Burying the Lede. Again.

Picture this: last evening at 5pm…I’m still sick with the flu (but recovering) on the sofa in my flannel jammies, the ones with happy little owls sprinkled all over a turquoise background, drinking ginger tea (I’m always drinking ginger tea lol) and hub calls.

He casually chitchats for a few minutes about how I’m feeling and about the rain we had and then asks me if I’ve checked his email today (I check his email when he’s gone cos he doesn’t have access to it AND because we have no secrets) and I said no, but hold on, I’ll look right now.

I tell him there’s nothing there and he said, oh, I guess they didn’t cc me.

I said, WHO didn’t cc you WHAT?

No response.

Silence.

I start feeling a little apprehensive.

Not for any other reason than after twenty-two years, I think I’ve finally figured out that hub’s silences speak volumes.

Tugboat man-a man of few words-enjoys observing my mind make quantum leaps.

Oh, don’t even tell me, I said. SILENCE. Absolute silence.

AREYOUFLYINGHOMETOMORROWANDYOU’RETELLINGMENOWWW?

His response? Laughing. That’s it. He laughs.

So…boys and girls, after waiting and waiting and waiting, and thinking for sure he’s coming home on Tuesday,  it’s official.

Tugboat man will be home TODAY.

I’ve never met anybody in my entire life that could bury the lede like he does.

Now is the season for miracles and it’s gonna take a miracle to get me ready and to get some food and freshly baked goodies in this house.

Wish me luck, ‘cos I’m gonna need it.


 

BURYLEAD

FYI, if you’re a writer, you know this is how things are supposed to go!

Read about another time he buried the lede (or lead)

 

 

 

Featured image via Google Images by https://talesfromtaughlumny.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/pbear-coming-home1.jpg

This is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife…

My tugboat man departed mid-September for what was supposed to be a six-week assignment.

In the world of the merchant mariner, that’s easy; a piece of cake.

He’s still not home and what’s today’s date?

November 22.

Will he be home for Thanksgiving?

Nope.

Will he be home the week after?

Hopefully, but no guarantees.

Am I complaining?

Only kinda, sorta, cos I’m pretty much used to this by now.

During the first fifteen years or so of our marriage, he worked in our local harbor as a tug captain and also as port captain of a tug company, and then with the downturn in the economy in 2008, he was offered an opportunity to return to his roots of long distance towing.

Not only is he a maritime academy (won’t tell which one) graduate and a high ticket tug captain, he’s a tow master.

Being a Master Towboatman is highly specialized and a difficult and often dangerous job.

Which is why if I don’t hear from him every day, I get a little (OK, a LOT) crazy.

Even though we do have limited satellite email, I haven’t actually SPOKEN to him in a few weeks, but tomorrow he’s going to bring one 800-foot-long barge into a port and exchange it for another one to take offshore and do whatever it is that he does (can’t tell you) and the highlight of my day is a PHONE CALL.

A TELEPHONE CALL.

Which makes me very, very happy!

So, in spite of my bestie not being here on this Sunday where Princess Rosebud (me) can make him his fave buckwheat pancakes, I am very thankful that I’ll be able to hear his voice tomorrow.

Gratitude…Take it wherEVER you can find it.

gratitudetexlagoon

 

My Tugboat Man is Gone and I’m Blue

It seems like I can just copy and paste the same posts because the same things happen over and over again.

It begins…

Tugboat man withdrawals. Cold turkey.

I took him to the airport at 4:30 a.m.

Once again there’s that lonely ride home.

This time he’ll probably be gone for six weeks or so.

Hopefully, but that’s what was supposed to happen last time, and it turned into FOUR months!

And because I try to find silvery and sparkly linings in most difficult situations, I came up with these…

blueskywrds

I pointed my camera straight up because the sky was so blue, more blue than I’ve seen in a long time. Not a cloud in the sky.

And so hot. Record-breaking hot. Drinking ice water all day.

And nope, I can’t go with him, in case you were gonna ask. 

