Tomorrow morning, Katie will catch a flight from Grenada to Barbados, then on to Toronto for an overnight stay (with Skye's Uncle Dan and Aunt Karen in Guelph) as she makes her way back to Moncton.
Yesterday was the first and only morning that Katie wasn't awakened before 7am by the noise of shrieking and fighting amongst our three sons. More than once, Skye has threatened to throw the Bionicles overboard, and perhaps his only hesitation in following through, is knowing that plastic is harmful to the marine environment. Katie assures me that she's a mom too, and this is normal behaviour, but come on, guys ... couldn't we all just get along??
It's been wonderful having female guests aboard, to help balance the scales a bit. Caitlin and Brett stayed with us for a week over Christmas, culminating in the celebration of Brett's 30th birthday aboard Singing Frog. And Katie has spent a month on board, breaking it up with only one night spent in a Grenadian hotel. I've appreciated the company, the conversation, the help with meal prep and galley cleanup.
When Caitlin and Brett flew home a few days ago, I felt a tug to return to my home, friends and family. And now, on the eve of Katie's departure home, I feel it again. Admittedly, sometimes, it's lonely here.
As I anticipated Katie's arrival last month, I concluded, most decidedly, that my dear mother-in-law loves me (us) ... a LOT. Even for her to entertain the idea of living with me and my family for a month, on a 3-cabin sloop in rolly anchorages, with 6-8 people aboard, touched my heart. And to follow through with it, enduring sea sickness, squabbling children, unescapable squalls, and musical berths with nary a complaint, really raises the bar!
Don't get me wrong - there have been good times - REALLY good times. Stargazing, relaxing in the sun (and shade), warm breezes, friendly and entertaining local people, world-class snorkelling (and Katie even invested in a great mask with prescription lenses that allows her to see underwater), a delicious Christmas lobster feast, a hike up a volcano, a tour of a hawksbill turtle sanctuary, Fish Friday jump-up in Gouyave, reading books with her grandsons (who are oh so appreciative and inspired), and I think she's gone down a dress size ... We'll miss you, Katie. We'll all really miss you a lot. Or as Aaron will say, "Where's Nana? ... I missed Nana." (he hasn't learned his verb tenses yet)
Sounds like Kermit's going to stay, to get away from the Canadian cold. He'll be a welcome member of our crew, and we'll be sure to keep him brushing up on his singing voice.