The Final Weeks - Back at Burnt Store

I was shocked when I saw that I had not written a blog in three weeks. I knew it had been a while but never thought it was this long…..

Sheila at the helm during a dinghy ride to Pirates Cove just 3 miles from Burnt Store.

We are starting to get ready to take the boat out of the water, a demanding process (more so for Bob than for me) so that the boat sits securely, without damage during the hot, humid, Florida summer and we don’t have to worry. We are going to do much less this year: not taking everything off the boat and moving to a storage locker, don’t have to create the sun awning, all we have to do is put it back on, dinghy will not take a full day to clean as we have kept it on davits and the bottom is relatively clean. But there is still is much to do. A three page excel spread sheet full to be exact.

Bill Palliser came to visit and we had drinks at the Ice House in Punta Gorda and tried playing darts.

To bring you up to date: at the end of April, we celebrated both Bob’s birthday and the holiday of Passover. Michael and Bill shared our Passover Seder with us. I was really missing family and regretting not going home for the holiday, but I did enjoy sharing the holiday with them. It was the first time they experienced a Seder and my first time making a vegetarian one. The matzah lasagna (thanks Rebekah) was delicious; in fact it was so good I could make it during the remainder of the year. They asked very interesting questions that made me think about things I just take for granted. We always had non-Jewish people at the house for Seder, but because it was just the four of us. I think they felt more comfortable asking questions that they may not have asked if the Friedman/Allenick families had been sitting around the table. We toasted Bob’s birthday and Bill made a flourless, sugarless cake for the occasion. No simple task. I was thrilled that we were able to spend the holiday together.

Bob birthday morning with his new backpack.

The next day was Bob’s birthday and it was a big one – 70!!! Three weeks later it is still difficult for me to grasp that my husband of nearly 40 years, is 70 years old. I could go philosophical but I won’t. I made a delicious steak (sorry Bill and Michael) cookout the next night at David and Rhonda’s (David was the chef on the grill) for Bob’s birthday. He truly enjoyed the day with friends and family and presents, most of which he had picked out. We had to say goodbye to Bill and Michael as they started their trip back to Maine. Bitter sweet as we knew they were ready to go home and we will see them again next winter, but we miss them.

David and Rhonda have included us in a variety of brunches and dinners with their golfing friends at Burnt Store which we appreciate. We also went to First Friday with them in Ft Myers. We really see David and Rhonda more in the months we are at Burnt Store than we do back in Cleveland and we enjoy it. I know that time with his brother is very special to Bob.

Along with the celebrations, I would categorize the last three weeks as a time to reconnect with old friends. Our sailing buddies from last year, Karen and Hugh came back from the Bahamas and the four of us (Michael, Bill, Bob and I) took a ride to Lake Placid Florida to have a mini reunion over a delicious lunch. It was about an hour and a half ride and it was good for the six of us to get back together and share stories. Karen and Hugh have put their boat on the market so if it sells over the summer there will be no more buddy sailing with them. If it doesn’t, we might all hook up in Florida for a time next winter. At any rate, it was great to see them and we are planning a summer trip to Canada if all goes well.

Lunch at Dock 633 with Karen and Hugh, Bill and Michael.

Back at Burnt Store, we reconnected with old dock neighbors and caught up with their doings over the last five months.

We also drove to Estero Beach to see Patty and Marc and hear about their Cuba miss-adventure. I was saddened to hear about the poverty they saw being outside the regular tourist spots. I had no interest in going to Cuba by boat and their stories reinforced that feeling. With insurance unavailable to US sailors, the risk far out-paced the reward in my mind. I would only go if I was part of a Federation supervised trip that brought aid to the people there. From what Patty told us, it isn’t only that the Cubans have no money. There is nothing to buy even if you have the funds, including food.

Most recently we drove up to Sarasota to visit our friend Bill and his extended family: kids and grandkids. This has become an annual event and even though we drove and didn’t bring the boat up this time, we had a great time being with them. I loved watching the interaction between the three little cousins. It was a happy laid back two days with no demands and no decisions to make. The Siesta Key beach is beautiful and the pool was relaxing.

The Palliser group at Seista Key Beach. Liz, Billy, Bob, Bill, Sheila, William, Kinsley, Brain, Alisha, Carter and Ada.

So now it is decommissioning time. I am ready to be back in Cleveland. Ready to give my mom a hug, ready to give my sister a break from collecting the mail and ready to take mom shopping. Ready to see my daughters and babysit my grand-puppies, ready to go back to work and help the Federation with their audit, ready to see family and friends and work both in my garden and the Hebrew Cultural Garden, which has become one of my passions. I am ready to be able to cook in the kitchen without worrying about space for preparation and open the refrigerator and not have to dig for what I need. I am ready to have company for Shabbat dinner. I am ready to do laundry on my terms, in my washing machine before I go to bed if I like. I am ready to hop in my car and run up to Heinen’s by myself and be back in 10 minutes. I am ready to walk with girl friends at Acacia and see the changes another year has made in the surroundings. I am ready to go kayaking (get ready Packers). I am ready to be able to record a show on the TV and watch it later. So, although there are many things and people I will miss over the summer, I am ready.

Her Diamond without her sails. :(

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