A summary of the last 6 months

A friend that I have not heard from in a while asked me

>So fill me in. Where in the world are you and what are you up to?

After a very long flight from Seattle, I arrived back on the boat at about 1:30 AM, March 2. The boat was on the hard in Finike, Turkey. I worked quite hard for several months and got her ready to launch.

When I launched, Alegria & I then very quickly went to Greece because the boat had been in Turkey for almost 5 years and must go out or pay a large fee. You can come back the same day, but you must go out.

When they divided Turkey and Greece in the early 1900s, most of the islands became Greek. So, in this case I go to Kastellorizo, which is a small Greek island about 40 km west of Finike and only a couple miles offshore. Then I went just a few more miles, to the Turkish city of Kaş (the ş is pronounced like an SH)

There I got new boat papers for another 5 years. And then I returned to Finike and got a residence permit. This is like a long-term visa. Otherwise, the new rules are that I can only be in Turkey for 90 days and then I must be out for 90 days. Which is a major drag, so I really wanted the residence permit. I only had a little over 3 years left on my passport. And getting a new passport is a significant hassle. I would have to go to one of several cities a long way away and then come back again in a couple of weeks to get a new passport.

So, I got a three-year residence permit, which is a lot of bother, because of all the paperwork and having to go to another city by bus, repeatedly, and stand in line for hours. But, it used to be far worse. So I count my blessings.

Unfortunately, a month or so later I forgot to take my passport and residence permit out of my pants when I washed them.

(As the quote goes, “Life is hard. But it’s harder when you’re dumb.” Somehow, I have to keep repeating that class.)

So, I had to go back and apply for another copy of my residence permit. Since I already had one, it was not as expensive, but there was a lot of standing in lines. I was able to drive my passport enough that I saved it. But I noticed that it did wash one of the stamps out of the passport. But not one that I have to have.

My regenerated residence permit was ready last week, so I went in on Friday. I took the early bus. It’s about a two-hour trip each way. But Friday was a holiday and the office was closed. So there was a long expensive bus trip for nothing. I need to learn to look at the calendar for Turkish holidays before I make any trips. Kind of basic huh,?

I’ve made a lot of progress on the various boat projects, which include a lot of computer projects. Because I use the computer a great deal, and I was having troubles.

So things are getting better. A lot better. But, I just spent 2 days with lockers all open and things spread around, trying to find an air leak in the freshwater system. I think part of the difficulty was there was more than one. But late yesterday, it finally seemed to work. So now I’m putting things back where they belong.

Even though the boat is still far more cluttered then she should be, and certainly not as clean as she should be. I have made huge progress. And that is satisfying.

It was kind of frustrating to work for hours on the freshwater system and still not really have seen any improvement.

So, it felt very good when the pump finally would stay primed. We have a hand pump for the freshwater and because the pump is quite high, the entire system is under partial vacuum. So any leak, lets air and the system and all the water runs back in the tank. Then when you go to pump, you must pump air for a while, and the pump does not work very well until it gets all the air out of the system. I’ve been putting up with that since March 2. But a couple days ago I decided to fix it. But quickly I discovered that what I thought would be a one hour job, became a two-day job. Life on a boat.

Emotionally, I get better every week on the average. But I was watching a movie recently that ended up with them playing the song, “You’ve Got a Friend”. There are various lyrics. Here is one:

It brought back a flood of memories of a wonderful friend, for which I am eternally grateful. But, the end of a ho-hum movie, became pretty emotional and introspective. It certainly pushed a button.

Several times since Janet left us, I have met people who have been married, but never had what I would call a very happy relationship. That is the only yardstick they know. They assume everyone experiences the same. So I am reminded how lucky I am.

I try, as best I can, to explain to them that, I completely understand that your mileage may vary. We are all different. We all live in different environments. Have different stimuli. Different problems to solve. But, not to make you feel bad, but I had a fantastic relationship for almost 33 years in a really good friend for some years before that. And I have a lot of really good friends still, and plan to meet a lot more.

So, I hope that these people that have not, in my opinion, had much fun so far, can soon have as nice a time as I have.

And, I am of an age, where I know a lot of people, who have been through far worse that I have on the subject of losing their loved one(s). But Janet and I went through was certainly a Nightmare, with a capital N, but, it sure could of been a whole lot worse. As so many have experienced. So, I’m very lucky there also.

About 30 or 40 years ago there was a pretty lame cops and robbers show on TV. But they did have some good lines once in a while.

One of the young heroes had just gotten pretty banged up in a fight or a car wreck or some sort of calamity. He looked pretty battered, and he was walking back into the police station. His boss spotted him and in genuine concern said, “How are you feeling?”

He dryly responded with the question, “Compared to what?”

I thought that an interesting reply. Compared to what could’ve happened, Janet and I were fantastically lucky. Even in the worst parts.

As a result of knowing her, I had close to 40 years of predominantly wonderful experiences. So, I prefer to be happy about that, rather than sad that she is gone. That sadness would be an easy bottomless pit to fall into. So I make a concerted effort to concentrate on the good stuff.

I’m very happy to report that usually that works.

Also, I think I will post this same message on my blog. Several people say they would like to hear more about how I’m doing. More info than just I am fine.



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