Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #107 Catching Up and Winding Down

When last we met here Jim and I had just returned from our first (but hopefully not last) cruise-ship experience. I regaled our readers with the wonder and majesty of the Monarch of the Seas and the fabulous three days we spent aboard her. Four months have passed since then, so it’s time to post another update.

Last week I had another check-up with my pulmonologist. However, I really don’t know anything more after my visit than I did before. I am now fully recovered from my surgery last spring, and so far my lungs seem to be staying clear—mostly. Over the last several months I’ve had two somewhat scary episodes when I thought my lungs would once again betray me. Blessedly, my fear in both cases was unsubstantiated. Both instances seemed to be related to allergic reactions, so after sharing those experiences with my pulmonologist, he has arranged for me to see an allergist/immunologist next month. Yay—one more doctor. I have to say, though, that I wouldn’t mind knowing exactly what allergens I should be careful to avoid. Whether I start allergy or some other kind of testing at this time has yet to be determined, as I really don’t want to be in Indianapolis for most of another winter. Cruising is calling once again.

In late October Jim and I finally got back to Caloosa Spirit for six weeks. No, it really wasn’t a joy to be back. More like a nightmare. After two years of neglect Caloosa Spirit was looking sad indeed. It took more than four weeks just to get her fully cleaned inside and out, and the fix-it projects just kept coming. We did manage to get out of the slip for two nights at anchor in Boca Ciega Bay over Thanksgiving. That was an elixir. We at last got a taste of what we had been missing—and why we were doing all the cleaning and fixing. Our hope is to get back aboard in mid-January, and to spend the winter cruising familiar places on the Sun Coast and Keys. More boat work needs to be done before we leave the dock, but we’ve got our eyes on the horizon.

Soon after returning to Indy we moved into a different apartment—right next door. Thanks to family (relational and church), it was definitely the easiest move we’ve ever experienced. For some time now, as living in Indianapolis became far less temporary and more and more permanent, we had been wanting more space than our very pleasant one-bedroom allowed. We really wanted to get the rest of our stuff out of storage, and a two-bedroom seemed like the way to do that. After searching numerous other apartment complexes, however, we just didn’t find anything that made us want to leave the little piece of nature that’s just outside our back door. Fortuitously, just before we left for Florida, our next-door neighbor turned in her intent-to-move from her two-bedroom apartment as of mid-November. Our leasing agent knew that we would be interested, so when Jim walked into the leasing office to provide her with our plans to be away and emergency contact info, she informed him of the opportunity to move. Within the hour we grabbed it. We signed the lease and paid our deposit that day.

Over the course of three days we emptied our storage locker (with the help of Scott’s truck), moved as much as we could by ourselves, and had enough help from family and friends to get fully moved in and organized. We even had our Christmas tree and decorating complete within the week. We still have our fabulous view of trees, lawn (well, snow at the moment), and the brook, and our feathered and furry friends wasted no time in finding us and our feeders in our new location. We like it here.

But not enough to spend the winter! Please, God, not again. It’s been an unusual Indiana winter so far, in that there’s been snow on the ground since we’ve been back. A white Christmas is a rarity here, much less snow-cover for much of December. Florida temps got quite chilly just before we left and continued to drop afterward, so we’re hoping that the current weather status isn’t a harbinger of the winter to come. Much as we look forward to going back south, nightly freezing temperatures there are not an enticement.

As 2010 draws to a close, we reflect on the year gone by. Last year at this time I was eager to see the end of 2009. With the death of my mother and my on-going lung issues, it seemed that 2010 just had to be better. In many ways it wasn’t. I ended up having lung surgery, with all its attendant anxiety, helplessness, and recuperation; we missed another full year of cruising; and our budget has been stretched as taut as a drumhead. But in other ways 2010 brought some gifts. I have recovered fully from the surgery; I can now think about Mom without tears; and we’re hopeful for a return to cruising, even if it’s only part-time rather than full-time. May 2011 turn out to be “a very good year.”

We wish for all our readers a Happy Holiday season filled with special joys, warm hearts, and family love.

Fair winds and a faithful wake until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford
s/v Caloosa Spirit

Posted Tuesday December 21, 2010

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