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Archive for September, 2010

D dock predaybreak

       I was in my recuperation stage, which only means that I was still living way up in North Naples out in the country back in on two dirt roads…. Where the house I lived in was off a dirt road that was off the dirt road called Rock Road…Most people around here know of the Rock Road.  For some reason it seems like everyone has been there somewhere, or has taken it to somewhere.  All I did was find a beautiful house to live in out there….All new with tile floors, two bedrooms and nothing else around except the main house, and the animals that one could hear in the middle of the night that sounded like you were living in the jungle.  There were wild animals neighbor people had brought in from all over the world, not to mention the wild bore, and the chickens in the barn where I was along with the horses there.  The house had been built for their daughter who did not move into it, so special care was taken in the building of it.

    I loved being out there and I had started a garden with some organic tomato plants before I had finished radiation.  I never got to eat any fruit from those plants because as I finished with my treatments and made it to the Neurologist stage I was too exhausted and heavily medicated to do anything but sleep in my chair, watch the animals eat my tomatoes, and get out of my recliner once a day to get some food for myself somehow, unless someone would bring some to me by chance.

   As I progressed into trying to get out of the chair and exercise one whole minute at a time, this would eventually roll in to two minutes and on up until I could last 20 minutes or more.  I had to start playing again but I could not remember my music so I would practice my songs over and over.  I would play them as far as I could remember them until I could get them played all the way through.  Once I remembered them I wrote them down in a book.  Sometimes I would write only the words because the music was complicated and I had remembered it and gotten it into my head again.  Then for some of the songs I wrote down all the chords and the words so I would not have to try to remember them again.

