Our three days at home have been great, despite the wet, gloomy weather which is normal in Seattle this time of year.
We have a great “support team” at home which contributes to the ease with which we left home for a year to do the Loop. Our mail has been handled alternately by Bob’s sister Lynn and our good friend Hobie. They recycle the junk, open the rest, and scan the important stuff to send copies to us by email. All our bills go directly to a credit card which Bob pays online, or are deducted directly from our checking account, so only medical bills actually come in the mail, and we haven’t had any of those in the past 11 months (knock on wood!) Our good friends Jim and Phebe also live in our neighborhood and made arrangements for a crew to do our yard work this summer, including paying them for mowing and weeding. This is just the routine stuff: all these folks have done lots more. We feel so lucky and grateful!
When we flew home Wednesday, Jim and Phebe had already turned up the heat in our house, picked us up at the park and ride lot where the airport shuttle dropped us off, and took us home with a pot of soup for dinner, breakfast food for the next morning, and some wine.
Thursday was Cathryn’s birthday, so Bob’s sister Lynn and her husband David invited us for dinner along with Jim and Phebe. It was great to be reunited!
We’ve re-joined the local gym so we can get exercise while home for a while, something in short supply while Looping.
Last December when we visited our dentist, we had to explain why we wouldn’t return in 6 months for another routine cleaning, because we’d be leaving to do the Loop. He asked if we knew Bob and Debi who live nearby; Bob is a recently retired endodontist, and they also plan to start the Loop soon! There aren’t very many Loopers from the West Coast, so we were excited to hear of these nearby. We sent off an email, then had dinner together in December, only a month before our departure for Florida to begin our Loop.
It turns out Bob and Debi were about a year behind us, but last week they bought their Loop boat, a beautiful 43-foot Fathom Element! They bought it here and will have it shipped to Mobile, Alabama in the next few weeks. Today was the boat christening party, and we were invited to join them at their lovely waterfront home along with 30-40 friends for the big event.
“In My Element” was christened in style with a reading by Bob on the bow, and a Champagne bottle-smashing by Debi using a sledge hammer. Wow! We’re so excited for Bob and Debi’s journey to begin, and hope their boat arrives while we’re still in Mobile so we might enjoy some travel together along the Florida panhandle or perhaps even do our Gulf of Mexico crossing together, as their boat is also capable of doing a daylight fast crossing.
We had a text message from Looper friend Joy on “Jim’s Joy” saying they arrived at Dog River Marina in Mobile and are parked across the dock from Next To Me. It’s nice to know friends will be close by and keep an eye on her for the next week.
We’re still re-learning where things are kept in our house, and surprised by how much we’ve forgotten in 9 months. It sure takes a lot longer to squeegee the walls of our big shower at home than the one on the boat! But we’re enjoying having the bigger hot water heater that means long showers won’t turn into cold showers as quickly.