Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks

We departed Brunswick in the afternoon, never having the opportunity to pick up our recently harvested seafood from the shrimpers, in a gentle breeze and only a slight ocean swell, bound for Vero Beach. Last year, due to exhaustion, we gave up on trying to get to Jay and Di’s house for their Thanksgiving Feast, so this go-around Peter was hell-bent for election and with no rest day after Disney, off we went. It was one of those glorious passages, lots of sailing, smooth seas, ice cream :), and a full moon.

We arrived at Fort Pierce inlet at daybreak two days later, the Captain having permitted me to sleep beyond my off-watch. This kindness was negated by his screeching “Lynn, Lynn” (which he NEVER calls me, I am only “Lynn” when there is trouble). With a racing heart beat I ran, au naturel, to the cockpit to be told “we are almost there”. My palpitations continued for several hours, the time it took to reach our mooring at Vero Beach. While fueling up, we were greeted by Kitty and Scott on Tamare, and rafted up with them and Bonnie Lass.

The next day we were shuttled to the Howell’s, where a glorious dinner of ham and turkey complete with bug gravy and all the trimming were served. Great company with good friends and good food. Every one chipped in, appropriate amounts of adult beverages were consumed, and an extremely large flying insect found its peace in a bath of leftover gravy. The host was dismayed to find that his guests were locust-like with the leftovers, and that traditional meal the night following Thanksgiving was not to be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Gotta Believe

Disney World is a magical place where you are encouraged to believe that dreams come true. If you are a five year old girl, it is not hard to accept the fact that if you believe strongly enough, and hound your parents all year long, you will magically be deposited on the Disney bus in Orlando, bound for a land of princesses and chipmunks that give great hugs and sign autograph books, some day to be discovered by a former Princess Belle look-alike in a dusty attic trunk. I hope when that happens Willow remembers that we were there. For sure, Peter and I could never forget this special time.

Having moved Aunt Dar to Lady Lake Specialty Care Center for more therapy, we had a short drive in our now obscenely expensive rental car to Disney. Blessed with concierge level accommodations, we grabbed a soda and the boat headed to Epcot for a day with our kids and our special granddaughter as she begged to stand in yet another line to gather autographs, hugs, and to stare deeply into the eyes of yet another cleverly garbed and made up cast member who each and every five year old among us is certain is the real deal.
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ provided the opportunity to dance with your favorites while various sets of grandparents, up well beyond sailor’s midnight, stifled yawns and clicked away on their Canons, sometimes ignoring the awkwardly placed hugs bestowed by the little ones on their too-tall icons.

Upon return to our rooms in the Wilderness Lodge, we found that Santa had visited, although he had failed to adequately blow up the inflatable Christmas tree that Willow delighted in pouncing upon with more energy that I typically start the day with.
Most exciting gifts: the dollar bill found in the coconut purse and the S’mores nightlight, proving that it doesn’t matter how much you spend. I should give the dolly to my Aunt Bev who almost walked off with it along with the extra furry jacket and matching boots.

The next day we arose at what seemed like daybreak for the Supercalifragalistic Breakfast, and the opportunity to slop eggs around with Mary Poppins,
the Mad Hatter, and other assorted lesser Disney characters with the requisite Princesses thrown in to assure frantic levels of excitement.
More standing in lines with adoration exuding every pore, and a visit to the Bippeditty Boppitty Princess Salon where for a price equivalent to my total college tuition you can get freaky hair extensions or a tiara avec bun, and a bewildering choice of character dresses and glittery footwear.

And the big event that evening: The Disney Christmas Party, commencing at 7:00 and continuing (Lord have mercy) until midnight. But, included in this extravaganza were incredible fireworks with rockets turning into smiley faces, hearts, stars, and presents, snow falling on Main Street, and “free” cookies and hot chocolate served every nine yards at concession stands. Fortunately, the Little Miss lost her steam around 10:30, so we began the trek back from the Magic Kingdom, sparkling with glorious tints favored by Princesses, to our welcoming king sized beds.

The next day we spent the morning with our little one, visiting, oh yes, more Princesses, and experiencing yet one more parade. We departed around lunchtime, and surprised Aunt Dar with a visit on the way back to Redneck Country to crash before the ride back to Brunswick.

Remember, if you believe hard enough, all your dreams can come true.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good News, but not Great News

Auntie is out of the ICU but is still in the hospital. It seems she suffered some kidney failure from low blood pressure from dehydration, and now they are struggling to determine the right mix of the medications to balance her kidneys while keeping her lungs clear. Difficult juggling act and one we lived through before with Peter's Dad. She is all worked up about our being delayed on our Mission South, but nevertheless whines when we decide to leave for the night after 8 hours of hospital duty. If you have a loved one in a hospital, it sure helps to be there with them, especially when they are almost 85 years young. So, while I wish we were cruising with all of our friends, with many now gathered in Vero Beach for the Thanksgiving celebration, some how I feel like The Man has arranged my schedule to be here.

Thursday, though, my other Princess beckons, a visit to Disney with Willow our granddaughter. Hopefully Auntie will have resolved by then.

Good thoughts and prayers are gratefully accepted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Medical Tour of Ocala

From NJ we returned to Florida to spend some time with my Aunt in Redneck Country and did my long list of visit chores: get carpet cleaned, visit as many docs as I could talk into appointments, do a thorough roach check (heh, it's Florida), search for the practically non-existent cotton V neck striped shortsleeved polo shirts that my aunt favors--size 2X but it has to be short at the hips and preferably just like the ones I bought her about 20 years ago, and venture forth to a spinal surgeon to find a solution to the chronic pain. Cook a year's worth of food for the freezer, buy as much diet Snapple as the rental car can carry, review her medications, change the furnace filter, visit with nearby friends and family. Try to sleep with several "rooster clocks" chiming out the time, each of course, at least a minute apart, but at least my legally blind Auntie knows what time it is.

Finally, time to move on, with regrets on leaving her but with expectations for a new cruising year. Pack the car and ready to say our farewell, when she looses her balance and down she goes. Is it a manipulation? We take her BP and eventually call 911.

I have a wonderful husband who has spent this week "vacation" cleaning everything he could find to pass the time, and now sits beside me at the Intensive Care Unit, dreaming of 15 knots of wind and flat seas. We await a doctor to tell us what the heck is going on.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home in NJ

I know I have said this a million times, but it bears repeating: we are blessed with so many friends willing to share their homes and families with us while we are "home" in New Jersey visiting our docs. This visit, we mooched off of Betty, who greeted us with a good, hot meal and friends Donna and Alan on our arrival. It was great handing out candy like a real land person, watching TV, and taking long, hot showers without anyone complaining about the water use.

Doctor visits were good. Peter's kidney functions are all back to normal, and his stones have not grown. My aches and pains appear unrelated to my RA, since my bloodwork looks as good as yours, and maybe even better, with no signs of inflammation. So, I have been given good news: it's fibromyalgia. See, everything in life is relative.