December 2017

Farewell

I’m trying to sum up our entire trip in ONE photograph. Whew…just looking at all we’ve seen and done is overwhelming and then to know we’re not going forward makes me cry and who wants to cry?     I need to do this; I cannot bear to do this.

Poor Don, at least I can cry. He must bear this horrendous disappointment inside. His plan was four years in the making! FOUR years! Nights and weekends were spent dreaming and preparing and plotting; buying equipment, appropriate housewares and clothing, inventorying all things necessary to sustain us for 15 months (not unlike preparing for a climb to Everest). He researched the perfect boat. He learned navigational aids. He spent hours conversing the pros and cons with experienced Loopers. Two years prior to our launch he found a marina on the Columbia River in Oregon five hours from home where we could park Panacea and learn all her infinite details. We spent most summer weekends there. We flew us to Tennessee for the Annual Fall Rendezvous of the AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association). All Don ever thought of was this great adventure upon reaching 65…the only thing in his Bucket List. The ONLY thing he wanted to do. It absorbed all his after-work attention. It gave him something to live for. It was, and continues to be, his ultimate dream.

There are blessings associated with our return: There’s the sale of Don’s firm and transfer of ownership. There’s the delight of spending time with our grandsons. There’s being in our paradise of Idaho and running whitewater while fishing for salmon and steelhead and sturgeon.

So while we’re not miserable, we are brokenhearted to terminate our grand adventure and return to employment! Bittersweet.

Currently, we plan to revisit the Great Loop in September 2019…next year. Two years away. Whimper.

We meant some phenomenal people:

Nick and Barb who accompanied us, challenged us, AND entertained us.

Steve and Teresa who encouraged our faith and determination, and laughed with us.

Scott and Karen on Last Call

Eric and Alyson on Catan

Richard and Inga on Bon Foyage, Legacy Marina, Fort Myers

Harry and Mary, Legacy Marina, Fort Myers

Ken and Cathy, Legacy Marina, For Myers

 

If we never meet again, we will never forget.

June 2017

June 26

As June fades into the recent past we feel ourselves fading too.

Our magical water journey seems like a dream.

We watch the posts of friends who’ve moved on, we see their marvelous photos in Norfolk, Chesapeake Bay, New York Harbor, and now Canada and we sink lower and lower into the mist. We review and relive those many months on the Loop and it feels more like a dream…not the dream four years in the making, but a fantasy.

We have missed so much and missed doing it with new friends with the same dream; all the fun, all the adventure, all the excitement of each new day.

Days here are mundane and boring and sad. Don keeps busy during the day, and I just wander about. I miss my yard and garden, I miss my house and my dishes and my walk-in shower and my gas range and my huge living room and my family room with a BIG TV and doggie door for Inky’s convenience. I miss my neighborhood, my friends and church family. I miss my old routine now that my water routine has vanished.

We’re adrift: floating without being moored or steered; without purpose or guidance; lost and confused.

I cry and stomp my feet and sweat and swear. Don moves about silent and courageous; never accusatory.

Our monthly short-term rent is $1,550!! We haven’t had a mortgage in 10 years! It’s hard to accept.

I made our home like my grandmother made hers: a warm place where family and friends were always welcome; clean and comfortable and warm. Funny, isn’t it? I’m the only one NOT welcome there.