I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, December 21, 2009


Up at 3:30 am after not being able to sleep because the spare bed was just a mattress on the floor and still covered in the plastic I had on it while stored. I didn't have any sheets or quilts unpacked for it so just used a couple of throw blankets. My daughter and her hubby are tucked into my bed and that is as it should be as they both have to go to work after dropping me at the airport in Bellingham at 5:30am.

The flight down is uneventful, although cold sitting by the window, and it's great to see Ron and Nelson as I wait for my bags to appear on the carousel. As soon my bags are in the car we zip over to the BEAUTIFUL home I will be staying in for the next 6 nights. As we pull up to the walled property, I see a huge yellow ball hanging from a tree. "What is that?" I ask Ron. "A grapefruit." he replies. "No way!" The thing is as big as a 5 pin bowling ball. He proceeds to tell me that there are orange, lemon and grapefruit trees all over the property. I am delighted and amazed.

The homeowners aren't home so we drop my bags in my lovely 'red room' and I hang a few of my nicer clothes up in the closet before Ron whisks Nelson and me away for Mexican food for lunch.

He pulls up at a restaurant in the heart of town and I love the look of the place... all adobe with palapa-type roofing. We walk up to a grass-roofed bar and each take a stool. Ron orders us each a Margarita. When they come they are enormous! We raise a glass to each other and order our meals. The bartender puts warm tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa in front of each of us and I remember why I love eating Mexican food in the states so much. I could make this my meal, it's that delicious.

As we eat, I ask Ron if there's anything I can do to help him get ready for Christmas, as he just arrived two days ago from shooting a movie in Toronto for the past three months. He tells us that he wants to get the lights up on the outside of the house so I tell him to put us to work. Once lunch is over, we head to his house.

His place is a lovely home on one level, as most Palm Springs houses are, and is a much coveted Alexander home - designed by Robert and George Alexander in the early 60's.

We drag out the stepladder, four boxes of LED lights, and one box containing a big snowflake that lights up. I undo the first string of lights and we get a system going where Nelson holds the ladder, I pass up the clips and feed the string of lights to Ron up on the ladder. We start at the west corner by the garage and I hand little plastic clips up to Ron. The clips have one end that clips onto the flashing and the other end has a clip to slide the string of lights into. After about 20 minutes of work we are close to the peak of the roof and I make the point that we may not have enough lights. It seems to me that the peak is not in the center and that there is more on the side we haven't lit than the side we have, and we are half way through our lights. I suggest we may need another string. Ron disagrees and climbs down off of the ladder, and as Nelson moves it over, steps back to take a look at what we've done so far and lets the end of the string of lights he's holding drop to the ground. As we stand there and look, suddenly the weight of the string hanging down pulls the string overhead out of the first hook and then... with a quiet 'tick, tick, tick' the rest of the clips let go of the lights right across the whole half we just finished. At the end, they hang off of the last clip for a second or so, and then that one lets go and they all hit the ground. We are, all three, frozen for a moment, and then Ron turns to us and says "Well then." And we start to laugh. For me it was the kind of laughter where you can't get a breath and the tears flow. Still laughing, Ron walked back to the beginning and Nelson followed with the ladder while I remained doubled over, I just couldn't get a grip. It was something right out of a movie, although it would take forever to set that up, and the visual was replaying in my head. Even later that night as I was falling asleep in bed, I started to laugh again just thinking about it.

Ron rented me a car at the airport for my Christmas present and so we pile into it with Ron at the wheel and drive over to another car rental place and Ron gets himself a car. He doesn't drive one when home, he rides his bike and just rents a car whenever he needs it. Once we have that, I follow him back to the house I am staying in, his boyfriends parents place, and I get to meet Bob and Ada, my hosts. They are so welcoming and kind to me, and I just love them on sight. Ron and Nelson leave to run some errands and I settle into my room before it's time to leave with Bob and Ada and meet back up with the boys for BINGO!

All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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