2022 Life Logs, Day 217: Holding Pattern

2022 Life Logs, Day 217: Holding Pattern
Date: Friday, August 5, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 92, Low 70 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

I feel like I have been on an extremely turbulent flight that has been put in a holding pattern waiting to land. We dealt with my sister’s legal issues yesterday which felt like sailing through a squall, but in the end emerging into calmer waters. But today was the turbulent flight with my niece. Some people experience a burst of energy in their final days that is referred to as terminal lucidity. I don’t know if that is what Jennifer was experiencing today or not, but she suddenly was able to talk and let her feelings be known that she would prefer to be alone. Many people want family around them, but today Jennifer stated very forcefully that she wants to be alone. So, of course, we are bowing to her wishes, but it is difficult for everyone, especially my sister, Jennifer’s mother. I was with my sister all day and decided to extend my stay at least one more day. If it looks like Jennifer is going to fight on for a few more days, I might fly home on Sunday and return after her death to be with my sister. Or maybe I will just stay. I just can’t decide. In any case, I am trying to encourage my sister to come home with me when this storm is over for a little Cape Cod vacation. She is resisting, but I shall persist.

Heather, Jed, and Ollie got home from Boothbay today. They will pick up Sam and Jonah from Scout camp tomorrow and go to Coast Fest tomorrow night. I will miss seeing them before they all head back to the boat in Boothbay on Sunday. I am so anxious to go on a sail with them, but that might just have to wait for a bit.

2022 Life Logs, Day 216: Harder, Not Easier, But Successful in NC and ME

2022 Life Logs, Day 216: Harder, Not Easier, But Successful in NC and ME
Date: Thursday, August 4, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 88, Low 70 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

Things here in North Carolina got harder today, not easier. My niece Jennifer took a sharp downturn and hospice is now thinking she has only days to live, not weeks. My sister, her other daughter Janet, a loyal and trusted family friend, and myself had a very stressful two and a half hour meeting with an elder lawyer this afternoon. There were more issues than we anticipated, but in the end, I think we got most everything taken care of. That’s the important thing.

Heather, Jed, and Ollie sailed from Tenant Harbor to Boothbay today. Here’s what Heather wrote today: “Jed and Ollie found the most amazing maple cream donuts in Tenants Harbor this morning. We got back to Boothbay this evening. Lots of motoring into the wind, but a couple of lovely hours sailing across Muscongus Bay this afternoon – 6+ kts for a while. We have also uncovered issues and needed repairs at every step, but I estimated two steps forward, one step back but Jed said he thought it was more like three forward, one back. Ollie has been unfailingly awesome–helpful, self-sufficient, never complained. We are all exhausted. But things are good.” Heather has been assuming the role of captain, but she sent a photo of Jed at the helm today and all I could think when I saw the photo is that we have another Captain Graybeard. I had never noticed that Jed’s beard was gray before. For Mark’s 71st birthday, Heather and family and Justin and family planned a pirate’s birthday sail to Tarpaulin Bay with the original Captain Graybeard. Now we have a successor. We just have to get Jed a pirate’s hat!

2022 Life Logs, Day 215: Hard Day, Fun Evening

2022 Life Logs, Day 215: Hard Day, Fun Evening
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Weather: Hot, Not So Humid; High 92, Low 70 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

The scurrying around trying to get my sister’s medical and financial affairs in order has been more challenging than I expected. I have moved at the speed of light all day every day to get things done, but even so, I now know I can’t get it all done this week. I will have to return. On the brighter side, I have been able to make a lot of progress. Tomorrow, we meet with the lawyers, but this afternoon Patsy and I met with the close family friend that is going to take over the financial responsibilities. It was almost 6 pm when we finished up and my sister was not sure she still wanted to travel the 30 minutes to our nephew’s house for dinner. I promised her we would only stay an hour, so she agreed to go. She slept all the way there, but once we got there and she started talking to people, she was having a great time and didn’t want to leave. It was a mix of family and neighbors (who neither my sister nor I had ever met), but my sister, who refuses to engage with people in her assisted living facility, had no problem engaging with people she had never met. I can’t figure it out, but I am just glad she had one fun night. It let her set aside the sadness of dealing with the fact that her daughter Jennifer who has cancer is now in hospice home care. I know her thoughts are constantly with Jennifer, but it was such a delight to see her be able to set that aside and just enjoy life for an hour or two.

