Just as my mother shared things she learned while being aboard last week, I learned a few things while having my parents visit.
Be careful of how much you make fun of someone – I needed to replace the shower on the stern steps, but in order to do it someone had to crawl into a hatch at the back of the boat and maneuver themselves around the steering cables, rudder, auto pilot, and other gear. I am 6’4” and around 205 lbs, so it was going to be rough for me, but my dad said he would do it if I wanted. I teased him he would get stuck since he was heavier and not as flexible (or as my dad says “YOUNG”). So in I went (see 1st photo) and once I got in and situated it was not too bad. My dad worked as quickly as he could on top and we got the screws undone, the hose replaced, and the screws back in place in about 45 minutes to an hour. Getting out was tougher and I felt a bit like a ferret trying to slip around this and that, but I finally got out. Once out I realized I had been supporting myself on one leg and that leg had now decided it was not going to work anymore. As I hobbled up the stairs I must have looked like a new born fawn, because my leg was quivering and shaking and it was not going to support me. It was funny and a bit scary at the same time. After 15 minutes or so it started to function again, but I was feeling it for a couple of days. Now the funny part. After a good rest period I went back down in order to clean up some water that was at the bottom of the hold. I went into the hatch head first up to my waist so I could reach the bottom with a brush and towel. Everything was ok until I tried to get out and that is when I realized a bar and cable were across my back and with my shoulder blades in front of them. I could not free myself and quite effectively had gotten myself stuck like Winnie the Pooh in the rabbit’s hole (and that is what my mother says I looked like with my butt sticking out of this hole!). I had to have my mom’s help to get out and luck for me they did not tease me too much.
My mom is good at coming up with stuff to eat – Since I was hauling the boat out at the end of our cruise though the SVI we were trying to get rid of the food I had aboard. Towards the very end my mom made what we called “clean out the cabinet” casserole. She used rice, taco mix, carrots, celery, and other stuff and came up with a pretty tasty meal with lots of leftovers. Well the next night when she pulled it out and plopped it on my plate I stared at it and all I could see was a pile of dog food. I stated as much and my dad jumped on this and to my mother’s dismay her “clean out the cabinet” casserole was instantaneously renamed “Dog Food”!
When you want out of the water it does not matter how – As many of my long time readers know, my dad has had a rough four years with heart related surgeries. He gets winded easily, moves slower than he use to, and had an abscess the first part of the trip. With these issues my dad did not get in the water until the very end of the trip when the abscess healed. We took the dinghy to a point with low to moderate wave action and in we all went. He lasted about 100 feet and 2 minutes and he was done!!! Unfortunately the dinghy was 100 feet away, but that did not stop him from getting out of the water. He simply proceeded to climb a sea urchin infested rock like a kid playing king of the hill. Now even though he was sitting on something he was not out of the water and the waves move you more in that situation than if you are floating. Once I finally got him down and back into the dinghy he noticed he had five spots where the urchin got him. He said he feels lucky he did not get one right in the butt though.
Old people like to know the weather – Every morning we had internet both of my parents were on the computer. They would announce it is 60 degrees and drizzly and I would be thinking what are they talking about since it is never 60 around here. Then they would rattle off the weather in about 35 different locations across the country. I am thinking that I only care what it like where I am, but they want to know what it is like where everyone they know is. I even think one of the locations was the burial site of a dog from one of their childhoods!
Old people have to retire – The reason is that all their time is taken up with doctors visits and taking pills. There were several times they had to restock the pill dispensers (notice the plural since they both had several). It seemed like this activity brought a moment of joy to their lives since I don’t see my dad’s eyes twinkle as much as I did then. They would bring up what looked like a suitcase load of bottles and proceed to plunk one pill in each bin. We are all flying to Dallas together and I warned them ahead of time that if the DEA stopped them thinking they were drug traffickers due to the amount in their possession, I was going to say I had no idea who they were, get on the plane, and leaving them to rot in a Puerto Rican jail.