Sky blue, SO BLUE — can you believe this is an un-retouched pic I snapped in our backyard? Kind of heart shaped, can you see it? If you tilt your head just a teensy bit to the left, can you see it now?

blueskythursday2

My old friend, Willie Nelson, singing “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin

how to excite your spouse (or why you men should really listen to us)

What happened in our home a few minutes ago is a perfect example of one of the many differences between men and women and if nothing else, it succinctly illustrates the very real fact that men do NOT listen with their full attention when we speak.

The facts:

I was cleaning the bathroom this morning.

Hub was in the garage.

I walked out to the garage and said to him…

“I need some white caulk”

THAT IS OBVIOUSLY NOT WHAT HE HEARD because his response was, with graphic hand gestures (ahem)…

“I’ve got some right here for you.”

End of story.

My plea to MY husband AND your significant other:

Please pay attention to us so that you will be spared the embarrassment (and disappointment) when you actually comprehend what we’ve said when we talk to you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to CAULK the area around the shower.

Have a lovely weekend.

caulk

Champagne, Cupcakes, and Candles

Let’s never forget to practice random acts of romance, OK?ChampagneCupcakesCandles1Tugboat man had to fly away for a couple of days to attend a biz meeting (not to go out to sea – that’s next week) and I decided to surprise him with a flirty homecoming.

This allowed me time to plan…

Logs are staged in the fireplace, candles are flickering, champagne and chocolate cupcakes are ready to serve; he’s gonna be one very happy hub!

When was the last time you peeled off your sweat pants, got all dolled up, and romanced your significant other?

I’m not talking about a birthday or anniversary or Valentine’s Day —  but for no special reason, just like the good old days when you were courting, when you were that different person. Know what I mean?

If you’re empty nesters like us, there’s really no excuse.

No kids, no school, nothing to interfere with rekindling the flame that brought you together in the first place.

Sadly for us though, his Southwest Airlines flight was delayed almost two hours and he didn’t get home until after midnight and was too exhausted to do much of anything except eat one of the yummy cupcakes.

The beauty of a long term marriage is that we have another opportunity. We’ll try again tonight. There are 15 14 13  12 cupcakes remaining, along with a very chilled bottle of Gruet champs.

Grand Marnier Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes adorned with pretty garden flowers.

champagnecupcakescandles

separated by space and time

5db5e087aa07181994bab5c14a02075a

pinterest.com/frankjklein/heart-chakra-unconditional-love/

separated by space and time

but connected through our hearts

just like the spaces between one word to another

or one sentence to another

we

are

connected.

weareconnected

That’s my secret — or should I say, OUR secret — how we successfully navigate being married to a husband who’s not physically here fifty percent of the year.

Love is timeless

Alone together

Together alone

This.

Love.

Happy ‘cos my tugboat man’s coming home today! Yay!

A Song for You
“But I’ll love you in a place
Where there’s no space and time
I’ll love you for my life”


Versions of “A Song for You”
Which is your favorite?
I think mine is the original by Leon Russell.

Elton John

Whitney Houston
http://youtu.be/7tvxSNyN1ok

Amy Winehouse
http://youtu.be/SX8Sb9zSO1Q

Ray Charles
http://youtu.be/JSlv_n-gBmk

Leon Russell and Friends

twenty years of conversation: the condensed version

This isn’t an especially sparkly or edible post, no mention of retail therapy —  I thought of this as we were driving home from the gym and running errands.

We’ve had pretty much the same exact conversation fourteen billion times over the last twenty-plus years and now we’re gearing up for a long drive up the coast to San Jose for BlogHer 2014, which means we’ll be spending several hours in the car…here is a condensed version of what a lot of our “car” time sounds like.

(Don’t you think it’d be funny to record it and not have to say a thing for the first twenty miles?)

Tugboat man: “Buckle up.”

Me: “Did you bring water?”

Tugboat man: “No, I thought you were going to get it.”

Me: Did you turn the alarm on?

Tugboat man: “No, I thought you were going to do it.”

Me: “I’m cold. Turn the AC up, OK?”

Me: “But don’t open the window. It’s blowing my hair.”

Tugboat man: “Did you see that guy race through the stop sign?”

Me: “It’s only a suggestion, remember?”

Me: “Look at the car next to us. She’s texting. The light’s green and she doesn’t have a clue.”

Me: (In Trader Joe’s) “Don’t talk to me while I’m thinking. ‘Cos you distract me, and I might forget something that I forgot to put on the list that I forgot and left in the car.”

