While the Kindred Spirit hibernated for the winter, we found plenty of other things to do, although the winter of 2022-2023 will rank very low in my list of winter memories. The weather was mostly dismal – chilly, gray, windy, rainy and very little snow. Snow is what makes a New England winter special and we just didn’t get much at all.
We enjoyed time watching sporting events – our grandchildren, not pro or college sports. Dare I confess we aren’t sports fans??? ESPN means nothing to us. We sometimes catch the last 5 minutes of the Superbowl or March Madness and feel quite fulfilled with just that. But watching the grandchildren? Now that is fun!
Halloween is a favorite holiday among kids. Here is all seven of the grandchildren in their assorted disguises.
In early October we made a road trip to visit Sam and Kayda in Maine.
Sam and Kayda volunteer at the Coastal Maine Gardens in Boothbay. That could be an entire blog post all on its own. Even in October, the 300 acres of gardens and natural spaces are a delight to explore. We focused our visit on the Guardians of the Seeds, magical, mysterious giant recycled wood troll sculptures created created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. I’ve never seen nothing quite like this.
A “boating” event in December caught our eye – the Coronet, 1885 133-foot luxury schooner and the last of the Gilded Age yachts, was to be moved from IYRS in Newport to Mystic Seaport here in Connecticut for a three-year restoration. The Coronet is a rare survivor of that time, the Gilded Age. We have a fondness for the Coronet because we first saw her back in the late 1990’s- early 2000’s. At that time you could actually go onboard and wander all around the old yacht, unsupervised. I’ve already written about IYRS, International Yacht Restoration School founded in 1993 and the Coronet in 2019 blog post about our 25th wedding anniversary visit to Newport so I won’t repeat myself.
We called Marcia and Dan to join us and watch the Coronet be brought up the Mystic River. On a chilly early December day we virtually followed the tugboat that would bring the Coronet to Mystic on Marine Traffic so we could time our arrival. Moving the Coronet from Newport to Mystic was not a simple project. 1) dismantling the building that housed the Coronet in Newport, 2) lifting the yacht with a 1000-ton floating crane and 3)moving it to a dock near the IYRS facility, and finally 4) the 8 hour journey from Newport to Mystic through the bascule bridge to the Mystic Seaport Museum.
Which brings us to the Christmas holidays, always a special time with family and friends. Alas, no white Christmas. Maybe next year.
We held the second annual “Gingerbread House Cousins Sleepover Weekend.” Caleb, Ceci and Addie spent the weekend here with us.
Amidst all of these happy occasions, there was a sadness through the winter for all of us. My mother suffered a stroke in early November and passed away in late February. Those four months were difficult but she is at peace now. The sadness is accompanied by the knowledge that I am fortunate to have had both of my parents for 90 years each.
We ALL know how Al spends winters working on our boat(s), happily freezing his ___ off while fixing, remodeling, recreating, rejuvenating, and just general maintenance on every boat we have ever had. Our Kadey Krogen is in such good shape that there isn’t a lot to do anymore, which strikes fear in my heart. Why? Because once Al is finished with his ‘watsoning”, the boat is usually sold and we get another fixer upper. He has promised that this Kindred Spirit will really be our last boat. Keeping him busy was not a problem this winter – a new kitchen for the house in Milford. It was quite the project, small, but challenging AND it kept Al busy from January through March.
The months passed quickly, spring arrived (sort of) and it was time to celebrate Al’s birthday. He does not like to acknowledge his birthday anymore, but with the help of the kids and grandkids, we were able to happily surprise him with a birthday brunch.
Time to get that boat ready to launch!!