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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

When Life Gets in the Way (Burning Rubber Outta The Keys...)

cruiser family ties
Dad, the prior visit, in much better health.
Between Christmas and New Year's in the Florida Keys is not a good time to rent a car there.  

"They're all gone," Budget said.  "Minimum 8 day rental, $516," Avis said.  Enterprise set me up for a one-way for less that $200 (and gas and a cab back from the airport) as long as I dropped off the car at the airport within near 24 hours of when I rented it. It was for a family emergency.  Patty, at Enterprise, seemed to care more about me than maximum profit potential, which is my experience overall with Enterprise.

Driving up the Keys coast from Marathon is a slow and painful process, but it was hard not to burn rubber on the open roads of Highway 75, aka "Alligator Alley" which bisects Florida's East-to-West coasts.  Along the way Dad's. "You really don't need to come" was overshadowed by Anna, my best friend's righteous and right-on advice, "You Dad needs a health advocate, ASAP.  You need to go."  Besides, I was worrying too much not to go.  Unproductive worry sucks.  "Do what you need to do," Wayne said.

"Welcome to 'Phase 1' of the child-parent role reversal," Daniel reminisced, as we chatted before my cell phone dropped into a dead zone on 'the alley.'  "All my Mazamas friends are somewhere in that continuum with their parents.  Here's our story...."  That was Saturday night, December 28th.

At 1 am, December 31st, after a light tap on "my" guest bedroom door, my Dad urgently asked, "Take me to the hospital," 

cruising life & destinations
My husband, and Journey, our Pearson 365 ketch sailboat
are in this mooring field in Marathon's Boot Key Harbor.
So, instead of spending New Year's with cruiser friends and more importantly, my husband Wayne, in Marathon sharing hoppin' John and collard greens, my brother and I spent it with Dad and his wife in Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

"Ummm, you may want to take this with apple juice or diet cranberry," Dad's nurse Christine advised.  Dutifully, Dad slugged down his powdered 'orange' potassium supplement with diet cranberry juice.  "My New Year's cocktail!" he joked.

Dad is a good sport, taking on with a truly admirable level of grace the many indignities foisted upon him by the medical profession to carry on alive at 89 years young into 2014, definitely beating the odds.  Not in my wildest imagination did I expect to spend the holiday in a room with my Dad witnessing him learning to piss like a racehorse (literally) to save his life.  But damn, I'm glad HE is here.

captain of our pearson 365 ketch
Wayne, who promises TLC
upon my return.
Someday soon, Wayne's promised me a welcome-back massage.  I'm looking forward to that, as well as hoppin' John and collard greens, and mimosas instead of potassium cocktails.  We will maybe also cheer for my Dad, wherever he is at that time.  He sets one hell of an example to follow.

We push past a lot of excuses to cruise.  Still, sometimes life gets in the way.  Like cruising, being truly present is what life is all about.  Even when it's in a hospital for New Year's.

May your New Year be filled with joy, and far less drama.