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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Home Again

The trip ended as it started, in a taxicab in the driving rain. First, the harrowing cab ride to San Pedro Pier in Los Angeles traffic on February 5 with an Armenian cab driver. Today, March 2, a peaceful cab ride to the airport in Ft. Lauderdale despite the hammering rain, with a cabbie I can actually understand but who doesn’t want to talk. I

It feels a bit strange to be alone again. Robert and I said goodbye at noon today. We hugged really tight because we don’t know when or if we’ll see each other again. He is off to Key West, New York, Dominican Republic, Croatia during the three remaining months of his leave from the U.N. in Jerusalem. I am heading back to Boulder to spend three months at home before my next exploration in Maui and Molokai in June with Cathy.

Twenty-six days, thirteen hours and thirty-two minutes, eight thousand nautical miles, two thousand air miles and at least a hundred land miles, ten countries, twelve ports, and storms on land and sea were not the real adventures. The true journey, or more appropriately, the true gift of the cruise for me was the complete letting go of the need to be active, to be responsible for achieving anything, or even the need to think. Most of the time, being logical while sailing was simply not a possibility.

The thoughts I did have were mostly expressions of awe at the variety and intensity of the hues and tones of blue occupying sea and sky. Most of the hours at sea passed by without thought. I’m not sure that I have ever experienced no thought before. It is bliss. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, or what I was and I didn’t care.

Actually, I wasn’t anyone on the ship at any time. Not a mother, grandmother, writer, painter, seeker, teacher.
And although I appeared to be half a couple to others, I wasn’t that either. Nor was I alone. I did enjoy it when various tour guides referred to me as 'your wife' when talking with Robert (no one ever thought I was his mother) or when the Indonesian room stewards called him 'Mr. Robert Boehmer' every day. Boehmer was probably easier to say than Milosevic although lord knows it’s a rare moment when anyone pronounces Boehmer correctly the first time. Usually it comes out as Beemer, Boomer, Ballmer, Bomber, Bowheimer, Bowman, Boheemer or Baymer. Robert thought it was funny too.

My flight is boarding now. Gotta go.

Shortly after the plane was in flight, a great thump jarred everyone to attention. A woman passed out trying to get to the front bathroom to throw up. Yes, she did throw up and the thumping sound was because she cracked her head against a man’s wooden leg who was sitting in the first row. No. I didn’t make that up. It was one of those awful moments when all of us who saw what happened were desperately trying not to laugh. Luckily a retired paramedic was onboard and he took care of the woman as best he could but her pulse was dropping so the plane made an unplanned stop in Little Rock, AR. An ambulance was waiting for her when we arrived. The man with the wooden leg wasn’t injured. We had to spend time on the ground in Little Rock so the plane could be examined since we landed with too much fuel onboard. Apparently that’s not a good thing. So I’m grateful to be home even though quite a bit later than expected.

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