We got back to the east coast and made the decision to head back north to Jacksonville, Florida so that we could get back to Athens, GA to see about Stacy's parents. Her mother had another coronary stent in November and her father was diagnosed with a recurrence of a very slow growing cancer he had 15 years ago. Stacy decided the time was right to come back and be with them most of the time now. As she told them "we will now take our suitcases to the boat rather than bring suitcases from the boat to Athens".
On Thursday, Jan 6th we arrived at the St. John's river and heard our friends Stephen & Sharon on STEVEDORE on the radio at the Sisters Creek bridge. We entered the St. John's at exactly the same time from opposite sides. They were headed into Jacksonville for a conference before moving on further south. We met them last year on our way to Panama City and then they stayed at Bay Point marina with us for about a month.
We came into familiar waters when we got into Jacksonville so Stacy posed with our gold burgee so we can be official loopers whether we consider Sarasota our crossing or Jacksonville where we started with our boat.
Stephen & Sharon drove over and we had dinner on board SEASEA and caught up with their lives during the evening.
On Friday our good friends Jim & Luann Brewer came over for a visit. These are dear friends we met at the church we attended when we were in Jacksonville in 2005-2006.
Since Stacy's sister had driven to Athens to visit her mom we left early on Saturday morning so that we could visit with her before she left to drive back to Pennsylvania on Sunday. We arrived Saturday afternoon in Athens and by Sunday night we had about 7" of snow. The temps remained below freezing until today so we have been house bound for 3 days. Stacy's father just couldn't not go out and shovel snow from the walkway given that he grew up in Sharon, PA and shoveling snow was just something he had to do. We let him do what he wanted but we were there to help as needed.
We enjoy our time with Stacy's parents and hope that we can be a help taking care of them by cooking, taking care of the house, chauffeuring, etc. We have already used our "snow days" to clean out cabinets, closets, arrange our bedroom, set up Al's new laptop and many other small projects.
Our plans are in flux at the moment. We know of boaters coming up the east coast in the spring and would like to get together with some and maybe cruise the St. John's again with them. Anyone headed toward Jacksonville give us a call and we will head down for some local cruising.