Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bruces Story - Chapter 33

When Bruce was discovered, it was really quite by accident. The helicopters had been concentrating on the Amazon riverbanks. But when they saw a glimmering light from beyond their normal purview, they sought it out. Unfortunately the first time they saw it they were not able to hone onto it. The second time was the same, but the third time they were successful in locating where the signal came from. They managed to shine a beam down and therein found Bruce. Unfortunately they had been so far out of their realm of normal charter that they had not identified the exact location of the island where Bruce was found. 

Joe and Matt were recruited into the recreation of Bruce’s location and all of the charts, graphs and location points were identified for the night in question. The coordinates were obtained and Bruce decided that he wanted to go back and find his mother. That was really his only hope at finding out his history as well as Monica’s.

The team decided that it would invest one day to search the coordinates and see if they were indeed the island Bruce had been stranded on for seven years. The helicopter took off right before dawn and made the trip to the location indicated. Once they were above the landmass Bruce and Matt launched them out of the helicopter towards the island.  Once on shore Bruce tried to get his bearings and determine if this was in fact the correct island. Looking towards Matt he asked, “How long ago did you rescue me?”

Matt thought about it and answered, “I think it has been over six months, but certainly not a full year.”

“What month is it now?” Bruce asked.

“August 2000.”

“Wow!” Bruce exclaimed. That means it’s been nine months since I was here. I wonder if any of my markings are still intact.”

Matt asked, “Does anything look familiar to you?”

“Not really.”

The two men had brought enough gear with them to spend a week on the island. The communication device between Joe and Matt had been set up and Joe would check on the two men three times a day.

Bruce led the way to where he thought he had set the fire those many months before.  By the end of the second day, after many hours of walking, Bruce thought the expedition to be hopeless. But as the sun rose on the third day and the men turned the corner, they saw what looked like the remnants of Bruce’s shelter tucked way into the cove.  They apprehensively approached it and once entering the tiny enclave Bruce ascertained that it was indeed his. This discovery turned Bruce’s doubt into hope.

That night, the two men crept to the other side, where Nicole had last been seen, to see if there was any sight of the tribe or Nicole. The first night proved futility as no one appeared; however on the second night a group of people appeared on the beach, as Bruce had seen in the past, and started dancing and singing. Bruce was disappointed as there was no sign of Nicole.

Quietly following the natives back from the beach Matt and Bruce advanced to their home camp. Bruce was amazed at the structures and civilization that lay in front of him. He had expected some sort of primitive civilization; but what he saw was houses, roads, gardens and structure.  This was definitely not a primitive or temporary society. Although the dress was primitive, the people did not appear to be.

Uncertain of their next move, the two men stayed on the periphery and just observed. This was their fifth day and they needed to make contact and get back to the pickup point within two days.  The next morning Bruce saw a woman make her way to the water near the center of the village. It appeared as if this area was set aside for bathing and washing. Bruce recognized his mother immediately, but he could not comprehend that she was carrying a baby. Was she watching someone else’s child or was this her own?

Sunday Journal 7/24/16

I have come to many conclusions this week:

1.  If people are reading this blog they are not commenting - and that's ok
2.  I have to appreciate all that I have and stop worrying about the future.
3.  My life is much better than others and I should be grateful
4.  My job is just that - a job! A means to an end and I should not get persoannly involved in it.
5.  Destiny has a way of proving itself.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bruce's Story End of Ch 31 and Chapter 32

“Bruce,” Lyle said, “It’s critical that you tell us what time you left, what day it was and which port you sailed out of.”

“I know for a fact that it was the 14th of July, 1992; and we left out of Galveston. As for the time we left I’d have to guess and say around 11:00 A.M. I remember thinking life was good and nothing could be better than sitting on a boat with my family and enjoying the views. But that didn’t really last very long. It seems like we lost power the next day and just started drifting. I remember my father saying that someone would come looking for us soon and that we would be missed.”

Lyle responded, “Great! That’s where we will start then. Stuart, I need you to pull the current charts for the Galveston area beginning second week in July 1992 and then move slowly through the Gulf of Mexico. If the boat lost power within one day and drifted, I doubt it even managed to get to the Atlantic.”

“Bruce, do you have any idea how long you drifted before the storm hit?” Monica asked.

“I remember that it started off as just part of the adventure. We were swimming and fishing and eating as if we were on a vacation; but after a week of that dad realized that no one was coming and he suggested we start rationing our intake. I have to say that we drifted for close to two months.  The weather had definitely started to turn and days were getting shorter; but I’m sorry, I can’t give a definitive answer.”

