Just as last Saturday evening was turning to Sunday morning, I made my way to the hospital parking garage where Cindy was waiting for me to finish my shift. I sunk into the driver’s seat in preparation for an 18 hour marathon of driving from Lakeland, FL, to Barberton, OH. Before the sun awakened from its slumber, we had traversed the states of Florida and Georgia, and had grabbed about an hour of sleep at a rest area in South Carolina. We awoke to the scene of a Muslim family performing there morning prayers in the picnic area of the rest area. After that brief nap, we continued across South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, before arriving in Barberton, Ohio around six in the evening. Though we were tired and sleep-deprived, the trip went well. We always enjoy the Appalachian Mountain vistas of Virginia and West Virginia.
The primary purpose of this trip was two-fold: First, to take the remainder of our belongings to family members for storage or give-away. And, second, to deliver our 2013 Honda Fit to our youngest daughter, Mariah. The Honda has been a perfect fit for us for the past 1 1/2 years – great gas mileage and plenty of room to haul people and provisions. Now, for the first time in forty years, I do not own an automobile. No house. No car. What an unusual life we lead!
Monday and Tuesday, I (with the aid of my lovely wife) purchased and laid kitchen flooring for my in-laws. Wow, did I use muscles that had been dormant for some time! After two days of hobbling around, though, I was back to normal. Everything went smoothly with the installation, and everyone is happy. How different this is from boat work! Doing land-based repairs reminded me of just how difficult and expensive it is to repair anything on a boat. Parts on a boat are difficult to find (if even possible to find), and they are, without, fail much more expensive. Working spaces are almost always cramped and awkward. But, such are the necessary and worthwhile sacrifices which accompany the blessing of living a life of cruising and exploring on the water.
The rest of the week was spent enjoying the company of friends and family. We ate together and played together. We even spent an afternoon at the Medina County Fair. Although Cindy returns to Ohio fairly frequently, my visits are few and far between. It was really nice to be with everyone. The final evening before my early morning flight home we celebrated my older daughter, Julie’s, 34th birthday at a restaurant called Dietz’s Landing. Seventeen family members enjoyed dinner together.
The one thing I just couldn’t get over is how cold it was in Ohio! What kind of place is it that requires you to turn on the heat in late July? The daily high temperatures didn’t even get as high as our daily low temperatures in Florida. I must say that the comfort of a lower humidity was welcomed, but I have obviously adapted to the hot tropical weather and have a low tolerance for temperatures north of the 28th parallel.
I have now returned to a normal summer climate, sitting in downtown Lakeland, at Crispers, having lunch before the first shift my nine-day marathon of emergency department work. And, yes, that is right, only NINE more days ’til departure day.