Wednesday, March 15, 2017

And on the Sabbath ...

Not sure that Jesus would have called this resting, but ...

Drove to Gainesville (about 50 miles) to go to church. It was the morning Daylight Savings Time started, so I felt a little more tired than I should have at 9.30. Got there and found out that it was the 150th Anniversary of the church that I had joined 49 years previously! I was a little late, so sat in the balcony where I was able to be a bit of a fly on the back wall. The sanctuary is beautiful, had just been updated with four huge brass chandeliers a la Williamsburg. First Presbyterian holds a ton of memories for me and I visited the sites of a lot of them, my first Sunday School room in Gainesville, the room the youth painted each wall a different bright color (it was the 70s), the high school room where I took guitar lessons (a little), and the choir room where I learned to sing with Willis Bodine (a lot). The Gordon Memorial Hall was packed with at least 400 people and a sit down lunch of BBQ chicken and the fixins. Lovely event, yet the only people I knew were the spirits. The last time I was in the pulpit there I was delivering my Dad's eulogy.

After lunch I met the PO and his family at Sonny's BBQ for (another) lunch. Yum, chicken and pork with cole slaw, baked beans, corn bread and sweet tea! PO and wife are nice folk, had a great lunch conversation and then went over to their house to get a variety of boat stuff he had stored there! More sails- a main, jib, spinnaker), lots of rope, eisenglass window and screens for the bimini, some safety items- flares, flags, first aid kit, etc. In short, I filled the car and would have to figure out what to do with this in Yankeetown without putting it back on the boat. About 4 pm left POs house and drove by my old neighborhood. Our house had had a recent attic fire, so was in considerable disrepair, but the house was a brick and steel US Steel house, so the fire was contained. They are having to do an extensive renovation with new sheetrock, etc.

Then back on the highway to Bushnell, FL, the home of the Florida National Cemetery and the final resting place of my parents- Lt. Col. and Mrs. Frederick T Boyd, Sr. buried head to head in the military fashion. I picked up a couple small bouquets to put on their graves. They're under a spreading Live Oak tree on rolling ground as they had been so many of their years together. They lived in Gainesville for almost 30 years. My father's gravestone notes his service in WW II, Korea and Vietnam- he must have been prouder of his service than I ever realized as this was his choice of eternity. My mother's inscription notes- "Loving wife and mother." That describes her perfectly. I found the gravesite from memory, and was again shocked by the finality of this life. I won't see them again on this earth and there's no one between me and the abyss. I cried, I prayed, I told them about Kathleen and the church anniversary and the fire at our house. I didn't try to explain my divorce, but I told them about the kids and how wonderfully they were doing- their loves, lives, jobs, passions. They had never really understood me and boats, so we didn't talk about that much.
Drove back to Crystal River in the rain. The weather suits my mood. Get to the boat, climb up, light the little brass kerosene lantern and the warmth and coziness suffuses me and the gray lifts. I lie down on the settee, call Kathleen, process the day and life is warm and loving and close to perfect- if only for the drips coming off the handrails. There will always be more to do on a boat, the trick is to enjoy the voyage.

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