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Friday, February 29, 2008

February 2008 postings

February 29, 2008
This week has been another whirlwind for us. We hit the ground running upon our return to San Diego. We thought that we would just kick back and enjoy the city - no stress - no business to attend to, and head to Ensenada by Wednesday, but realized we really should quit thinking! As Frank says, it was a blur. We were determined, however, to set some time aside to visit one of Frank's dear old friends, Harry Parmenter. As always, God stepped in and delayed our departure by a day so that we had that chance. On Wednesday, amidst the hustle bustle of our crazy schedule we went to visit Harry at his retirement village in Spring Valley, just south of San Diego. Harry was a State Farm agent in Denver for 37 years, working with Frank. I'd been hearing about Harry for years but had not met him before now. What a dear and gentle soul he is. Harry lost his wife, Betty Ann, 3 years ago, yet he still hands out business cards with both their names on them. She was his love, his life partner and his best friend. Harry is one of those special people who touch you forever, and who made us promise to send him post cards from exotic places so that he can join us on our journey, in mind and spirit. As we drove away I told Frank that Harry left an imprint upon my heart. Very few people touch me in that way, yet Harry did.

Before we left VA, Mary loaned me a couple of books to read. One was by Allison Dubois, who is the feature character in the TV show, Medium. Then I saw the show Wed. night on TV. It was kind of weird, watching the show and comparing Patricia Arquette to the real Allison. I like the real one better. The other book, The Secret Life of Bees, is wonderful! I should be reading more "how-to" books, but I get so bored and distracted that I have to alternate between reality and fiction.

This is the last land-lubber type writing from me for a while. Hopefully the next time I get a chance to write there will be at least one wonderful sea-faring story for you to read.

A thought to leave you with...if you are bored and your life is lacking adventure - use the mind the good Lord gave you and create something!

February 26, 2008
We returned from our trip to Virginia on Sunday night. The flight was late getting into San Diego and we arrived but not my luggage. This is the second time in a row that United sent me one direction and my bag another! But that didn't ruin our spirits. What a great trip! Staying at Tom and Mary's home is like being in a resort. It is so beautiful and comfortable that we get spoiled each time we go. Clint, my Godson, is their only dependent child still living at home. I'll bet he hates to be called that! Clint, you forgive me I know. He is a senior in high school and will be soaring out of the nest soon. Sarah is away at school in Utah, Samantha is away at college and the rest are living on their own now. We had a fabulous breakfast with Ma, Frank's mom and some of her good friends the first morning. She lives at The Virginian a rather upscale retirement community that provides 1st Class meals. After breakfast she took us up to the computer room where we got a chance to show Ma our website and how to reach us on-line. She has been practicing diligently so that she can keep up with us. We tried to spend as much time with her and the rest of the family as possible, knowing that it will be nearly a year before we will get back there. We had the opportunity to see Mitch and Ashley's new home and to get over to Jeff and Erin's new home for a big family "make your own pizza" dinner on Sat. night. Tom, Mary, Ma, Frank and I rode over together. Kevin and his soon to be bride, Carly were there. Samantha came home for the weekend and brought her beau, Mark. Mitch was there, sans Ashley - she is a nurse and was working that night. Clint had other plans and couldn't make it over. We had a ball, eating pizza and watching them all do battle with "Guitar Hero".

Sunday was bitter-sweet. Frank and I were anxious to get back to Destiny, and to the final tasks at hand, yet it was hard to leave our beloved family. Ma rode with us to the airport and that was a difficult good-bye.

During the plane ride from Dulles to San Diego I finished reading a beautiful novel that Susie Thompson had given to me before we left Denver; Redeeming Love is a heart moving story based on the book Hosea from the Bible. Susie, I do not have an email address to write to you, so if you are reading this please accept my thanks to you for the book and for the lovely note you wrote to me in the front cover. I enjoyed the book very much - it evoked so many emotions! Beautiful - thank you. You are a dear friend and I look forward to sharing Faith adventures with you and my other Christian friends.

Feb 16, 2008

There's not much new since our last update, except that the weather turned bitterly cold on the 13th, then on the 14th the wind kicked up singing and blowing like crazy causing the boat to rock and roll in its slip and the rain to blow sideways most of the day. Cold and blustery comes to mind! And this was the designated laundry day so I literally hauled it all up to the marina laundry-mat and camped out with a book for a couple of hours. Our friends Jeff and Jeri Lyn Martin drove over from Phoenix in the completely unexpected and unbelievable blizzard that rocked the western US on the 14th. They reported that cars and semi's were skidding all over Imperial Pass and that strong Faith and continuous prayer got them through. It is literally a miracle that they were able to keep driving, snaking around vehicles that had slid off the road or were completely undrivable due to the road conditions. We all agreed that they have a heck of a guardian angel watching over them. They may have been the last vehicle to get through before the roads were completely shut down. They arrived in time to spend Valentine's dinner with us and to give us a much needed break yesterday: Jeff and Frank set out to golf while JL and I spent the day at Sea World. The weather had cleared and the day was absolutely perfect. Today it is back to the grindstone and tasks at hand. I'm making our provisions list for food and dry goods, and scratching my head, asking myself where on Earth will we stow our 90-day supply of goods. Some rearranging must be done.We are waiting for Robert, the canvas guy to return with our bimini and dodger so that we can put our windshield back on. Unfortunately, we've still not heard from some of the people who are to install and move electronics, and Doctor Electron can't get back to finish his work on the Pactor Modem until we've already left for VA. We would have liked to be here when most of these things are done but that's not in the cards. So, once again we take it in stride and keep doing what we can in the meantime, trusting the process and the people. Gotta run, Frank is needing my expert skills elsewhere! TTFN!