Stuart chimed in, “Not a problem, I’ll look at storm activity for September and October 1992 after we plug in the currents.”

“How big was the boat?” Lyle asked. “That’ll give us a better idea of how much damage the currents could do.”

“It was around thirty feet, I think.”

Monica chimed in, “It was thirty two feet long.”

All heads turned her way. “How do you know that?” Stuart asked.

“I asked the charter company. I also found out that they’d recommended sending a seasoned sailor along and your father refused,” Monica aimed her response towards Bruce.

“That makes no sense to me,” Bruce said. “As far as I know he had never been on a boat before in his life. He told us that he knew how to commandeer the boat and it was as easy as driving a car. He had taken a course on sailing and it was just common sense. I had no idea that he turned down an experienced sailor. That seems rather odd to me.”

Lyle looked towards the siblings and said, “This is going to take a couple of hours for us to pull charts, currents, storms and geography. Do you want me to come find you when we get it together?”

Bruce nodded, “Yeah that would be great; thanks Lyle.”

Chapter 32

Monica and Bruce headed towards the deck in silence. Bruce leaned against the rail and stared off into the distance. All he saw were riverbanks and trees; lot of them. Every so often something would come to the surface for air and then disappear. The landscape had an eerie feeling about it as if death was just around the bend.  Monica was also examining the riverbanks, but her mind was focused on what lay beneath the water.

She’d told Bruce the purpose of the expedition was to study and chart indigenous tribes, and that was mostly true. Her goal however was to study the life in the water. Her Marine Biology studies had led her to seek out the lesser known species that inhabited the earth’s waterways. That was how she was given a government grant, but what she had said about her mother funding this was also true. When Amanda discovered ‘Sam’ was missing she became frantic, calling her children to come home immediately. Monica had been in Florida looking for a job and Jack had been in Oklahoma working in the oil fields.

They spent about a month investigating the comings and goings of Sam Patterson. What they discovered changed their lives forever. Sam Patterson did not have a job, he did not have clients and he had been lying from the beginning. It turned out he was a successful grifter, managing to con many people out of large sums of money. As soon as a con was completed he would come home and then go work on another mark. They discovered this when they put an ad in the local, state and national papers with a picture of him and the caption, ‘Do you know this man?’

The first response to come back was from the actual charter company. They not only knew him, but wanted him for stealing a boat of theirs. Digging into that more they learned what size boat, where it was taken from and when it was stolen. Amanda was obviously in denial as she knew that her husband would never steal a boat. She just figured they had the wrong man.

Then more and more responses came in, all with the same story. They knew that man. Each one identified him with a different name and told a very similar story. He had entered their lives looking for work and as they got to know him they found how easy it was to talk to him. They would tell him their life stories, their joys, their worries, their problems and all their personal information. Soon thereafter he told them he had a family emergency and had to go back home to California. A day or two after he left all of them discovered that he’d wiped out all of the family savings and any other assets they had. He had even managed in some cases to get his name on the property deeds and then put massive liens on the property.

The response that came back that was the most disturbing was from a family in Nebraska who claimed that man was their son-in-law. Amanda lost it. She had learned in a very short time that the man she married was not really the man she knew at all.  He had been lying to her since the day she met him and that their life together was a sham. She also found out that he had another family and he had stolen people’s life savings. How could she have been so blind? She wanted answers and the only to give them to her was missing.

Monica and Jack became worried for her well-being and that of their new baby sister. The two of them started with the charter company and gathered as much information as they could. The boat had a GPS system that was attached to the radio but it had been disabled on July 15, 1992. That was where their journey began. Jack was an engineer and he tried to reverse engineer the steps that boat had taken. It led him back to Galveston. Between the two of them they looked at maps and charts and tried to figure out where a man on the run would hide with a boat. Their best guess was that he would try to make it to South America.

Monica did not take long before she had submitted a grant to the United States Oceanography society seeking funding and equipment to identify living species indigenous to the Amazon River basin. There had not been any research recorded from that area in over seventy-five years and the society gave freely. She hired the best crew available and set off on their journey on May 31, 1995.

It took almost six months for her equipment to get to the mouth of the river. They had left from Galveston, as her father did, and traveled through the Gulf of Mexico into the Caribbean Sea and down the eastern most portion of South American until hitting the Amazon. All the while she had been sending her helicopter team out to take topographical images. She could see where marine life was residing, as well as if there were any ships in the area.

