Heart of Gold

October 2012

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Before I start our log for the first time again after so many years I would like to say a few words about my mom. You can skip past this part if you like. It is of a personal nature and nothing to do with the boat. I have spent the last two years with her in Florida. I was grateful and lucky to be able to do so. It was with the support of Greg and my children who went above and beyond the call of duty. I was able to learn so much about my mom that I never knew before and I would recommend to anyone who has a lonely mom to spend as much time with her as you can. It is something that will be a great reward to you and much appreciated my by your mom. It was an honor to me to be able to take care of her for the first time in my life. She had always taken such good care of me and was always in my corner even when I didn't deserve anyone in my corner. She taught me how to make beautiful Ukrainian pysanky and she inspired me to make the next one better than the last. One of the funny things I learned about her was that she used to spin flax when she was a little girl. All the little girls in the village would spin flax and then they would take their product to the only woman who had a loom and she would then make it into fabric for everyone. She and I enjoyed many days together going out to eat with friends or just us two, picking grapefruit, oranges, and lemons from her trees and putting puzzles together. She loved her home in Florida, it was her dream house. I was glad to be able to make it possible for her to stay there until the end. I wish I could have done more but she really didn't want anymore, all she wanted was to be in her home. She was a fragile, soft spoken, gentle woman who loved flowers and puzzles and old TV shows and funny movies. She made most of my fancy dresses, from 8th grade graduation to several proms. My mom had an extremely difficult life until she came to the United States. Most people would think her early life in the United States was difficult but she and my dad thought they were in heaven and had it made. Like my dad used to always say, "I've got the world by the tail and I'm swing'in it." Becoming citizens of the United States was one of their greatest achievements and they appreciated every minute they were here. I miss my parents in the worst way and I can't tell you enough how glad I am I spent as much time with them in their last years. They had done so much for me and I was glad to finally be able to do something for them. My mom died February 4, 2011 and it was devastating for me. Mostly due to the circumstances under which she died. I wish I could have done more to protect her and honor her last wishes. It was out of my hands and that will always be one of my greatest regrets and sadnesses. I miss her terribly, I miss both my parents. I also discovered a new respect and appreciation for my own children. For the first time in my life they were taking care of me. My husband, Mary and Philip surrounded me with protection and love. I could not ask for a better family than the one I have. As a parent I always worried if I was doing the right things with my kids and it became obvious to me during this terrible time that we must have done almost everything right. I also realized that my parents were in my corner even in death, due to their generosity in life. They left me with great friends in Mykola Sarazynskyy and his family with whose support, love, and encouragement was greatly comforting. The comfort I found with their neighbors in Florida, especially Jean Stephens from across the street who helped me get through this terrible time and has continued to be a good friend to me.. Now Greg and I are free to go and enjoy ourselves and know that both our kids are on the road to wonderful lives of their own. So we are moving on to the next chapter, with the support of family and friends and hearts filled with wonderful memories and a future filled with new stories to share.



November 2012


Thanksgiving in St. Thomas with our family and friends.

We were the first to arrive on St. Thomas on November 20th. We had a few technical difficulties at the airport but it all worked out just fine. Some of our luggage arrived before we did but we did locate it and then the car we reserved had been in a wreck so they gave us a smaller car. But at least we had a car. It was good to see Mary again. She could not meet us at the airport but she stopped by our house after work. It was so good to see her. We were so grateful for her. She had stocked our house with food and drinks before we got here and made sure it was all ready for us. What a great kid. Our first night here was wonderful and our first visitor was interesting. The next day Mykola, Tania, Olesia, and Taras arrived. They arrived after 4 p.m. and we visited a short time before we headed to town for Mary's birthday party. There was dancing, Greg and Ron had some deep conversation, Mary, Mykola and the kids were having fun. Mary and Tania were glad to see each other again and everyone seemed to have a great time. Mary looked like a beautiful cupcake in her great dress. Mykola and Olesia were having a great time. It is so good to see him, Tania and the kids again. Mary was enjoying a dance with Taras and a drink at the bar with Olesia. Mary's 28th birthday was a great one. I was so glad to be able to spend it with her. It is good to be here with everyone. I wish Philip could have been here but he will be here on Saturday.

Thanksgiving Day was great. Mary, Tania and I ended up going to the grocery store to get last minute items for supper. We stopped my Mary and Dana's house to pick up a few things and I don't think Tania wanted to leave. . . ever. The view from Mary's balcony is spectacular. She wakes up to see Megan's bay every day. Tania loved the pink and white flowers and the cactus. But she really flipped when she saw the avocados growing on the trees. We got back to our house and started to furiously cook like people possessed. Mary quarterbacked the whole thing. She was great at multitasking. The only recipes we had were on Mary's phone. She was reading instructions to us from her phone while answering her phone and giving driving instructions to her friend. Everyone was working hard but had time for a photo op. Mary outdid herself when all was done. We ate our Thanksgiving dinner out on the deck facing the ocean. My plate of food looked great but Mykola's plate won the prize. He truly enjoyed his Thanksgiving dinner. We all did.

Black Friday was even great. Mykola fixed us all a wonderful breakfast and then he, Tania and the kids went to the beach and Greg and I stayed at the house and did nothing but relax. We took a dip in the pool and just enjoyed the day. Greg got a photo of an iguana up close and personal. He also snapped a bird and then spotted another iguana. When they came back from the beach Olesia and Taras jumped into the pool and their parents relaxed. The kids were trying out some tricks. Olesia can float in mid air and tip toe on the mat. Taras had his own trick.

Saturday Mykola and his family went to Secret Harbor beach for some swimming. Greg and I went to the airport to pick up my oldest friend from high school, and by oldest I don't mean she is old. Helen and I attended St. Basil's Academy in Philadelphia when we were juniors in high school and have been friends ever since. It was great seeing her again. She has had a tough year also. Her oldest sister who was suffering from lung cancer passed away recently. She was in the hospital in NYC that had to be evacuated during hurricane Sandy. It was a horrible experience for everyone. Helen stayed by her side till the end and has been very supportive of her sister's husband ever since. She is a good person. Instead of going to the house we decided to meet Mary and Myklola and his family at the beach for lunch. It was great. After lunch we went back to the airport to pick up our son Philip. This was going to be a great vacation. It was a great Saturday with everyone finally together. We went back to our house and had a chance to see a wonderful sunset. We had dinner at one of Mary's favorite restaurants, Island View Guest House. They have a wonderful view from there and parking is especially interesting. Dinner at Island View as delicious and Olesia and Taras enjoyed themselves with drinks and ice cream. I was really glad to see Philip and Helen again. We all enjoyed ourselves that night. We got back to the house and saw an almost full moon, it was a good night.