     Finally I got it together to go back to Goodland and play one day a week.  Before I was ill I had played at Chuckles Pub and Grub ( which was actually called Chuckles Chickee Bar) every Sunday afternoon, and other musicians would come and sit in with me.  It became a very nice jam session.  I was now capable of conducting a jam session again.  I could not carry my equipment but my ex would come and carry my stuff for me for a couple months until I could carry it myself.
     Most of the time my other friends would help me with my equipment at the gig when it was over and I had made some new friends who would also help.
Home in a Fog
        My new sailor friend would say to me, “Do you want to get some food now?” and we would all end up over at the Marco Lodge having drinks and food.
     Sometimes after he took me out to eat, when it was raining my new sailor friend would say to me, “You should not try and drive up across that awful road…. that Immokalee Road to Rock Rd is a death trap.  You can come and stay on the boat.”  And I would take him up on his offer and he would get up and go to work in the morning and let me sleep in.  I was still weaning myself off of some of the very heavy medications which made me so very tired and unable to drink any alcohol at all of course (after surviving all this I did not want my lungs to stop moving or my heart to stop beating due to stupidity).
     It took me six months to get myself off of all that medication they had me taking, but I made it and I was fine….mostly….or at least I had come so far that it seemed like, at this point, I was fine, compared to where I had come from..
      When there is a Tropical Depression that has been named because it has gotten up the strength of 75 MPH, the younger people that live in houses on Marco Island (especially those who work in restaurants and bars), think it is a great time to have a hurricane party.  You see they have to work anyway.  Some people that work in day jobs get to go home and prepare for hurricanes but the crews at bars and restaurants have to be there when the hurricane parties start..
More of the stationary dock
         I always thought of hurricane parties as unnecessary and I would never go because I did not drink.  But this time a hurricane was coming and I had been on a sailboat and was learning how to sail.  And when I was invited to go to a hurricane party at a fellow musicians house with his family and their friends, I went.  Some of the family was at a bar partying and I was at the house with the rest of them.  Then I got a call from my new friend, the sailor.
     He asked me how I was and where was I going to weather the storm.  I was feeding the cat for a friend of mine who was away and she said if there was a storm that I was welcome to go stay in her house.  Well I told my sailor this and then I said but I would rather come and stay on the boat with you.  Now this was certainly shocking news to him because it was very different thinking to believe that anyone would feel safer on a boat than in a house.
     This is the way it looked to me.  I could go to the house all alone for my first hurricane on the island, or I could go to a sailboat with a seasoned sailor who knew what to do….hmmmmm…. Was this really that hard of a decision?…I think not.  I knew that I felt safer with him than by myself….If I had never met him I would have gone to the house of my friend and weathered this new trauma all alone, but I was blessed and did not have to.
         So here we are on the boat and it is raining and pouring and blowing.  As it got later, we talked and discussed the storm, what to do, and played cards.  When it got late enough we laid down in the bed and I went to sleep.  However, he sat up all night, watched the weather and waited so that we would be safe…All he asked, is that if the need be, when he said we have to go that I was packed and ready to go.  To comply, I packed my stuff before I laid down on the bed.
Only part of the dock
         Finally the time came and he said to me, “Kaite, we have to go now.”  Apparently this is all I needed to hear.  He said he had never before, or since, seen me move so fast.  I was up in 2 seconds with my bag in hand and was right behind him, on our way up the companionway through the hatch.
     As we were dismounting the boat, he said to me just come down here to the dock, I’ve got you.  He made this statement because, by now the wind was blowing at 55 mph, the boat was leaning so far to the port side that the floating dock was farther than I could reach with my legs.  We normally dismounted the boat like you would dismount a horse, over the life line to the dock.
         The floating docks (finger piers) we were tied to, led up to the main dock via a ramp securely mounted to each other, but the main dock was NOT A FLOATING DOCK….It was a stationary dock and by this time the tide was so high that the main dock and our feet were under water.  Thank God there was a railing so we could see where to put our feet, and in the middle of the night it was quite dark.
     This was around 4 AM so we drove out of Goodland to Marco Island, and ate breakfast.  By the time we returned to Goodland the water was over the road into Goodland.  We had to drive very slowly through it, as it was deep.  We were in a Ford Explorer so we could attempt this, but behind us was a van which of course did not make it through the deep water and drowned out.
The ramp
        We were the last people to make it back into Goodland before Goodland lost power.  Thank goodness we had eaten by this time. It was time to start our own little hurricane party.  We went right over to Jackie’s Pink House Motel and sat outside with her and the other Goodlanders under cover that joined us in buying up the beer there and drinking it before it got too warm, since we were without electric…This seemed like the only thing to do at this point.
    Most of us were going around to help other people do things like find their belongings when the water started to go down, or put TV’s and such electrical items on the beds and tables so they did not get wet with the water coming into the houses.  Also joining them in helping the people whose houses were on the water sweep the water out of their houses back into the ocean.
     We had at least been smart enough to eat while we could.  Others were scavenging to find food without electricity for the day.  I believe the electric came back on before dark, but when the water went down enough we went back to the boat and cooked because we had an alcohol stove and twelve volt electricity.  All we had to do when the batteries ran down was start the boat and charge them up again.
     I do so love living on the boat.  It has been 6 years already and I have been through almost too many hurricanes to count now, at least 8 that I remember very clearly and I know there were a few blurs.  We and the boat have survived them all.  That says a lot for us.  I think.
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The Cool Manager Shoreigh


    I got there at the usual time for set up, got into my room… and waited for the right time to carry all my equipment into the Tarpon Lodge….and get set up for the gig….I have so much fun with the employees at that place….Everyone that works there is just fun to be around….we have our own rapport, should I say….last month when I played there, the manager and one of the waiters (the manager of the bar) had this conversation between them about me that he did not work on the nights I played but they screwed up and he was scheduled that night while I was playing and they did it with such straight face….and while they were conning me with this, the manager, Shiree, crawled around on the floor behind me and one book at a time took my music books and hid them, she wrapped them in my shawl that had fallen to the floor, and inserted them under the cushion in the chair in the front foyer behind me…..She said later that they thought that I was going to play out of one book that whole night , before I noticed my other books were gone….they waited and waited and waited and finally…..

     And this time I actually had some time to sit down and get rested up from the set up….Then I went back out to the bar to get my equipment turned on and talked with some of the very nice people that were part of the party that was there to get married this weekend….

     The Tarpon Lodge is almost the perfect setting to get married, the sunsets and the beautiful gazebo on the grounds, with the pool and the 5 star food, the fishing guides at the dock….I found out that there were going to be 4 Toms there and one of them was the groom and the bride’s name was Diane…All of a sudden I had an attack of very bad heartburn so I  ordered a dark foamy beer while I was out there getting a sound check, to try and make the heart burn go away.  When I made mention of the heartburn, 3 people at the bar (out of the 5 bar stools there) offered me some of what medications they take for heartburn….it can be so very bad and one should “swallow the camera” as they say, to take care of it so that it does not turn into something worse later on.