By the summer of 1996 Monica’s exploration team was doing what they had set out to do. They were charting the Amazon, sending cameras into the water to identify new species and sending the helicopter up for imaging. The Amazon is over four thousand miles long and the goal was to complete the task by June 1, 2002.

Sunday Journal July 17

I am trying to figure out how to put into words the week I had.

I always enter my work week with an air of positivity for a good week. That was shattered within the first two hours of my day. I was asked to go into my bosses office where he then spent 45 minutes telling me that I was aggressive, liked to be the center of attention, was feared by my teammates and they all were happy to see me leave at the end of the day. Even writing this now is giving me that far away feeling. Was he describing me?  I think not!  ANYONE that knows me knows I would rather blend into the wall than be noticed. I run from a fight...... Then he proceeded to tell me that it was because all Jews are raised from a very young age to be competetive.  EXCUSE me, when did it become alright to bring up religion in a work conversation? And who told you I was raised as a Jew?

The week then went into auto-pilot - I didn't voice an opinion about anything, but that didn't stop him from finding fault with me on Friday morning as well.

I would love to go to HR, but he and the HR manager are buddies and it would turn into a he said/she said. SO I no longer have any stress about work - I really don't care.  I will appear everyday, do my job and tolerate this bully.

I hope your week was better :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Positivity on Monday

As the second half of 2016 is under way - I am renewing my pledge for positive words.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bruce's Story Chapter 31

“It took Mom about three weeks to begin to worry; after all Dad had been known to disappear for long periods of time before and it didn’t alarm her. But when she couldn’t get a hold of him before the birth she knew something had happened.” Monica said, tears welling up in her eyes. “I had never seen her so despondent before and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I had just moved back into town after getting my degree. I had gone to school in Florida and really hadn’t been around for a while.”

Bruce asked, “So this was the summer of 1992?”

“Uh-huh,” Monica nodded.

“Okay,” Bruce continued, “What happened when he didn’t show up for your mom at the hospital?”

“She sort of freaked out. First she was forty four years old and there were complications during the pregnancy and with the birth itself. She ended up going in to labor while the baby was in a breach position and had to have a Caesarean section to deliver. Due to her age, she ended up in the hospital for a full week. Every day she sank deeper and deeper into a depression as dad never called or showed up.”

“This is really strange,” Bruce interrupted. “We were on a year long voyage. He had to know that your mom was pregnant. He had to know he was going to miss that birth, unless, “Bruce stopped mid-sentence.”

“Unless what?” Monica queried.

“Unless he had no intention of missing the birth at all.”


“Think about it this way Monica. Here is a man that has been living a lie for what? Most of his life? For all we know there are other Patterson families out there. If he could pull off two what is to say that he couldn’t pull off three or four?”

“Bruce, you don’t really believe that do you?”

“Honestly, I have no idea what to believe anymore. I thought he was the greatest guy in the world, but now I don’t even know if I even knew who he was. How am I supposed to know if that ‘twenty-fifth anniversary excursion’ was nothing more than a way to dispose of one family?”

“You can’t be serious,” Monica said.

“Why not? How many boats run into trouble within the first year of an expedition and also lose all radio connectivity?  What if he planned it from the beginning? He sabotaged the boat. He disabled the radio. Problem was he hadn’t planned for the storm.”

Monica shook her head in disbelief, “I cannot believe that of the man I knew.”

“Yeah, but did you really know him at all?” Bruce asked, “Was he there for you whenever you needed him? Was he always bringing home presents after a long trip? Did you ever see where he worked? All of those questions are now the only thing I think about. But I still want to know how your mom figured it out.”

Monica’s green eyes glared at Bruce. “You sound just like him!”

“Is that a good thing of a bad thing?”

“I really don’t know anymore.” She answered as tears slid down her cheeks. “How do I justify that I had a father that I loved and adored and now I find out he wasn’t who I thought he was.”

“I don’t think justification is required. WE didn’t do anything wrong. He did. Now I just want to find out as much as I can. Is it possible to go talk with your mom?”

“I don’t know,” Monica replied.

“Is it possible to go search for mine?” Bruce asked.

Monica’s head jerked up. “Do you think she knew?”

Bruce shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I think she had her suspicions.”

“Come on,” she said to Bruce, “We’re going to the map room.”

