Having Fun

After spending many weeks working hard to get Rosie ready to cruise, I took a break. I had a great time visiting family and friends while Eric and crew sailed Rosie south. I started my trip by visiting my niece, Nancy, her husband Cory, and their daughter, Sumer, in Clarkesville, TN. The big event of the trip was Nancy’s baby shower. After the shower I spent a few days hanging out with Nancy and little Sumer, while Cory went to a job interview in North Carolina. We shopped, played, and just rested. It would have been nice to stay through December to attend Cory’s Purple Heart Award ceremony for his service in Iraq, and a few days later, his college graduation. I would loved to have been there, but I needed to move on if I was going to make it back to the Caribbean where Eric was waiting, unsupervised.

Cory receives his Purple Heart

My neice, Sumer

Next Stop – Michigan. Since my brother-in-law Mark was out sailing the Atlantic with Eric, I had a chance to spend some time with my sister Beth. I also had the use of Mark’s car. Thank you Mark.

Beth and I spent a day at the Detroit Institute of Arts to see a special exhibit “Rembrandt and the Faces of Jesus”. The exhibit follows the evolution Rembrandt’s portrayal of Jesus in the 1600’s as well as some paintings of events described in the bible. In the 1640s Rembrandt became the first western artist to portray Jesus as Jewish, using a model from the neighborhood in which he lived at the time. It was really fascinating to see the transition of the face of Jesus based ancient Greek sculpture and Renaissance imagery to the Jewish face of Jesus. They also looked at how the events in Rembrandt’s life paralleled the scenes he chose for his paintings of Jesus. It was very interesting.

Many years ago, I was maid of honor at the wedding of my good friends, Tom and Maureen. Their daughter, Colleen was married on November 19th. Yeah I was in town! I was there to attend the rehearsal dinner and help them celebrate Colleen and Michaels wedding, eating fabulous foods and deserts, imbibing on fine wine, seeing old friends, and dancing the night away.  They still throw a great party.

My friend, Maureen and her son, David

Tom and Colleen

Some time between the wedding and Thanksgiving, Beth and I were able to get in a sauna. I just love taking saunas at their house. We keep it as hot as we can stand it and stay as long as we dare before taking a cold shower and sitting in the cool November air until we are cold. Then we do it again, and again, thats three times, according to Finnish custom.  Its a lot of fun,  amazingly relaxing and does wonders for your skin.

The next big event was Thanksgiving. For many years my brother, John, and his wife, Kay, have hosted our family at their farm. We all brought a dish, and as usual, Kay had a fabulous spread. The gathering was small this year, but it brought back so many good memories of all my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews getting together. We were warmed by the wood stove, and ate delicious food from their vegetable garden. John gave hayrides behind his tractor, pulling us past the garden, through the Christmas trees he was selling, and around the barns. John and Kay are selling the farm, so perhaps next year Thanksgiving will be at the new house they are building on the lake?

It was a busy weekend. The following Saturday Beth and Marks daughter Kristy (the 17th of my 19 nieces and nephews) turned 21. Are we getting old or what? And I was there for her first legal drink, a mojito. We celebrated at a vegetarian restaurant in Ann Arbor, absolutely fabulous. She continued the celebration, with her friends while we older folks, that would be me and Beth, wereearly to bed.

21 st birthday dinner

Kristy sips her first legal drink

On Sunday afternoon my family went to a golf lodge in Howell, Michigan celebrated the 40th wedding anniversary for my brother Mike and his wife Pat. They were married on November 27, 1971. That would be when they were 21.

Forty years of wedded bliss

I also had a chance to spend some time with my brother-in-law Steve and my sister Margie, who has been struggling with an aggressive form of MS for 20 years. I’m thankful for Steve who has taken care of Margie and has been there for her the whole way. They met in college and were married young. He is still her number 1 fan. Any time I get to spend with her is time I cherish. Its always difficult to see another person, much less one you love so much, suffer with such a terrible disease.

And finally, on the Monday before I left, the girls from the old neighborhood got together to celebrate yet another decade. I am so blessed in my life that I have known these women since we were very young children. These are my oldest friends and they are so much fun. It’s great to get together.

(l to r) Kathy, Terry, Maureen, Celia, Me and new friend Dina

 Next: Back to the Caribbean

2 Responses to “Having Fun”

  1. Carla Cove Says:

    Thanks for the news, Jackie. Boy, do you ever know how to optimize the use of time!!

    Hope you are enjoying the boat, reconnecting with cruising friends, and meeting new boaters.

    We miss you and Erik.

    -The Singing Frogs

  2. Carla Cove Says:

    Oops, Eric! 😉

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