Monday, October 7, 2013


I am writing you from the Fort Lauderdale airport waiting for my flight back to LA and to the boat, to Marcus and to the kids. I'll meet Max at the airport (hopefully! If he gets his homework done and Holm lets him come) and get back to the business of our grand adventure. As her Power of Attorney, I had to make this trip out there to prepare my Great Aunt Shirley's condo for sale and in all the hectic to get us all onto the boat this summer, I couldn't do it earlier. The condo still had all her stuff in it, all that was left after I took her and two suitcases to Seattle after learning of her neglect and abuse at the hands of our caregivers there. I found her bed just as we left it one early morning in early June. Kinda creepy.
But. It had to be done. And someone had to do it. Me. The apartment was in bad shape and getting worse and she will no longer be able to go back there. She is now comfortably established in the most lovely of adult family homes in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. She is a healthy and strong 95 year old woman but her memory is gone. I was not looking forward to this trip but it was - thanks for my cousin and friend - both an amazingly hard and easy trip. When they heard what I was going to do, they both offered to meet me and help me for four days. Only one's "best-ies" would agree to do such an awful task with you... We were to meet in Fort Lauderdale on Friday the 4th, so I took a red-eye on the 3rd. So amazing how much easier it is to fly and to get stuff done without children. I guess I have been a parent for 16+ years now and easily forget that I can exist and function without them. Barely! First of all, there was the shock of leaving the simplicity of our life on the boat and heading back out into mainstream America. And, for the icing on the cake, my flights were on Virgin America (my first time) and I flew from LA to SFO and then on to FLL. I felt SO OLD. I felt like it had been years since I crawled into my hole and have just emerged in a world where there is rock music blaring as you check in, where there are comfortable chairs in the airport terminal, recycling, charging stations everywhere, empty water bottle filling stations, humorous signs and instructions (for example: "if you are one of the .000001% of people who do not know how to put on an airplane seatbelt..."), mood music in the bathrooms that look like a swanky restaurant's, organic foods, and so on. SO CLEAN. NOT what airports and flying used to be, for sure.

And then. I was in Florida. Barely slept on the plane. Hot and humid as always. But I can't complain... Usually, I get torrential rains when I go to Florida. Chanda and Keri are two of the world's best people and best friends to me. Two more efficient, fun and problem-solving people to work with there have never been (for me). We took Aunt Shirley's apartment by storm.
Oh. And we had fun, too.
Oh, and the rental car agency did not have the car I reserved so they "upgraded me" into a Tahoe. The "Ho" as we called her.
So odd to be able to leave one ocean in the morning and then sleep on another one that same night. I will never get used to or adjust to that. I always say that my body gets there and then, a few days later, I get there. Since this blog is really about the boat trip, I will cease with the details of this trip other than to say that we did a massive job of throwing things out, bagging things up, preparing things for shipment, organizing the next steps that will occur now that we have done our work (cleaning, emptying, painting, fixing, staging, listing...). We encountered 2 massive cockroaches that were 3-4 inches long (don't even want to think of others that we lived with and did not see)! We went to Starbucks, Lester's, Home Depot, UPS, USPS, Carrabas, an Irish pub, Aruba on the beach in Lauderdale by the Sea where Marcus and I got married, Marshall's, Bed Bath and Beyond... all the places I haven't been to in months!! It was a whirlwind. But we unwound, too. Dips in the pool, "illegal" snacks by the pool, Red wine. Malbec. Sparkling wine to celebrate Keri's birthday (10/8)... Keri and Chanda were my ROCKS. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. And there were so many nice and helpful people who made things easier - like the UPS store, the patient lady at the Post Office, our caretaker Bob Gold... I could go on and on. And now, I am on my way to get back to my beloved family that I have missed a ton!!! And back to the pod of the cocoon of the nest of the boat in cruising mode. Onward ho!

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