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April 25, 2012

It is the end of April and I have not written a blog for more than a month. That is mainly because I spent

a good part of this time in Cleveland. My mother fell and fractured her knee cap. Thankfully, the fracture was small and the knee remained in the correct alignment so that she didn’t need surgery. She spent four days in Hillcrest hospital and then went to Montefiore for rehab. Once she was in rehab I went home to support both her and my sister who was the main caregiver while she was in the hospital. Lynne had also been the main caregiver for her friend Marla who recently passed away from cancer. Lynne was left to sell her furniture and get her condo cleaned out so that it could be sold. No small task. As a result, she was understandably exhausted. Being a caregiver for one person is difficult but going from one to another is more than one person should be expected to handle.

I arrived home on April 1 and stayed for almost three weeks. During that time, we interviewed new caregiving agencies and got Mom settled back at home with 24/7 care. I got to spend some quality time with Karen and even did some clean-up work in the Hebrew Cultural Garden.

While I was gone, Bob did a variety of boat projects including (but not limited to), replacing an opening port lens, oiling interior teak, fiberglass patching, install holding tank monitor and give the boat a good overall cleaning. Various boat friends also kept him busy with happy hours and dinners.

Once back on the boat after almost three weeks, all I wanted to do was sail. Unfortunately, the first three days I was back it rained and rained and rained. I did get back in time for Bob’s 72nd birthday and we had a lovely day which included dinner in Punta Gorda with our friends Dee and Jocelyn and dock neighbor David. Thursday night we hosted a potluck dinner at the pool for 30 boat friends and Bob’s brother and sister in-law. We provided hamburgers, hotdogs, coleslaw, chocolate cake and paper goods and everyone else brought desserts and sides. The weather was perfect and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I am touched by the good friends we have developed over this past winter. When Bob and I talk about what we want to do next year, it is difficult to consider not being here because of the sense of community that we have established.

However, there is one thing that is missing for me. Saturday morning I read Torah for our synagogue, B’nai Jeshurun. Torah is read every Saturday morning in synagogues around the world. It is an honor to read from the Torah but during Covid while people are not congregating in the synagogue, people read from their homes and zoom the service which allowed me to do it from Florida. This is not something I do that often and it requires me to learn both the Hebrew words and the musical troupe that goes with it. I get nervous each time I do it but I also enjoy it. When in Cleveland I am surrounded by community when I do it. Here in the marina, I felt separated from my Cleveland Jewish community and from my sailing community as there are very few Jewish people here and no one to share the Torah reading experience with save Bob. I got very emotional about it and really don’t have an answer to the issue for me.

Today we were supposed to leave for a multi-day cruise down the south west coast of Florida The couple that was going to go with us cancelled at the last moment (first omen of what was to come). Our plan was to anchor off St James City the first night and then go to Ft. Myers Beach and pick up a mooring ball. We tried to make a reservation for a ball and found out today that they were full for Monday (second omen of what was to come). After morning yoga and organizing the boat for anchoring for a few days, we left the marina. As we entered the channel, I noticed that the engine didn’t sound right – it had a very low groaning sound. Bob heard it too and it wasn’t long before the engine overheat alarm was blaring. (Third strike and we were out!) The engine requires a steady flow of water to keep it cool as it operates. Once we limped back to the marina, Bob discovered that the through hull that should bring water into the engine was clogged preventing water from making its way to the engine. We were at the fuel dock a few days prior to this and there was lots of sea grass and manatee poop floating in the water that must have clogged the through hull. Bob blew out the through hull with fresh water from a hose and we set out again. Now it is 1:00 pm and the wind has picked up and is dead on the nose for the direction we need to go to cross the Harbor. We clear the channel and head for Cabbage Key when the overheat engine alarm once again begins to blare.

We hobbled back to the marina at 2.5 knots. I opened a beer and began to write. I hope we will work It out and get off the dock tomorrow.



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