Me: Can’t you walk faster? You are SO slow!”

Me: “What do you want for dinner?”

Tugboat man: “I don’t know, it’s only 9:00 a.m. How about if you ask me after lunch?”

Me: “You just missed the BEST parking spot.”

Tugboat man: Laughing…”Do you have any idea how annoying you can be?

Me: “It’s not as if this is breaking news. I’m the exact same person I’ve always been.”

Tugboat man: “Yes, and you’ve always been annoying.”

Me: “But you love it, don’t lie.”

Tugboat man: “Well, you got me there. But for the love of all that is holy, can you dial it down just a notch or two? Give a guy a break once in while, OK?”

Me: “Well, since you’ve asked so nicely…all right.”

I AM annoying. It’s one of the words that describes me perfectly.

But don’t worry, I’m not ALWAYS annoying, and I am a good traveling companion!

31503209

 

What We Do Is Who We Are. I Think. Well, Maybe.

What We Do Is Who We Are. I Think. Well, Maybe.

Maybe not, ‘cos if that were true, I’d be Eleanor Powell or Ella Fitzgerald and hub’d be Frank Sinatra or Fred Astaire or Sammy D.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Long relationships possess an ebb and flow; that we know.

On any given day, either one of us is the frustrating one to be married to (most often me ha ha). Sometimes we’re on the same path– in sync and cosmically aligned — sometimes we misunderstand cues and hurt feelings ensue.

My tugboat man and I have experienced it all — mostly we’re sailing along on the same course (nautical reference) —  but this past Sunday was a nice and easy day, kind of a quirky series of activities that pretty much defines our relationship in a good way, I think.

After a few days on antibiotics, hub’s up and about, almost recovered from an upper respiratory infection except for a nasty cough that’s stubbornly refusing to disappear.

My recovering invalid requested French toast for breakfast with fruit and yogurt — as much as I throw a certain amount of snark his way, I’m a dedicated caregiver — I learned it all from my RN mom.

Hmm, thought to self: next time he’s sick, I’ll need to remember to wear my mom’s old nurse uniform and that cool hat she wore along with the thick white support stockings and shoes — I love to play dress up. Yes, I never grew up, I know that…

In appreciation for the yummy breakfast, Tugboat Man declared that he would learn to play one of my favorite songs on his ukelele, Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine”.

Kala Concert Ukelele

He brings his Kala Concert Uke when he goes out to sea; it’s the perfect size for traveling.

(BTW, a beguine is a dance.)

That led each of us down a parallel path on You Tube to search for all the different versions we could find.

Sitting side by side on the sofa with our individual laptops, we shared our discoveries, both of us mirroring jaw-hanging-open awe of Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire dancing in Broadway Melody of 1940:

While this may not seem like an overwhelming good time to everyone, when you’re a mariner’s wife, these simple slices of an everyday life  — things you might take for granted under different circumstances —  become more precious and more poignant — and more appreciated.

(Look at me!  A deep thought! Did you think it wasn’t possible? Did you doubt that I could be more than a one-dimensional shopaholic?)

We both agreed that our all-time favorite was performed by Ella Fitzgerald. I can (and do) listen to her over and over:

But Frank Sinatra’s is awesome, too. Throughout the years of his career, he sang it many different ways, and we listened to them all:

And then there’s Sammy Davis, Jr. He’s amazing:

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning.

I guess for us today, what we do IS who we are, and the reaffirmation of us; together, enjoying different interpretations of “Begin the Beguine”, eyes closed, side by side, each of us feeling the haunting lyrics and exotic melody.

Sometimes, just being together is enough.

Whose version do you like?

Begin the Beguine

When they begin the beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender
It brings back a night of tropical splendor
It brings back a memory ever green

I’m with you once more under the stars
And down by the shore an orchestra’s playing
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine

To live it again is past all endeavor
Except when that tune clutches my heart
And there we are swearing to love forever
And promising never, never to part

What moments divine, what rapture serene
Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted
I know but too well what they mean

So don’t let them begin the beguine
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
When they begin the beguine

Oh yes, let them begin the beguine make them play
Till the stars that were there before return above you
Till you whisper to me once more, darling I love you
And we suddenly know what heaven we’re in
When they begin the beguine

When they begin the beguine.

