Sunday, September 09, 2012

The long, hot summer ...

Since our last cruise along Florida's Big Bend, which ended in May, Florida's hot, humid summer along with other activities have kept us away from Alizee.  We'd hoped to get out for a couple of days in early June, but one thing or another scotched the plan.  We got the dinghy in storage at the marina's hi-and-dry, and got the refrigerator shut down for the summer.  I arranged with Jeff Grant (Ohana Sailing), who's boat is just across the finger from ours at the marina, to clean, wax and polish Alizee and to make a awl-grip repair incurred on our cruise, and I made a trip over to run the water maker the first of July.  Then Penelope and I went for a couple of days stay the first of August to run it again, spend a day or two relaxing and try a sushi place we'd discovered on the net.

Retired and all, you'd think we didn't need any relaxation, but we've really been busy this summer.  Both of us dove into writing projects in June, Penelope taking an on-line memoir writing class with Kate Lardner, a New York based author, and me pulling together a paper on Sailing and Building Small Boats for my annual history of technology symposium, scheduled for July in Barcelona.  At least writing about sailboats and the passion of those who build small boats kept me busy thinking about sailing and Alizee.  I also was really busy trying to get an issue of ICON: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology, for which I've been acting editor for 10 months, finished and off to the printer.

Penelope turned down going to Spain with me, partly because July can be pretty hot there and partly because she knew I'd be totally tied up in the business of the symposium this year and not available for sightseeing and such.  In the end, of course, she was right and wise to have stayed home, although I surely missed her by the time the week was over.  We were both grateful for email and Skype.

Once I got back, we got into a lovely routine of early morning bicycle rides, reading, writing and cooking, which lasted until mid-August, and during this time my daughter Lisa and her husband Matt finally decided to buy my townhouse in California.  We also found ourselves caring for a little kitten who had wandered into our year, without a tail which had been whacked off by some uncaring soul.  We got her to the vet, nursed her and finally found a home for her.  She was very, very sweet. 

Then, on Sunday the August 19th, we got a two-in-the-morning phone call from Penelope's daughter Erin in Colorado.  She was in an emergency room and was about to be transferred to another hospital for an emergency appendectomy.  We were on the phone making immediate flight reservations and renting a car, and by 13:00 Sunday afternoon we were landing in Denver, soon to be at the hospital.  Erin went through without a hitch, and by 17:00 we were driving her home.

Even though we were caring for Erin, she bounced back from surgery within a couple of days and we had fun times in Castle Rock.  Penelope loves it there, having gone out twice to spend time with Erin in the last year and a half, even talking of wanting to live there.  So, we took time to look at some houses and condos, and actually found a wonderful view lot in a new development that we seriously talked about getting into contract on.  You know, summers in Colorado and winters on Alizee in Tampa Bay.  But, we held off, and once back in Florida decided it would just be too difficult to work out, what with our cats, what with having to rent Penelope's house in Deland and what with me wheezing in high altitudes because of early stage COPD - 35 years of smoking has a way of catching up on one.

After a week we were back in Deland, and lo-and-behold, Penelope's sister Patricia, who lives fifteen minutes away, severed a tendon in her left hand and had to have surgery right away.  So, we nursed Pat through the surgery and are now making sure she gets through the next several weeks during which she won't have use of her left hand.  A bit exhausted, we are finally just back into our groove - a bit of bicycling, writing, reading, cooking and watching cooking shows on the telly to inspire us.  Penelope finished her last on-line memoir class and has started a new section of it, and I finished off an article on the deep history of Silicon Valley.  I also happily got the next issue of ICON into the typesetter! 

So summer's winding down, the days are cooling a little, and we'll get over to Alizee this month for a visit.  We have some houses/condos we want to look at over in the St. Pete/Tampa area, too, and, of course, sushi to eat.  But, it's definitely time to get some sailing in.