Ron departed for Florida just after our Thanksgiving with the car loaded, barely room for our cat. I stayed to finish my job with TRiO McNair Scholars–a bittersweet time–and used my time alone at home spending time with family and friends, and preparing to leave our house for a couple of months.
A winter storm arrived right in time for Christmas. I had an 11 AM flight out of Grand Rapids, nonstop to Punta Gorda on Christmas Day. The weather was bad. I decided that morning to see if I could get an Uber rather than getting the car out of the garage and having my daughter drive me to the airport. Great decision! I ended up with the greatest Uber driver–Bubba–wearing a Santa’s hat and driving an SUV complete with reindeer antlers. What a Christmas morning gift! Though I was flying to re-join Ron and our cat, I was leaving my parents who continue to struggle with their lives and require support. It’s hard to be away from them for long periods of time.
Christmas Day at the airport was interesting. After a 4-hour delay (runway was closed 3 separate times for plowing) we finally took off. I arrived in Florida just as the sun was setting. It was surreal: the air was warm and balmy, the skies were clear. What a change from Michigan, just 2-1/2 hour flight away.
We’ve been busy since my arrival, preparing Prairie Dog for launch and trying to stay warm during a week-long cold spell. We celebrated my official retirement with my first social security check. I was determined this year to celebrate and honor the birthday I had shared with my sister for 57 years–last year’s without her was so very painful. We celebrated the new year by joining boatyard friends for a large spread at the hut, followed by live music. We made it past “sailor’s midnight” but not long after!
Home has barely gotten a break from the snow and bitter cold since my departure 2 weeks ago. Hard to complain about the cold here.