#Ella Fitzgerald, #Frank Sinatra, or #Sammy Davis Jr.

 

Call Him Master! What It’s Like Being Married to a Tugboat Captain

Here in real time, our real life.

Short and sweet, here’s our emails from about an hour ago.

It reveals all you need to know about how we deal with this long distance marriage thing.

You will notice that he is referred to as MASTER. Isn’t that just the funniest thing ever?

That’s what they call the captain of the vessel….Master.

Sometimes I’ll call him “Master” in public just to freak people out.

Email captain

Oh, and he was thanking me for sending him a current weather report. Don’t ask me why he likes whatever forecasting model I use instead of the options he has, but I send him one every day.

And you can tell who talks the most, huh?  This is exactly what we’re like when we’re inches apart as opposed to being separated by thousands of miles.

His word count is four.

Nuff said.

Have a lovely Friday evening, y’all!

When Is A Friend Not A Friend?

Let me ask you a question about friendships…is there a line that can’t be crossed?

What would you do if a friend acted in manner so egregious, so counter to your own value system?

Have you ever said to yourself, I can’t be friends with someone like that, and end the friendship?

It happened to me.

I met her at the gym; she overheard me talking about my obsession with all things Chanel and we became friendly.

My tugboat man coined the phrase “friend not friend” because all we did was shop together. We never went out for dinner as couples and we never socialized together with our husbands. She had been to our house, but had never invited me to hers.

She was a “shopping friend.”

That means we’d meet every couple of weeks or so and drive in one car to a mall, either Fashion Valley in San Diego, or South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

Whoever didn’t drive bought lunch for two; that was a fair trade.

That was the only thing we had in common, even though we learned that our kids attended the same elementary school at the same time.

She’d been a working mom throughout their entire childhood; I’m an ardent advocate for the stay-at-home-mom situation.

She had a tough childhood: was unwanted, abused by a stepfather, and forced to travel around the country with her migrant worker family.

She managed to graduate from college and has been married to the same man for about forty years, the only man she’s ever slept with.

He just happens to be a millionaire, which is an amazing rags to riches tale.

Her inner fortitude and drive to extricate herself from poverty are admirable qualities and I’m sure that somewhere in there is an explanation for the way she acted the last time we spent the day together.

On this particular day, it was her turn to drive. Since she never had new clothes when she was growing up, she became a compulsive shopper, and always bought something, no matter what the cost. I’m more of a browser, and fairly thrifty except for that one (or two) Chanels.

After six hours at South Coast Plaza, we were on the highway heading home.

Looking out of the passenger window, I spotted a little puppy walking in the weeds parallel to the freeway.

I pointed and said, “Oh my gosh, do you see that? Pull over, pull over, there’s a puppy right there. You stop and I’ll run out and get it before something terrible happens.”

She wouldn’t stop.

She would not stop.

She flailed a hand about —  you know, in that way, that universal sign of blasé dismissal — and said, “Oh, someone will help. It’ll be fine.”

“No it won’t. We have to help. We HAVE to. Get off the next exit and let’s go back. ”

She refused to stop the car, no matter what I said.

“How could you say you love animals but you won’t stop to help a creature in dire need of assistance?”

I was powerless. I hate feeling ineffectual, useless, helpless.

I’m sure she endured all that and more growing up with her dysfunctional family but it would seem that she might have felt more of a kinship toward another helpless creature, not apathetic indifference and total lack of compassion.

I was silent for the remainder of the ride.

By the time we got back, it was getting dark. I thought about jumping in my car and driving back to where I saw the puppy but I didn’t even know the exactly where we had been, which is the reason why I hadn’t called CHP or animal rescue. It would have been impossible to locate. All I know is that it was somewhere on the 405 South from Newport Beach.

That was the last time I saw this friend not friend. She went on a vacation soon after that and when she returned, I heard she started going to another gym.

I’m haunted by the vision of that puppy that I couldn’t help.

Of course I couldn’t be friends with someone like that.

Everything I needed to know about her true character was revealed, and for me, that’s a non-negotiable area.

A deal breaker. A heart breaker.

Have you ever had to end a friendship?