Monica and Bruce entered the room and startled both Stuart and Lyle who had been combing over a particular map. “What can we do for you?” Lyle asked.

Monica said, “I want to pull out a blank chart of a course from Texas to Bermuda, add in storm activity in August of 1992 and try to retrace the course of the lost ship.”

Stuart responded, “We have done that several times.”

“I’m aware of that, but we never had a participant in the activities join in charting.” Looking towards Bruce she added, “Bruce we really need you to try and remember all the details from seven years ago. Nothing small should be left out.”

The four of them sat around a very large table and started to work.

Sunday Journal

What a difference a year makes:

Bumper crop of apples coming:

Front yard actually looks like my kind of garden!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Welcome Summer

Happy 4th

Sunday Journal 7/3/16

2016 is one half over  - - Seriously?
This has been a mixed bag of blessings year.
Starting it off with the goal of staying positive had to be foresight on my part, as that attitudinal change has been what has kept me afloat for the past two plus months.

Work is ...... well it's work. It could be worse, it could be better - but no need dwelling on that.

Home is good - not great as I had hoped, but we're working on it.

Hope you all have a safe 4th!

Bruce's Story Chapter 30

Bruce went back to his cabin and paced back and forth wondering how to make sense of any of this. He pulled out a piece of paper and started jotting down notes.

Sam/Nick Patterson                             Born 1947
            Married Amanda                     March 1, 1965
            Married Nicole                        July 15, 1967
Monica Patterson                                Born 1969
Bruce Patterson                                   Born 1970

The current year was 2000 and as far as he knew his mother never knew about his father’s secret. But then all of the arguments began to make sense; as well as what his mother said to him when she was in and out of reality on the beach. She said, “? I swear that man loves traveling more than he loves his family. I’m sure he’s keeping another family somewhere, do you know who they are?”

Had she always known? And if she did why didn’t she do something about it. That led him straight back to Monica. She said they’d been sent by her mother; that meant that Amanda had to know. But how long had she known? What else did she know? How could his father still be his father if he had two separate families?  Was Monica an only child?

Sleep did not come easily that night and when he did sleep he had dreams about his father and mother and being torn apart. There were dark places and heavy waves and arms flailing about. He woke up covered I sweat, shaking his head trying to get those images out of his mind. Going back to sleep was not an option so he wandered around the decks looking at the dark in the distance and wondering where they really were and why they were there.

Morning came and Monica sought out Bruce. They again went into her office and continued the discussion. “I am assuming you have a lot of questions about the information that was dumped on you yesterday,” Monica said, giving her half-brother a slim smile.

“I do,” Bruce acquiesced.  “First I would like to know if you are an only child.”

Monica chuckled, “That would never have been my guess for your first question. And the answer is no, I have a sister and a brother.”

“Do they know the whole story?”

“My sister does not and my brother is on the ship with us.”

Bruce stared at her wide-eyed and asked, “Jack?”

Monica nodded and said, “He did a great job of helping you speak again and that’s not bad for kid that barely finished college.”

Bruce nodded in agreement. “Does anyone else on the ship know the truth? I mean, why you’re really out here, wherever that is.”

“No, the part about us charting unknown land masses is not the truth; we are actually charting and mapping indigenous tribes up the Amazon. Matt and Joe circle in different areas for a bit of time, report back what they find and then Lyle and Stuart mark the maps accordingly. Steve was brought on board because we knew that if we needed medical help going back to the mainland would take too long and he was up for the adventure. We are being paid very well for this excursion.”

“Then how and or why did you find me when I was stranded nowhere near this area?”

“You actually were semi close to the mouth of the river, as the crow flies. The island you were found on is somewhere south of the Caribbean and North of South America. We actually have not been able to relocate it.”

“Are you trying?”

Monica gave him that crooked smile again and said, “Yes, we are. If at all possible I would like to reunite you with your mother and have our mothers meet. I believe they will have a great deal to talk about.”

“You said,” Bruce started, “That your mother knew. How long has she known? And where is your sister?”

“My sister is at home with my mother. She was an unexpected gift that arrived one month after your family set sail.”

Bruce’s mouth opened in surprise. “You mean, you’re saying, are you telling me that you have a sister that never met her father? That your mother has two full grown children and one baby?”

“Yes,” Monica answered. “And as far as how long she’s known, I’m not sure. But when the baby came and Dad was nowhere around she began digging for answers.”