This has nothing to do with our year aboard our boat. Or the Great Loop. But, then again, I guess it really does.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there. My mother passed away not terribly long ago and there isn’t a day that still doesn’t go by that I don’t think of her. I have passed on “Grandma Judi” stories abound on the boat, including a lot of stories from when I was growing up on the farm in Wisconsin. And as we walk around all these different places, AJ will occasionally bring up some of them. Like when we see an antique store, he will as “Would Grandma Judi want to go in that store?” And the answer is, of course. It is an antique store and we could never, every pass by one without stopping. Even if it added hours onto our journey.

When we were in junior high, our family hopped in a van with another family. The two mothers were in charge. Two adults, six children in a van. The van had two seats up front and nothing other than a mattress, luggage and books/toys in the back (it was a different, wild world back then!). And we went from New Richmond, Wisconsin to visit our cousins in Seattle, Washington stopping to see major sites along the way. Then on the way back we headed up into the hinterlands of Canada. I have no idea how long we were gone. Seemed like the whole summer.

My mom would come visit me wherever the Army decided to send us. Including exotic locations like Ft. Polk, LA. She came to visit for a week and when she arrived we hugged and she asked if I would get her luggage out of the trunk. When I popped open the back, laying in the back was my brother. She brought him along to surprise me. I’m pretty sure that she put him in the trunk just prior to getting to my apartment, but he may have ridden in there all the way from the airport.

And when Jan and I lived in Germany, she and Jud came over and we travelled through Germany. Then those two left, hopped on a train and headed to Italy where we met them a week later. We thought we were good trip planners, but they stayed in better, cheaper places and found the BEST places to eat. Even today our favorite restaurant in the whole world, ever, was one in Tuscany that we found because of them.

So it appears that my sense of adventure and exploration can be traced back, in no small part, to my mother.

The main reason I write this blog is to watch Jan laugh when she reads the posts. Part of why I write this is to capture what we are doing to save for AJ when he gets older. And part is to provide to our families back at home. And the last reason is to give this to my mother who would absolutely love this trip.

Happy mothers day mom. You were the bravest, best person I ever knew. I miss you and love you.