Thursday, July 05, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
We have just returned to Atlanta where our latest craziness proceeds. This monstrous creature is the 34 foot 1994 RV which we have purchased with Maria's parents for a road trip to Alaska. It will take several months for us to make the five thousand plus mile trip to Alaska, tour the wonders, and get ourselves back. The "Big Rig", as Vinnie calls it (or "Bubba" as it is affectionately named by Maria's parents) is in good shape and we are getting ready to rumble down the road. Watch out.
Not only did Norah develop before our eyes, we watched Chiara and James change too. Their expressions of fatigue eased and they became more and more the masters of bath time, meals, and baby comforting. Years ago we had a glimpse of their parenting talent when they nurtured us, the feckless, during our visit to China. They translated, guided, and reassured us; an experience which should be helpful when Norah enters kindergarten.
Chiara and James gave birth to Norah Claire Hemsley on May 31. She holds a mystery, she is the oldest child and a younger sister. We drove to Iowa city to welcome her a week after her birth and a little over a year since the death of her brother Samuel. At first she was a sleeping, hiccuping, wiggling package, but she quickly showed new talents.
During our first visit in Atlanta we went to a small town in north Georgia, near the Alabama border. At the Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church Vinnie was introduced to Sacred Harp at an all day sing. Those who love the music find it moving and stirring. Unfortunately, some are distressed by its resemblance to loud hollering with disturbing dissonance. It can be a long 6 and a half hours and still dazed, Vinnie is not looking for a repeat performance.
In a fast 4 days of travel we raced just ahead of the heavy weather that would keep other boaters trapped in the Bahama's for weeks. Strong winds and 12 foot seas provided an energetic sail back to Florida on only a scrap of jib. After settling the boat on jacks in the boat yard, we began our rounds of visits, driving to Atlanta, then Maryland, then Virginia, then Atlanta, then Iowa, then Michigan, and then back to Atlanta.
We arrived at Rock Sound for our first, and probably last, visit to Eleuthra. We located several of its prime attractions, the ocean hole pictured here and a liquor store. The store's owner let us hook into his wireless Internet for free and we sat in the grass by the sidewalk. Like most places in the Bahamas, people in the passing crowds stopped to greet us. We emailed everyone that we would return to the states in 3 - 4 weeks. Walking back, however, we realized that life was waiting for us on the other side of the stream and it was time to head home. We organized, pulled up anchor, and staged ourselves for the long trip back.