVER AGAIN!!
While we managed to work those few visits in we were all over the Twin Cities doing the medical things. Most were regular check ups but we ended up with a couple of extras along the way. Bill needed a dental filling and I ended up with a left knee arthroscopic partial medial menisectomy. I had hurt it several months before and when I saw the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday he shocked me by saying he could do the surgery that Friday. That quick is almost unheard of but our doctors have been so great about getting us in and out in the short time frames we were around. The surgery went marvelously. I was having no problems right then so there was no inflammation or irritation. In fact, I didn't even take so much as an aspirin after the surgery. As I told the physician's assistant when I called in after returning to GA., "If I didn't have three little holes in my knee, I would think he had put me under and just written a bill." I know others have not been as lucky with this kind of surgery but I am more than thankful that it went so well for me. Bill had had hip replacement a couple of years ago and there was a recall on the joint that had been used. Bill's comment was "It is great that they are willing to pay for the new part but it is the installation that concerns me." It hadn't been bothering him but we needed to get it checked out. Luckily after an X-ray and blood test for high metallic levels, they determined that he didn't need to have it replaced. We were both very pleased about that. It wouldn't have had to been done right away but it would have been another trip back to MN and a recuperation period. The other good thing that happened was that his cardiologist told him that Plavix (a blood thinner) Bill was on was only really effective the first two or three years after stents were inserted. The doctor was now more concerned with Bill bleeding while we were out somewhere on the boat. So he told him to get off the Plavix. That made Bill more than happy. He was tired of ending up with enormous bruises and having cuts and such bleed for what seemed like hours. Again our doctors were so aware of our life style and made their recommendations based on that.
We left MN on June 29th and got back to Asheville the 30th in time to go to Zuma's coffee house for the Thursday evening jam session that we so enjoyed every Thursday when we stayed at Bruce's the winter of 2009-2010. Many of the folks we had met and enjoyed before were there so it was another chance to renew friendships and acquaintances. On Friday we got together with Sandy, Bruce's daughter who lives near Asheville and then Saturday Bruce drove us to Commerce, GA where we met my niece, Tami, who lives in Newnan, GA just 40 mins south of the Atlanta airport. Early in the week Tami, Blane and Bill and I drove down to the Little White House where Franklin Roosevelt spent some time and where he died. We were surprised at what a small cabin it really was but it was a wonderful retreat that he certainly enjoyed, We got to celebrate Steve's 50th birthday with him. We had also celebrated his 40th with him at the family reunion in Utah 10 years ago. Maybe we will be able to do his 60th in the islands somewhere. The 4th (his actual birthday) was fairly quiet with Blane and Steve shooting off fireworks from the gravel part of their driveway. Tami spent the rest of the week getting ready for a party for Steve on Saturday, the 9th. Again there were fireworks and we so enjoyed meeting some of their friends and watching the kids playing on the big blow up water slide that Tami and Steve had brought in.
The next Tuesday, I drove the Jaffes up to Atlanta to catch a plane for their vacation to the family cabin in Colorado. Bill and I then spent the next 10 days lolling around enjoying the air conditioning and their lovely home and pet sitting. During the lolling period my brother Bruce and his daughter Robin arrived. They were on their way to Brazil for a couple of weeks. We had a day with them at Tami's and went on a driving tour of Newnan to see all of the old antebellum and Victorian homes there. Newnan had seven hospitals in the town during the Civil War so it was never attacked and all of these lovely homes are pre-Civil War. I so wanted to get pictures but I was driving and there are on narrow old regularly traveled streets so it was hard to even pull over and get a good look at them let alone get out and get pictures. We all went out for dinner that evening and the next day was spent running around getting things that Bruce was to pick up and take to Brazil for his friends there - like camera cards that cost 4 and 5 times more in Brazil then in the States. Later that day we drove them up to the Atlanta airport and then took Bruce's car back to Tami's. The Jaffe's returned on the 21st and they took us out for a Mexican meal for my birthday on the 22nd.
On my birthday we picked up another rental car and drove back to Brunswick so it was a very quiet 66th for me. We did have a wonderful surprise when we got back though. Chet and Sharon White on their PDQ power catamaran, Allez Cat II, were in Brunswick. Chet and Sharon are friends of Bruce's from the late 60's when he and his family lived in MN. We had met Chet and Sharon several times then and they had come out to see Eos as we were building her. They now live in FL so we hadn't seen them for several years. So what fun to see them their new boat (they moved from a PDQ sail cat to the power cat). They were leaving that day but we got a chance for a short visit and they got over to see how Eos ended up. It was quite a change from the last time they had seen her.
I had started to catch a cold the last couple of days at Tami's and it soon really grabbed me. I can't remember the last time I have had such a bad one and such a long one. I finally got over it two days ago. Of course, Bill got it several days after me and he is probably on his last day. It was really a dousy for both of us. Here we were in this awful heat and feeling miserable. Nothing got done but a grocery run, the laundry once and short walks up to the cruiser's lounge to sit and read and cool off. The 29th we finally just had to get out. So we walked over to Brewburger's the local eatery and bar where Eric Stone was playing songs from the islands. His group is one that is often at boat shows all over the country as well as various places in the islands.
Spanker and us are all surviving the heat somehow. She has discovered that the lid to the freezer is just a little cooler than any where else in the boat so that is where she is usually sprawled out. She by the way is a wonderful little traveler. She is quiet when we carry her around in her tote and once in the car she is either on the console between the bucket seats or laid out in the back seat. Our litterless litter box is a boon and the leash attached to her harness lets us get her out for a little stroll periodically. She and Bruce became real travel buddies in the back seat of his car. The only issue we had with her was the disappearing stuffed kitty. Bruce has a small one that sits on his dashboard and every time we left her in the car while we went in to eat somewhere the stuffed kitty was gone when we got back. We decided that was Spanker's way of showing us she didn't really like being left alone.
So we are now healthy or almost healthy and we will start working again on boat things most likely in the mornings before the heat builds. Then it will be afternoons sitting in front of fans or up in the cruiser's lounge doing nothing more energetic than turning a page in a book or pushing a button on the Kindle.