Today is the last day of 2013. It has been a year filled with sailing, family and friends. I thought I would catch you up on what the crew of Tension Reliever has been up to since the last post.
We spent most of November in Ohio getting settled and reconnecting with the kids and grandkids. The Captain and Jack spent one day making an old family recipe called “Kieflies”. In our family, Kieflie day always found the male Eitniears’ in the kitchen kneading the dough, mixing and cooking the filling and folding the filling into the pastry dough. Captain Rick and Jack had a great time “doing the Kieflies” and they made a double batch because the best part is sharing them with everyone!
Thanksgiving was a special treat. Our kids and grandkids gave us the gift of their time and we all spent a couple days and nights together…eating and talking and laughing. The weather was great and was conducive to spending lots of time in the hot tub. We loved Thanksgiving BUT we once again had wanderlust. We wanted to check on the boat in South Carolina and we wanted to head even further south to visit family and friends. So the Monday after Thanksgiving, we headed our car south to Little River, South Carolina.
As you can tell, the Captain enjoyed his time aboard Tension Reliever. We didn’t stay long as cold weather was headed our way and we wanted to get further south. We found the boat in good shape and the best part was no cleaning was required. It looked as if we had only been gone a day or two.
A couple days after getting to Little River, we headed south. We had fog as we left the boat but it made for a great sunrise as we headed south along the coast. The sun came up as we neared the South Carolina – Georgia border… and it was spectacular. As we traveled along the highways of Georgia we were treated to the beauty of the tall Georgia pines. What majestic beauty. We stopped for lunch and ate under the towering, pungent pines.
Our first destination in Florida was the home of my brother and sister-in-law, Butch and Cathy. They were gracious host and we had a great visit. They took us to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the National Seashore at Titusville, Fl. You might remember that we were in Titusville last summer and visited the Kennedy Space Center. We didn’t have a car to explore the island so this was a special treat and felt almost like a homecoming. We traveled across the bridge that we were moored beside and recalled happy memories of our time spent there. The 11 mile drive thru the Wildlife Refuge was breathtaking and we saw a flock of rosetta spoonbills.
They were too far for my camera but I can tell you they were as beautiful as this picture. We also got to visit with my cousin Patty and her husband Darrell and we finally got to see his orchid hothouse. We’ve heard for years about his beautiful orchids and we were thrilled to see one of his beautiful purple and white orchids.
We had time for a visit with my sister, Rita and we got to meet her beau Bob. Isn’t seeing family fun???? Always something new and interesting in the mix of personalities and passions. Love them all!!
We have trouble staying in one place for long. Even beautiful and hospitable places. So, before long, we headed the car further south and west. Our cruising friends from aboard Talaria, Rick and Deena, have a new home in Venice, FL and they had graciously said to come and stay. So we took them at their word and believe me their word is good. There home is like them, open and fun and full of life. Our cruising friends from Blue, Dick and Maureen, were also staying with Rick and Deena so we got a two for one. With all six of us staying in one house, it was quite an adventure. We talked of mutual adventures shared on our trip around Central America. It was like old home week and every minute was a memory. We talked and laughed and ate far more than we should have. All four of them are fabulous cooks so Rick and I enjoyed the fruits of their labors of love and made sure we did cleanup! One thing we’ve found as we return to reality is that we have trouble connecting to people who have never cruised. Cruising is not only a lifestyle but a way of thinking. These four are soul mates of ours and have been there and done what we have done, with us. What a great feeling once again living with cruisers!! We appreciate their hospitality and we will see them all again one of these days.
The guys don’t really need supervising except to keep them from cooking more and more and more. All I can say is “Delicious”.
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. BUT, they only end so that you can move onto more adventure and discover more good things! We finally headed back north but took it in little steps. We stopped at my brothers again for a day or so and a visit with Rick’s stepdad, Bill. I had a girl’s lunch out with my sister Rita, my sister-in-law Cathy. It was fun and I enjoyed “girl small talk”. We left Florida in our wake and headed back to South Carolina. As we were planning on spending a couple months in Ohio, we wanted to be sure Tension Reliever was settled in at the dock. We could have spent a few more days but we had a great weather window for traveling north to Ohio so we took it. The one thing I didn’t want to do was cross the mountains with snow and ice. We didn’t find any snow on the ground until we hit the Columbus Ohio area. In talking to the kids, we found out that we had missed out on 6″ of snow and really cold temperatures. That’s something we didn’t mind missing! :):)
We were home in time for Christmas and had a great time with the family at Shawn and Lori’s on Christmas day. This was our first Christmas home in 6 years and it felt good.
Today, New Year’s Eve day, we are waiting to welcome in the New Year. We’re never sure what the upcoming year has in store for us but whatever it is, I’ll keep you posted.
I’d like to take this time to say “Thanks” to all of you who have read the blog this year and “Thanks” also for all the comments. Hearing from you and knowing that someone is listening is a wonderful gift. So, throughout the upcoming year, I leave you with that old Irish Blessing…
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Until my next post… wishing you “Fair Winds and Following Seas”