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December 04, 2011

Fall in Baltimore

Once again, several months have passed without an update to the ships log do here we go. We spent September doing leisurely short trips around the upper Chesapeake to the Magothy River, Weems Creek, Annapolis, the Rhode River, and Lake Ogleton and ended up at the Whitby/Brewer Rendezvous at the West River Sailing Club at the beginning of October. This is a great group and they were nice enough to let us “stink pot” former sailor/members join in for the event. We got to see many old friends and meet several new ones.
Early October saw us babysitting the cats for Liz while she went back to Maine for the Freyberg Fair for a few days. We also drive to Copake Falls for a three day visit with my sister Mibs and her husband Walt. The terrific fall weather made a particularly delightful trip with the leaves in full color and crisp clear skies. We drove to a local orchard for fresh pressed apple cider, apple cider doughnuts and some fresh off of the tree honey crisp apples. Enjoying the changing seasons was a big deal for us who have lived in warm weather for the last 9 years.
Mid October saw us at the annual Chestertown wild fowl carving show which includes a lot more than carved wild fowl. I bought a watercolor by a local artist that depicts an old house on an island in the Chesapeake that has now sunk into the Bay. It now hangs in the guest cabin and we are enjoying it a lot. We wandered into an art gallery and started chatting with the woman running the place and she mentioned that she had just returned from a visit with friends who live on a canal barge in France. I said “you mean Bill and Genevieve McWilliams?” and startled her! We know them too so it really is a small world. She passed along our email address to them and we are now back in tough with them and can follow their French adventure through their web site http://web.me.com/mcw.art/Travelogue/2011/2011.html. Their photography is outstanding and the write ups of their adventures are well done and fun to read.
Sue took a five day airplane trip to Ft Myers to participate in a cancer walk with her family and play grandmother while I stayed with Liz in Bensalem. After Sue’s return, on November 2nd we moved Courage to the Anchorage Marina in Baltimore for the winter. Sue drove the car around and I single handed Courage across the Bay. The weather was nice and it was an uneventful trip. Since then, I have put the plastic storm windows on all 16 of Courage’s windows which seems to be doing a good job of preventing condensation, and keeping the boat warm. So far, by running the heat pump units and using the oil filled electric radiator we bought, the boat has been comfortable but the temperatures have not gotten below the upper 30’s at night and the weather has been delightful with a lot of clear sunny days with little or no wind.
On November 12th, we drove back across the Bay to Easton to their annual wildfowl carving show which is supposed to be the best of its kind anywhere and were not disappointed. Not only were the carvings world class, there were also paintings, sculpture, and other crafts. It was another perfect fall day with clear sunny sky, no wind and lots of fall color in the leaves. Easton is a very historic town and most of the old homes have been carefully preserved.
On Friday the 11th, my niece and nephew Laura and Ed visited us along with Ed's son Peter. Ed is the Episcopal minister in Wenona, NJ and Laura and her family live northweat of Baltimore. It was fun to see them again and we spent several hours just talking family news and events.
We left Baltimore and Courage on November 16th for another ‘Barge trip” (where we barge in on friends and family) and visited Liz in Bensalem and then on to Brecksville Ohio and Rich and Deb’s house before driving to Cincinnati to visit my grandson Justin at the University of Cincinnati and high school classmate Robin (Barber) Carver and her husband Jim. They were nice and provided lodging for us for three nights as well as several nice meals and lots of good conversation. We got to see Justin’s off campus apartment that he shares with several other schoolmates, tour the campus and hang out with college kids. I had forgotten how unscheduled and casual they are about their lives with late hours, sleeping in and the general helter skelter way of life on the college campus!
Justin has just finished his first co op assignment with the German company Leoni that is privately owned, very successful and whose business includes supplying wiring harnesses to a large range of companies worldwide. The first assignment was in Indianapolis and his next assignment will be at their plant in Mexico. The final assignment will be at their plant in Bavarian part of Germany. Once he knew this, Justin was able to change his elective course and is now taking Spanish so he will be able to communicate when in Mexico. He already has had some German so he is ready for that assignment. He is doing well in the mechanical engineering major but is hitting the tough courses and is going through the usual questioning of his major as he sees his friends with easier majors not having to grind it out like the engineering students do. He is also discouraged with some (most?) of his instructors many of whom are foreign and have very poor English and are hard to understand! One wonderful benefit of sticking to the engineering major is that he will not have to worry about getting a job when he graduates! Not only that, his starting salary will probably be in the $70-80k range or higher.
We returned to Brecksville for the Thanksgiving holiday. Deb’s parents and two of her brothers were there with their families so with the two dogs it was quite a crowd. I brought wine and beer and baked pecan and cherry pies to add to the turkey and ham entrees that Debs parents prepared and we had a great meal with lots of family.
My son Rich has decided to start his own business as a self employed manufacturer’s rep in the electrical/LED lighting market. This is his background and expertise and he is starting out with three clients who are signing up to pay him a monthly retainer plus commission so his first year should be a very nice start to being self employed. In addition, he will not have to put up with the corporate politics that he has found to be so problematic. The LED part of the lighting industry is where all the future growth will be and the companies he will be representing are at the leading edge of the technology so I believe that the timing could not be better.
We returned to Courage via a one night stop at Liz’s house and have gotten back into our daily routine of a brisk walk every morning as well as the never ending list of boat projects. Yesterday we walked to Fells Point for the arrival of Santa (by tug boat no less!) and some street vendors and wandering through althea nice shops that are there.
Our next big event is a “barge” trip via car to Florida for the Christmas holidays with Sue’s son Ethan and his family. We leave here December 9th and have planned stops in Wilmington, NC, to visit with friends there, somewhere in SC and then to Daytona Beach to visit friends. We will get to Ft Myers December 13th so we can participate in the grandparents day at Kaya’s school on the 14th. We will also visit with friends who are in that part of Florida while we are there so it should be another busy and fun time.

Posted by Dick at December 4, 2011 10:02 AM