Feb 13, 2008
Ahoy, Mates! We've been a little bit slammed since getting to San Diego. Each day we get up early and don't stop until around 9 or 10 PM, and then we literally fall into bed and sleep like babies in the womb. We've much to do here with little time to get it all done. Let's see if I can give the Reader's Digest version...we are still stowing supplies, provisions and general items that we brought to the boat on the drive down. This requires lots of placing, moving, stowing, re-placing, re-moving, re-stowing. Then there are people to meet with: our maritime attorney, the documentation folks, the Island Packet guy, the electrician for one thing, the electrician for another thing, the boat washer/waxer woman, the hull cleaner guy,the canvas guy, and I can't even remember who else. Then it's multiple trips to West Marine, Costco, Walmart, Target, West Marine, the dive shop to order our scuba tanks and drop off our gear for maintenance and inspection, the Chandlery, West Marine, the Life Boat/EPRIB shop, the hardware store, Home Depot, and did I mention West Marine? Then there are appointments with folks on the boat to do various installations. And in the middle of it all, we both had quasi-emergency visits to the dentist. Thank God for good referrals from the yachting world. What a wonderful network of people we've found in this community.

And by the way, what happened to that big container I packed with boat things, and why on Earth do we have this one marked "Storage"? You get the picture, right? Thank goodness some friends of ours from Denver will be in San Diego this week and can bring us a few things. In spite of the seeming helter skelter, we are in Heaven and wouldn't change a thing right now. We are thanking God for each day and for they way this is all working out and the timing of unexpected occurrences. Speaking of time...our time here in San Diego is so limited that we are working like mad to get everything done before we head out. We are flying to Virginia, Feb 19 - 24th, and then would like to sail out of here by the 26th if the work gets done in time. Since we are paying February slip fees in both San Diego and in Ensenada, we'd like to get back into Mexico before the end of the month and spend a couple of days In Ensenada before heading down the Baja coast. Of course, our timing and God's may differ so we're trying to stay loose and flexible, while crossing our fingers fiercely!

February 1, - February 9, 2008...

Welcome to our new world! Frank retired yesterday after 30 years of loyal service to one company - amazing in this age and time. Now "homeless", we spent Thursday night with our friend Larry Hill, and then caught an early morning flight to Houston, TX and headed straight to the Texas DMV, where we stood in line for literally hours for our new driver's licenses. We decided that being retired we can now do these things that would formerly eat up the productive hours of one's day and cause needless anxiety to the working class. After establishing our Texas Citizenry we headed south for La Porte, TX, checked into the Houston Yacht Club - hereafter referred to as HYC - and readied ourselves for the new member reception, joined by our lovely Jennifer. Amazingly, Jen knew more members of HYC than we did.

On Saturday we picked up Trace, our grandson, and spent the day with him while Jen worked. Frank took his General license exam and of course passed with flying colors. We had a lot of fun with Trace. Frank took him out to look at all of the big boats in the HYC marina. That evening we met up with Jen and a couple of her friends for dinner at the Outrigger located on Clear Lake and watched Yachty Gras. This is Clear Lake's version of the parade; however, it is done on the water... sailing and motor vessels decorate to the hilt much as a float in the parade in New Orleans. The boaters dress in theme attire and toss dozens of beads to the onlookers in the waterside restaurants and bars. I'm so happy that Frank had the opportunity to be there and of course Trace walked away looking like Mr T with so many beads around his little 4-year old neck!

Sunday, Jen and Trace joined us as we took Mom and Dad out to the Aquarium for their respective birthdays. Monday morning we drove to Dallas and had the opportunity to spend another birthday with our nephew Tre. My gosh that was a great time! We hit Trulucks for all U can eat stone crab claws - we were all in Heaven!

Tuesday we flew back to Denver, retrieved our Tahoe from Larry's garage, and spent the night with our friend Sheri. We got a quick visit in with Jeri Lyn and Jeff before hooking up the trailer we'd left at their garage. My gosh - do we sound like vagabonds or what? By noon we were on the road to Ensenada. We drove straight through - Frank only let me drive 5 of the 25 hours - I gave him a gentle and lovingly hard time about needing to be in control, and what on Earth is he going to do when we sail places!?!?!? He admitted he needs to work on that (duh!), but says he will trust me more on the boat (right!). Have you ever driven to San Diego, via Phoenix? I was entranced by the landscapes en route. The gigantic rock piles along the way just went on for miles, and left me wondering if giants hadn't formerly inhabited this Earth and their young children made sand piles everywhere while playing, yet they are huge boulders to us (kind of like the Whos in Whoville). There is no way to articulate a description of that. So cool! Then we turned into Mexico at Tecate. What a beautiful drive through the green mountains, yet the roadways were literally defiled by garbage all along the route, and we never saw so many crosses along the road - there must have been a few hundred people die on that road due to traffic accidents.

We arrived safely in Ensenada and got the boat unloaded by 4 PM on Thursday. We rode to the local weekly yachters happy hour with Joe and Peggy at La Vendiamia (our neighbors on Crazy Notion), and by 7:30 Frank and I were bobbing our heads to stay awake. Club soda with lime just doesn't pep me up! We slept like babies Thursday night and awoke at 8:00 AM Friday - it felt so good! We spent Friday getting our papers in order at the immigration office in Ensenada - what a joke! - unpacked as much as possible and stowed stuff about the boat. Then we were up at 4:30 this morning to get underway to San Diego. We left the dock at 5:00 AM and arrived at the SD harbor Police dock at around 3:00 this afternoon. As soon as we got to the Shelter Island Cove Marina and tied Destiny snugly into her slip, Frank took off to catch a taxi to begin the journey back to Ensenada to retrieve the car and trailer. What a superman I married! I'll be lucky to see him by midnight. Now, I'm off to take a long hot shower. Good night my friends.

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