Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Fling...or Bahamian Bust?

This blog post is not about me. I am not in the Bahamas. It is mostly about Pope and Albert, some tomato seedlings, and the way relationship can stretch and bend in certain circumstances, depending on the personalities.
First, let me just admit that I am a classic boat widow--that is, a spouse frequently left behind when a partner runs off to a spiritual soulmate of the floating variety.
Yes, it's true. Two weeks ago Pope left me a note on the kitchen table: "Went to see my mistress."  (That really is his handwriting. I am NOT making this up.) Fortunately, I know how to interpret his literary meanderings. He is not racing to burrow his nose into the breasts of a curvaceous blonde; no, he is racing to wrap his loving arms around the mast of a cold, hard hunk of fiberglass. He spent a lot of time with his mistress this winter. He worried about her endlessly, crying out her name in his sleep.
Echo II being slung back into the water after a long winter of repairs
The important point here is, Pope loves sailboats and sailing. He is currently in the sunny Bahamas for a Spring fling, crewing on someone else's boat. I, on the other hand, am enjoying nights out with the girls, wine parties, gym classes, yoga teacher training, Cajun music jams. Lonely widow?? Nah! So which of us is having the more delightful experience? Judge for yourself...
Amber joins other volunteer teachers in training workshop at Yoga in Daily Life USA, Alexandria, Virginia, March 2016
Remember our month in early 2014, holed up at the Rubis gas station dock in Nassau while our auxiliary engine was removed, refurbished, and reinstalled by Albert the diesel magician? Of course you do! Admit it--it was your favorite story; or maybe the only story that kept you from nodding off while slogging through my tiresome blog about misadventures in the Bahamas.
Bidding farewell to Echo II's auxiliary propulsion unit, January 2014; bye bye, see you in a month!
Albert the diesel magician in his shop, ordering essential parts from the US for Echo II, January 2014
Well, what goes around comes around! Is that the appropriate phrase here? Or is it DEJA VU??! As I write this, Pope is holed up at the Rubis gas station dock in Nassau, on a broke-down boat, while Albert the diesel magician is being solicited (skids greased with some Jameson whiskey, most likely) to take a gander at its internal mechanics. Will Pope and his skipper see other islands? Will they snorkel and swim, or even sail? TBD. Pope's latest email: "I have no idea how long we will be stuck here at the good ole Rubis station. Lots of problems."
Not a day older: Albert the diesel magician, still running his shop of miracles (and illusions) in Nassau, March 2016
Divine justice for running off to the islands without me? Poor planning, or poor maintenance? Or is Pope so attached to that old wooden fuel dock with its charter fishing boats and laid-back vibe that it serves as auxiliary soulmate? We did have a good time there in 2014; the gas station manager at the time, Daniel, shared his breakfast, joked with us, let us use the internet, and instructed his staff to unlock the toilet for us at all hours, on request.
Street view of our Nassau home away from home, January 2014
The infamous--and increasingly familiar--dock, January 2014; Echo II is the (only) mast on the left
Thus our respective activities in the Spring of 2016 continue to unfold. Now, about those tomato seedlings: while Pope shoots the breeze with Bahamian gas jockeys and Albert's assistants, day after day, with the potential for becoming week after week, he moans that his newly planted tomato, pepper, basil, and parsley seeds in the little brown pots in our front window could die without their "parent" to nurture and nourish them. His lament: "They need love. Without me they are screwed." Well, I can only do my best. Every day I water them, gaze fondly at them, puzzle over how to keep them alive, and even sing Cajun songs to them. As far as I can tell, they are not yet screwed.
As you have probably figured out by now, Pope and I have a strange yet wonderful relationship, able to endure interesting twists and turns that could never even be conceived of by normal people.

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