February, 2011

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Wednesday Feb 23. Visit to North Carolina

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

It was Norm Riviere’s 71st birthday, yesterday. Friday is Evelyn’s 71st and it would also be Larry Burcar’s 71st. Three of my best friends born in the same year, same week. On the 28th my twin brother has his 74th birthday and Arthur Wijnans a friend for the last 40 years and Ken House, sailing crew and good friend since 1982  also have their birthdays the 28th of February. Hurrah for all the good the Pisces….

Norm and I used to work together for Weyerhauser in Brussels and met in 1965. We have stayed friends through the years. He and Betsy moved to Wilmington N.C. about 15 years ago. We met yesterday, about halfway, in Washington, N.C. A beautiful old colonial river port on the Pamlico River. It is hard to come up with  a birthday present for a man who has everything. The wood business obviously treated him much kinder than it did me, judging by the cars he can afford. It was a long lunch but still too short to spend with a good friend.

Next I moved down the Pamlico, a few miles, to visit John and Maureen Lavake. We met in Monnickendam on June 17, please, go to the following link to see the post for that day:  http://www.cometosea.us/?p=1339   I had a delightful visit with them and was their guest till this morning when I took another scenic route back to the Chesapeake.  They live in a sailor’s dream world.  A condo community on the Pamlico River/Sound all with their private slips. He has a complete woodworking shop on the ground floor. Beautiful location with covered swimming pool, club house. Most of the members are sailors and from the North East, like themselves. I am showing two pictures, of the many I took, of the birds in the park around them. Finches, Blackbirds, Chickadees, Orioles, etc. I took these pictures through their deck windows. Otherwise the birds would not come close enough.

John has sold his share in the powerboat they kept in Europe and is waiting for his next sailboat to arrive and put in his slip. They are planning to do a trip next year, with at least two other boats from their community, up to New England and into the Saint Lawrence and back from the Great Lakes through the Hudson-Erie Canal.

For the return trip I had clear sunny skies. I took the roads less travelled. Highway 32, 45 and 17. Pine forests, peanut, cotton, corn, soybean fields. Old farm houses with white propane gas tanks, mobile homes, Turkey Vultures soaring overhead. Rivers, Cypress swamps, tidal sloughs. Baptist churches. Why are they so often named “Bethel Church”?

Spring is on it’s way. The Sweet Gum trees are starting to bloom and all along the Cypress Swamps I saw these purple red branches. Apparently they are the new seed pods/cones of the Sweet Gum. The picture I took of the purple field is, I am reasonable certain, of Ground Ivy (Dutch= Hondsdraf) it looks like it is an unintentional weed on the peanut fields before spring planting. I saw it everywhere.  

Feb 19 Saturday Morning Post

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

We are getting an early taste of Spring here in Virginia, yesterday it got up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Centigrade). I’m in my shorts again.

Last Wednesday I had my own haulout, bottom job. “Knippen en Scheren” . Colonoscopy and an EDG. I was only 20 years overdue for this check up. All o.k. , except that I need to adjust my diet and take some medication for heartburn problems I have had. So, I am good to go for a few more circumnavigations. There will be a couple more consultation visits with the haul out yard and the general practitioner so it does not look like I get to take my planned road trip to Florida and Georgia before my March 14 flight to Amsterdam.

And here is that monthly annoying picture of the full moon. Taken an hour ago.

Saturday 12 February.

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

There just has not been much to report to you.

I am still working hard on the book about my mother, but running out of material that I brought or was able to research on the internet.  There is more material waiting for me and research to do in Holland. It is an amazing story, beyond my expectations.

I had hoped to leave from here earlier than the original 14 March departure, but there are still other matters I need to look after before I can leave here. Since medicare does not cover me away from the USA I decided to get a thorough check up. I had not had one for the last 12 years. This Wednesday I’ll have a colonoscopy done and there might be follow ups. All the other lab tests are, as I expected, all good. My right eye flared up once again. This week I received the green light on a boating article I wrote, but it needs another day or so of rewriting.

There is some more snow on the ground as you will see in the below picture, of the back yard. But Spring cannot be far away. I have the house all to myself here till Tuesday. Sean is at sea till the end of the week. Jeannine and Gabrielle left yesterday for a visit upstate New York, to their old friends.

So, a little early, Happy Valentine to All the Girls I have loved before and all the ones I still love.  

Tuesday Feb 1st. The Rabbit has theTiger by the tail

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

 

images   Tomorrow is the last day of the year of the Tiger, Thursday the first day of the year of the Rabbit. Last year I was right in the middle of the Tet celebrations in Vietnam. For those who did not see it, or like to get back in the festivities go to : http://cometosea.us/albums/albums/LunarNewYearVietnam2010.pdf  It is a unique experience. The Vietnamese know how to celebrate, a spectacle of colors and traditions

Today I finally finished a half hour slide show of my three month visit to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Go see it at www.cometosea.us/albums/albums/Indochina.wmv 

You might remember that I had lost most of my pictures when my hard drive broke. This album is a recovery project but I think that you will like it.