Saturday, October 31, 2009

Away from the Boat

Combining work and life on a boat in the Caribbean is not easy and definitely does not provide exciting blogs! After Mark, Darwin and I came back from our little sailing trip and settled in Prickly Bay again, things became very busy and stressful again. Between the normal errands and Wirie related issues, we wanted to get Irie presentable, the fridge filled and some dinghy problems fixed to make our friend Angie’s stay as pleasant as possible. We only succeeded half.

Our dinghy engine still has problems, after a few professionals had a look and Darwin – who started chewing himself up weeks ago – is still wounded. We took him to the vet four times now and he is becoming a fairly expensive and troublesome dog. Some problems are difficult to fix.

Mark has been back in Grenada for a couple of weeks now and is dealing with everything. Our friend Angie did a fantastic job watching Irie and taking care of Darwin. He adores her more than anything or anyone. In the meantime, Mark and I stayed a week in the Boston area, visiting family and friends. The difference in climate was so tremendous, that we both instantaneously got sick for the whole duration. Or, are we getting allergic to the States? It was nice to hang out with family and friends nevertheless. We also attended the church wedding, with Indian reception, of Josh and Chelsea, Mark’s niece.

The day Mark returned to Grenada, I flew out to Belgium for two weeks, to see my part of the family and to catch up with old time friends, whose kids keep growing. I saw my brother’s baby Lena for the first time and it was fun playing with her and watching her –to me- first moves. She’s nine months old now, but couldn’t say “Aunt Liesbet” yet. Maybe next time?

I made it a priority to visit my oma a few times and we talked for hours on end as best friends. She will turn 90 next year and I sure would like to attend that party with Mark (and Darwin?). During my visit home, I got lucky with my mum’s presence, although it wasn’t in the best circumstances. She had been suffering from an eye infection for months and the treatment was very painful and frustrating. She could barely see, the light was hurting and she needed to wear sun glasses at all times. My dad had to be available to give her drops every hour or so. In the end, the infection appeared to be a parasite and things got worse and more painful. We all hope it heals soon!

My friend Sven invited me to ride along on his motorcycle for an organized tourist road trip, called “Herfstrit”. We passed through parts of Flanders and Holland. It was a nice day and we all enjoyed the slow pace through fields and over dykes. We did get shaken up a bit after witnessing a terrible accident right in front of us. It made us realize that disaster can strike very suddenly and that keeping a distance on the road kept us free of harm. This experience sure helped me see things in perspective.

Autumn has its charms and I really like walking in the fields and smelling the colorful leaves, but I think summer still has my preference for a visit. Going to bed with cold feet is not my thing. Luckily, my mum has a cherry pit cushion that got put in the microwave and kept my feet company during the nights.

My trip “abroad” got finished in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I spent another few days with Mark’s family. I took care of a bunch more errands and enjoyed the luxuries of a house for the last time. The leaves were turning bright yellow and red. October, with the first real Halloween I got to experience, came to an end and it was time to turn back to my beloved man and dog on the boat. Now we are ready for Irie’s yearly haul-out and to complain again about the hot and humid weather. Or are we going to realize that every lifestyle has its issues and the choice is ours, so we better stop complaining?