February found me traveling home for my visa visit, seeing friends and family, and celebrating some family birthdays. My sister, Missy had a big one, but I won’t tell you how old she is. Let’s just say she’s younger than me, (isn’t everyone) and I’m 52… My mom and I celebrated her 80th a couple of weeks early, and we wined and dined to our hearts’ content. I worked on renewing my master’s license, doing taxes, and checking in with my doctor. All was good with the world, and the IRS decided to begin refunding me some of the way-too-much money they took the previous year. Oh! And the best thing was replacing my stolen SUP with a nice, new ULI 12’6″. Thank you, IRS!! I couldn’t wait to paddle her!
Once back in La Paz, Willow was good, as were my monsters. Until I noticed Makani gimping on one of his back legs. See my last post. THAT was a fun few days, but it was good to finally have him back to his normal butthead-ness. At the same time, a wonderful friend to everyone in La Paz, John, had a horrific injury to his left leg. He was performing a valiant and much-needed rescue of a boater who had been tossed out of a large and powerful RIB with a 60hp engine. As the boater was grabbing for whatever he could to prevent his unscheduled exit, he unfortunately grabbed the throttle lever, flooring the engine, which perfunctorily ejected him from the RIB. The RIB then proceeded to travel at high speed and tight circles since the boater hadn’t secured the kill switch to his wrist. John was able to rescue the man from the water using his small inflatable and small engine, and was filmed trying to leave the area. But the now unattended RIB, in Christine-like fashion, seemed to literally chase the smaller dinghy down, again and again, colliding with it, running over it, and throwing John and the rescued boater into the water. This happened numerous times. During two of those collisions, the rapidly revolving prop made contact with John’s left foot and leg, inflicting terrible damage. A local panguero was finally able to rescue John and take him to the beach. An ambulance was called and John went pretty much straight to surgery. He was able to call Jeanne Walker from Eagle, who accompanied him to the hospital. An hour or so later, amputation was recommended, as the facility, the best in the region, was unable to effect the repairs necessary. John opted to try to get to the US and to try and save his leg. After much work, many phone calls, and the expertise of numerous medical professionals, John ultimately chose to amputate. He had gotten a nasty infection, and the rebuilding of his foot and lower leg would entail dozens of surgeries and years of therapy. Tom, Jeanne’s husband, held down the La Paz fort while Jeanne held the indians at bay up in San Diego. After John was discharged from the hospital, Marilyn and Kim from TechsMex and Cross Marine, respectively, organized an outstanding evening that included a raffle, ‘garage sale,’ and a silent and not-so-silent auction. A good time was had by all, and some good fundage was raised on John’s behalf. Heal up there well, John!
At the end of February, as previously mentioned, was my mom’s 80th birthday. My sister Missy and her husband Andrew sponsored a family gathering up in a cabin at Lake Arrowhead. Being a lovely and basic cabin, with no tv, my family had a great time enjoying each others company by playing games, talking, taking long walks, and having a restful weekend. Mom LOVED it, and what a concept. None of the modern contraptions to distract one from the simple joys in life: each other.
I had given Mom some plane tickets to visit La Paz once again for her birthday, and we were discussing possible dates over the phone a few days later. A couple of hours later, she called me and said she had a question, but I had to promise not to do anything about the question. I knew we were in trouble. Mom asked me for the signs and symptoms of a fractured hip. What the…? She explained she had tripped on a blanket and fallen hard, but was able to crawl to the living room and haul herself up onto the couch where her phone was. Eventually she went to the ER with Missy and my brother, Mark, following. There she learned she had fractured her pelvis, and was in renal failure. Holy cats!
After her discharge from the hospital, she was transferred to a rehab facility to get her back on her feet. I flew home to help out there since Missy and Mark needed to work, and it was really good to have someone being a squeaky wheel, though a nice one. After a few hiccups, Mom was discharged, and is now staying with Mark and his wife, Melanie, for a few weeks. Once I’m back in the hood with Willow, we’ll get Mom back to her own home, with a few improvements thrown in.
What does this mean? I’m heading up the coast of Mexico and California to Ventura, where I’ll be keeping Willow for the rest of the year. I’ll be down in San Juan Capistrano to help Mom get all dialed in, and then it’ll be Ventura, preparing Willow for next year’s sail to Hawaii. Standby for future posts about the bash!