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November 2, 2021

The backyard was a peaceful place for summer nights with friends.

As I sit here at my desk in Cleveland, it is the first week of November. It has been almost six months since we were on the boat in Florida and I posted the last blog of the winter. Today, we brought in the yard furniture and cut back the burning bushes and butterfly bush for the winter. Halloween is over and it has started to get dark by 6:00 pm. The trees are beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange and I am not ready to say goodbye to summer. I have mixed emotions about leaving Cleveland this year. We have no permanent dock to go to as we did last year (shame on you Burnt Store for not letting us know that the docks were being gobbled up by year-long leases), and mom is going to be 96 years old next week. But let me catch you up……………

A lot happened after Karen visited us on Her Diamond last May. I flew back to Cleveland with Karen – principally to help mom navigate after her fall in which she fractured her knee cap. Luckily we didn’t rent the house out last year as I spent about 8 weeks back in Cleveland. Thankfully, due to COVID, we had decided to take a dock at Burnt Store Marina (where David and Rhonda live) for the entire winter, rather than traveling (Keys, Bahamas, etc.) as we had done in previous years. It turned out to be a very good decision. The Punta Gorda Airport is 20 minutes from BSM making travel a lot easier than it was from the Keys. We made a number of friends at the marina who looked after Bob while I was gone and each time I got back I saw that new boat projects were done.

In the final days of last year’s season, we enjoyed some daysailing and one multiday sail to Cabbage Key (anchored off Useppa), and Cape Haze (shark tooth hunting at Don Pedro State Park). From Cape Haze we took a dinghy ride to Stump Pass which was absolutely amazing. As friends had promised, we found white sand, clear water and tons of shark teeth. We had a great lunch along the ICW and then returned to the boat which was anchored at Cape Haze. Decommissioning was uneventful having done a fair bit of prep-work at Burnt Store, and it only took 3 days at Safe Cove.

Ira and Laurie were perfect hosts in Charlotte on our way home.

On our way home, we stopped in Charlotte and visited with Laurie and Ira who had recently moved there to be closer to their son. We had a bit of a scare as numerous gas stations were closed due to a pipeline interruption – remember that one?

Back in Cleveland, we jumped right back into our summer (land based) lives. Bob resumed his part time business doing (power and sail) boat deliveries and new owner coaching. We enjoyed sailing a classic Alberg designed Cape Dory Typhoon leased to us by our business partners.

Karen at the helm of the Cape Dory.

Bob spent time with each of the girls refreshing their sailing skills. Unfortunately our kayak felt totally neglected as there are just so many hours in a day.

Bob and Shaina spent many hours sanding and oiling the seats and backrest on Moonlighter before we could take her out for a spin.

I continued organizing volunteers for the care of the Hebrew Cultural Gardens, one of 40 cultural gardens that make up the Cleveland Federation of Cultural Gardens.

It was my good fortune to meet Fran and Jules Belkin who along with Neil and Hazel Brown, helped me with a grass roots fundraising campaign that raised about $100,000 for the Garden.

The fountain is ready for removal so it can be restored over the winter.

The funds allowed for the restoration of the 100 year old Jerusalem marble fountain (in process), tuck pointing of the steps, monuments and overlook (all done) and weed killer and fertilizing of the grass (also done). Now when you look in the Garden you see more than weeds!! Over the next five years, I hope to raise enough for a permanent endowment that will support the Garden into the future. Volunteers (thank you each and every one of you!) also helped to eliminate some of the ferns, field grass and bountiful weeds so that there is a general look of order.

I became a member of the newly formed Beachwood Garden Club (thank you Rosemary) and spent countless hours puttering around our own yard. Never have I seen so many monarchs.

Being an A type personality, I kept very busy delivering meals to members of the community with my friend Patty and doing part-time accounting consulting for Jewish Federation beneficiary agencies. It feels good to be able to help the CFOs of these agencies, many of whom I worked with in my prior life.

Other summer happenings:

Karen and I visited the Mansfield Reformatory - very spooky.

Inside the Mansfield reformatory where the Shaw Shank Redemption movie was filmmed

We had new kitchen cupboards installed. I love them. The new floor was a fiasco and is still not done. We are going to be involved in a law suit, but I will save that for another time.

We welcomed three baby robins to the nest outside our living room window which Bubby enjoyed spying on.

This was a summer marked by some amazing travel.

Meredith and Josh repeating their wedding vows.

Our niece’s wedding party took place in New York in August (they were married a year ago in a small COVID constrained family ceremony).

Enjoying the festivities with Randy and Ruth from Buffalo. Where are Loren and Rhonda??

Utility workers came from throughout the US to support anticipated electrical outages.

From New York, in the middle of a hurricane, we drove up to Appleton, Maine to visit our cruising buddies, Bill and Michael. Remote living is how I would describe their serene setting.

We enjoyed several days visiting coastal towns in mid coast Maine. Bob enjoyed his share of lobster.

We kayaked with the seals off the Maine shore, stopping for a picnic on an uninhabited island.

On our way back home, we stopped in Newport Rhode Island to visit with Jocelyn, another sailing buddy. It was great to see her (Dee was racing).

We were able to visit the historic Touro Synagogue and have a beer at an historic hotel overlooking the harbor. What an amazing boating community.

Having a beer and watching the boats sail by in Newport, Rhode Island.

A few weeks later we were in Philadelphia for Patty’s son’s wedding.

Lizzie and David Rubin

The wedding was outdoors in a beautiful setting, the food was delicious and the band was amazing.

We mixed touring the historic sites, including Valley Forge and the Liberty Bell with catching up with old friends. A great get away.

Touring Philadelphia, city of brotherly love.

Once home, Bill and Michael (boating friends from Maine) came to visit us.

Sheila and Bill at the Free Stamp downtown Cleveland

We played tourists with them visiting the Rock Hall (of course)

Enjoying the Tilt-A Whirl woven willow sculpture by Patrick Dougherty at the Holden Arboretum.

the Holden Arboretum dressed up for Halloween (A must see for those of you who have not been there), Patterson’s for apple fritters (sorry weight watchers) the Cultural Gardens (again, of course) and a tour through Shaker Heights and old Cleveland Heights to see some of the beautiful neighborhoods that Cleveland can boast about.

It was a cool night on the river. Thank you Captain Kevin. Pictured are Bill, Michael, Bob, Sheila Shaina and Britt.

Lastly, we shared our beautiful lake with them sailing the Cape Dory from 55th Street Marina to the Cuyahoga River, then up the river to River Front where she was docked waiting to be taken out of the water for the winter. Kevin (West Marine Manager and good friend) and Shaina met us and we then enjoyed an evening cruise on Kevin’s power boat and dinner on the river. It was a wonderful time seeing Cleveland through the eyes of visitors.

So here we are three weeks from departure. We are still formulating plans for the upcoming winter. We will be leaving after thanksgiving and celebrating Hannukah with the family. We should be launching from Safe Cove the first of December. We will be at Burnt Store for two weeks and on a mooring ball at Marina Jack in Sarasota for the month of January. After that, we are unsure. Perhaps we will venture into new territory.

The only major upgrade for the boat that we are thinking about is a composting toilet. We have made the small holding tank work up to this point, but if we are going to be away from a dock for a large part of the winter, it will be more of an issue.

So, there are lots of things up in the air. I am sure all will become clear as time goes on. So for this year we will take it one step at a time. I am hoping that a dock will open at Burnt Store but last we checked we were 48th on the list. Until next time…………………



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