It’s hard to believe we’ve been back from Israel for almost a week. Since our return from the Holy Land, we’ve been recovering from jet-lag and unwinding from an extremely busy month, including two and a half weeks of everyday work, followed by fifteen days of travel overseas. We spent our first two nights, after returning, in the Tampa/Lakeland area. We met with our Florida “family,” the Browns, for lunch on Sunday. In the morning, we had enjoyed our last service with our home church in Lakeland, All Saints’ Episcopal Church. We could not help but feel some sense of melancholy knowing that we would no longer be a part of a church with such beautifully done liturgy, composed of some very intelligent, committed, wonderful people. I had wandered in a spiritual wilderness for almost two decades before we became a part of All Saints’. It was there that I finally felt at home. Then, on Sunday evening, Cindy and I were blessed by my comrades in medicine at the Lakeland Regional Emergency Department. The physicians who I’ve been honored to work with honored me with a farewell dinner at Eddie V’s in Tampa. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and gifts which were given.
Obviously, these events were the final nails in the coffin of what was our pre-cruising life. We now have sold our home, cars and most of our earthly possessions. I’ve semi-retired and resigned the place at which I’ve worked for the past twelve years. We’ve attended our last service at the church we have grown to love. On Monday, we returned to our beloved Beatitude, where we have been regrouping and recharging. It took us until the fourth day back to overcame the jet-lag and reset our diurnal rhythms. We haven’t been very ambitious with accomplishing “boat work” since returning. We’ve been reading, catching up on some television shows we had missed (i.e., American Idol and Dancing with the Stars), and otherwise chilling. We’ve spent some fun time with our friends, Tim and Annie, who looked after our boat in our absence. We’ve had a few visitors as well. Keith, Tammy, and Jill, (lifelong friends and relatives from Ohio) spent a couple of hours aboard Beatitude while in Orlando on vacation. Also, two of Cindy’s closest friends from Lakeland, Louise and Betty, dropped by today for a visit. I’ve been doing a little “work,” taking care of financial matters, as well as planning for my future part-time employment as a locums emergency physician, making phone calls, writing emails, filling out paperwork, etc. Cindy and I have also been busy watching what we eat and taking walks for exercise. The boat life, contrary to my original expectations, has not been especially kind to our waistlines.
I’ve still got a few tasks I need to accomplish on Beatitude before we get underway again. They are not that time-intensive (I should know better than to say that), but I’ve just been unmotivated to get them done since our return. We hope to be underway by the beginning of next week, heading to more northern climes. Until then, adieu…!
Here is a link to a map showing the places we’ve been. It shows any place we’ve spent a night, either at anchor, on a mooring, or in a marina. It does not show nights spent at sea. You can click on a marker to see its label.