Back in Falmouth, my wine group met on the beach tonight. I so missed being with them, but I had an interesting wine night that made me feel connected to them. One of my nephew’s neighbors brought three bottles of Napa Valley 2012 Far Niente Oakville cabernet sauvignon . . . not a cheap wine. Beer drinker that I am, I was offered a beer when I arrived. But then I was encouraged to try the wine. Wow! It was REALLY good. Then my nephew’s wife, Marilou, introduced me to her sister-in-law visiting from California. Marilou’s brother and his wife own a ten-acre vineyard in Lodi in the Central Valley, and I got a complete education on Central Valley wines. Wine group friends—I’ll share with you at our next gathering.

For those of you following the sailing adventures of Heather, Jed, and Ollie vicariously as I am, here is today’s update. “Made it to Tenant’s Harbor. A little bit of a late start (working on boat electrical and hot water). No wind to start, nice breeze early afternoon, but some excitement with the engine cutting out made it a bit more stressful an afternoon. However, another beautiful evening in a lovely harbor. Boothbay tomorrow evening.”

2022 Life Logs, Day 214: Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and England

2022 Life Logs, Day 214: Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and England
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Weather: Hot and Humid; High 90, Low 69 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

Maine–Heather, Jed, and Ollie had their first day of sailing, but not before welcoming their first visitor aboard. Jed’s mother, Marti, was Eider’s first visitor this morning. Weather and a desire to slow down and get to know the boat changed Eider’s sailing plan. Instead of taking two days to get from Brooklin to Boothbay, Heather and Jed decided on a three-day plan. Today they sailed through the Eggemoggin Reach to Buck’s Harbor. Heather sounded just a bit excited. “Holy $#!+!! We are sailing up Eggemoggin Reach, 4+ kts on a broad reach ON OUR OWN BOAT!!” Reading that gave me goose bumps.

Massachusetts–Meghan sent me a photo of Shadow enjoying a walk at Bourne’s Farm. He definitely looked like he was having a great time. I sure miss my little buddy.

North Carolina—I am plugging away at getting things done here while taking time to enjoy being with my sister and visiting with my niece Jennifer. What I’m doing to get my sister’s medical and financial situation in order is necessary, but just not fun. The offset to that is that it is always wonderful to visit with family.

England—Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco headed home today. They left England and are spending tonight in New York City. Tomorrow they fly home to Puerto Rico. Safe and smooth travel thoughts headed your way.

2022 Life Logs, Day 213: Messing About in Boats

2022 Life Logs, Day 213: Messing About in Boats
Date: Monday, August 1, 2022
Weather: Sunny, Cooler than Expected; High 84, Low 69 degrees
Location: At Home in The Fairfield Inn, Mooresville, NC

No, I am not currently messing about in boats. It is after midnight and I am here in North Carolina totally exhausted after a busy, but productive day where things have gone as well as can be expected. I took my sister Patsy to see her daughter Jennifer. Her grandson Jacob, who flew in early this morning, was also there. Patsy’s other daughter, Janet, who is here from Tennessee, was also with us. So, amid the busyness of getting things done and the fact that my niece Jennifer is totally bedridden and in palliative care, the visit with family was cathartic. Jennifer is good spirits, and the visit was good for soul.

It is Heather, Jed, and Ollie who are in Maine messing about in their new-to-them 36-foot Cape Dory sailboat that was launched today. Getting texts and photos of their day certain brightened mine. I have not met Eider in person, but she looks wonderful for a 39-year-old sailboat. Heather on the bow and Jed and Ollie in the dinghy all looked exuberant. And, of course, their day had to end with a trip to shore for an ice cream topped with a chocolate sailboat. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Grahame from The Wind in the Willows