     I have been taking a medicine for my stomach for years but the last time I filled my prescription the insurance company said they would not pay for my particular medicine (Aciphex) any more so I now had to call them and find out what they will pay for and get a new prescription…I had forgotten since I am in and out of town so much these days…I finally accepted a purple pill from one of the Toms.  It (or the beer) saved the day.

     Well last night I ended up taking something I think was “THE” purple pill…and it worked so very good…of course I did not know it would work so I had a second dark foamy beer just to be sure I would be okay to sing….A person simply cannot sing with heartburn…way too much pain…

    Much to my surprise, while I was singing a song, I looked up at the end and there stood the Rabbi I recently met, and her husband.   They came to hear me sing.  She said that she would try to, and then all of a sudden there they were.  I was very happy about this because I had committed myself to singing alto in her choir for High Holidays(Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).  This all began because I am working as a personal assistant to a friend of mine a couple days a week who is a realtor going through Chemo’ for her current breast cancer…And she has come to hear me sing many times, and sings very well herself.  She also said to me that I should help them in their choir because they need an alto right now.  I went with her one time to choir practice and worked on my computer while they practiced and while I was there I spoke with the Rabbi and she was such a nice person I decided to sing for her.  Since most of the songs are in Hebrew, the Rabbi had assured me that I was not going to sing anything that was against my own religion, as it was all only in praise of God that they sing their prayers.

     We had a great time that night. The room was packed and except for the fact that the Rabbi and her husband were so upset because the crowd was very loud while I was entertaining them, it was all good.  The Rabbi herself had been an opera singer, (and is also the cantor at the Temple) and knew how hard it was to sing to a room with noise in it, but I am used to it from starting out in Rock and Roll.  I eventually got control of the room even though the audience was so involved with themselves, being wedding people, and it turned out to be a very respectful and appreciative audience when I got done with them.

     High Holidays finally came and I do have to say I had never been in a religious service that lasted more than 2 hours…My first day which ended up being the morning of Rosh Hashanah, because I was booked for an engagement of my own on the evening before, was a four hour service….Well!!…about half way through I asked one of the other women in the choir…”so how long is this service?” and she said, “Oh, eight hours” and kept a very straight face….I laughed it off but I was beginning to wonder…….after a while.

     Then came the time for Yom Kippur.  I was actually going to be in a service that lasted all day.  I had been booked once again the night before, at my gig of half way to St Patty’s Day, and was pretty exhausted for the next day, but I did make it.  This service was 3 hours, then 3 or 4 more hours, and then 3 or 4 more hours.  However the Jewish services always ended in food being served and eaten together, very good food, and with everybody talking to each other it was quite nice.

     I said my goodbyes that day to all my new acquaintances at the Temple, because my commitment was now over, and spoke again with the Rabbi and her husband.  He, himself, was absolutely entertaining.  The Rabbi kept saying things like we will be seeing more of you, and my not understanding why she was saying that, and of course she was explaining that she did not mean she was trying to proselytize, but she would be seeing me, and that she wanted to talk to Judy.  Later upon finding out that they might try to hire me to be an alto in their choir, I felt very honored.  I also felt very honored to have met the Rabbi and her husband and will greatly respect their friendship, and I am quite happy for the education of the Jewish prayers that I have learned to sing.  I have  a special gratitude for the learning of the Hebrew that I now have.  It is a beginning.  I would like to learn more and I would like to learn their numbers system, I believe it is called “Gimatria”…but I have been wrong before (usually only in marriage ha ha)(not my first marriage though).

     The next morning at the Tarpon Lodge eating their exquisite continental breakfast, I ran into the “Tom” who gave me “his” purple pill.  I truly did hesitate to take it the night before because I could find no particular printing on it of any kind, but I was in such pain.  It is odd the things we do, mostly when we shouldn’t.  I later found out, when I called my doctor for a prescription of my own, that it was probably not the purple pill I took.  I mean ‘THE” Purple Pill.  It, I am fairly certain, is something different, but you know what?  The one I have works pretty darn good.


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