It’s been a fast month. Spring is officially here and not a day too soon. It’s still not nearly warm enough for my liking but every day gets better. The boating season has begun, but my boat is not ready for the water. Beyond all that, Winnie’s gone to China trusting in me to keep her plants alive until she returns.
She is a very trusting soul indeed.
Winnie’s China Trip
Winnie flew home for a planned one month visit on the 15th. It’s the first trip home she’s made since first arriving in the new world; a trip that she’s more than ready for. She has a lot to tell her family.
Winnie has called me several times now, and from what I can tell she’s having a great time. She’s gotten to see a lot of her family in several different towns, with more still to visit. If I understood her correctly, she’s planning on taking a sight-seeing trip somewhere “in the mountains.” I don’t know what mountains those might be; China has a lot of ’em. I’ll just have to wait and find out when she returns.
Winnie does have a camera with her, a small Kodak “point-n-shoot” digital I bought for her two years ago. She’s promised to take a lot of pictures for me, and I’m honestly looking forward to seeing them. Winnie does have a great eye for photos.
Note: Winnie’s family was not affected by that terrible China earthquake that occurred a few weeks ago, although they did feel it. I continue to be horrified at the scope of this disaster and the millions upon millions of people affected. My heart goes out to the victims and families, and I just wish there was some way I could help.
Meanwhile, Winnie’s in China and I’m home alone tending the household chores. I’ve been entrusted with keeping Winnie’s house plants watered during these weeks as well as her vegetable gardens. The gardens haven’t been much of a problem. If anything, with all the rain we’ve had, they’re getting too much water and not a thing I can do about it.
Houseplants are a different story. I really didn’t appreciate just how many plants Winnie has already collected, just in the short time we’ve been in this house. When I was between marriages I had a few houseplants that I tended and managed to keep alive, but not the collection Winnie has.
Not Boating Yet
My boat “Sea Dreams” is not ready for the water yet but getting closer. It’s been consistently warm enough to work on it most days I have free time this past month, except when it was raining. This past Memorial Day weekend I finished getting the deck down and sealed up. All that’s left on the deck is touching up a few rough spots, finish painting, and bolt down the seats. But, my project just couldn’t be that easy.
The pre-deck replacement battery switch and fuse block were mounted between the insides of the gunnels and to the deck. To pull out the old deck I had to remove the switch and fuse block, which meant taking out all the wiring (it needed to be replaced anyway). When a previous owner had re-powered this boat with the still-existing Yamaha outboard, they never properly mounted the wiring harness and control cables. These wires and cables had been just lying on the deck lose with slack bundled up in a back corner under the transom well.
Replacing the deck was also an opportunity to make this mess right. Now that the deck is finally down, I’m starting to properly hang the control cables and wiring. This means installing suitable fittings to hang them from, which is one more new challenge to deal with.
I did build a new combined fuse and switch panel over the winter which I can now mount and start wiring. It also means several more weeks work before I can get the boat ready for the water. Even after the wiring is all put back, there are still several more small projects for me to do. But I can do those between boating excursions.
Cutting into my boat-fixing time is a longer commute again. The job that brought us to Virginia had me commuting to Arlington, about 30 miles from home. When I left that job, I really though/hoped my nightmare commutes were over. The job that I had six weeks was in Lorton, about 8 miles from home. Then, with my new job I was initially assigned to the Stafford area was a longer drive than Lorton, but against traffic and still not a bad drive.
Last week I was assigned to a new project, still with the same company, located back in Arlington. The actual assignment is one I really wanted which will help compensate for the longer drive.
This time, I’m experimenting with the local slug lines as a means of quicker commutes with less wear and tear on my nerves. We’ll see. I always have the bus option available to me should I get tired of driving again.
So that’s all for May. Winnie’s away while I’m playing with the mice, boat’s broken and I’m back fighting the second worse commute in America. At least the weather is nice enough for this warm-weather loving person.
More to follow.
A well-Earned Reward : I finally finish renovating my boat Sea Dreams and get to take her out on the water. Her handling has greatly improved.
Settling Down in Virginia : After making the big move from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to Northern Virginia, Winnie and I are finally settled into our new home.
Boatless! : So I’ve sold my power boat Sea Dreams and move onto a new phase of boating and water sports.