Friday, July 13, 2012

SAYING GOOD-BYE TO MY DAD, BILL BROWN – 12/13/1925 TO 7/07/2012

Bill Brown in cap

A big factor in our recent decision to buy a home base in Diamond Springs, California, was its proximity to my parents, both 86 years old.  After my Dad suffered a stroke three years ago, his health slowly declined, particularly during the past few months.  With the help of hospice, we (my mother, two sisters, and I) were able to keep him comfortable at home, and he passed away in his own bed, as he wished, on July 7. 

One of the biggest accomplishments of my life was a joint venture with my dad: building a houseboat designed to live aboard fulltime.  Daddy had learned carpentry and building from his father in law, sharpening his skills over the years with DIY projects.  I remember him improving every home we lived in as I grew up, always with creativity and attention to detail.  Once he retired, he extensively remodeled two cabins in the California foothills. 

When I approached him about building the houseboat, he listened and considered carefully (as he always did), then agreed.  Little did we know what was to come!  We figured it would take 3 months – instead, it took a year, working long weekends during Sacramento’s blazing summer heat and windy, rainy winter.  It was both a great learning experience and a great bonding experience, and I will always admire (and appreciate) the patience he brought to the task.  We launched on the Sacramento River with a sense of both relief and accomplishment, and it was my cozy home for nine fun years (and where I lived when I met Odel).

Now is a time to be with family.  Scoopy, our motorhome, is in storage while we focus on pulling together furnishings for our new home base and adjusting to the new normal.  Our fulltiming days are over, but our traveling days are not.  As for this blog?  Time will tell whether I pick up the blogging habit again when we resume traveling.  It has been a fun, interesting, rewarding pastime, but not one I will continue when we are stationary.  Thanks for traveling along with us over the years, and happy trails.