Celebrate Day of the Seafarer

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Today is International Maritime Organization’s Day of The Seafarer

“Think of something you own and which came by sea. Whether it’s the car you drive, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the gadgets you use or the furniture you sit on, write it down and post it, adding the hash tag “#thankyouseafarer.” If you can also post a photo or video, even better,” said IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu.

Who doesn’t love bananas? Did you know that your daily dose of potassium was brought to you by a mariner? My own tugboat captain has docked hundreds of Dole banana boats over the years.

How about cars and trucks, marine construction equipment, coal, grain, oil, chemicals, trash, recyclable materials, sand, gravel, and timber?

All brought to you by ships and barges — and tugboats.

Right now my own tugboat man is pulling into a dock. It’s not nearly as easy as parallel parking a car…

His 150 ft. tugboat has a 1000 feet of tow wire pulling a 700 foot barge. Sorta like this, but this is NOT hub’s tug; I just wanted you to have a visual.

What has a the sea brought me?
She brings my tugboat man home safely.

I’m so excited!! It’s been a long six weeks.

Yes, even after twenty years, my heart beats a little quicker, the sun is a little shinier, my heart sings a happier tune — when my tugboat man is home, exactly like the lyrics of my favorite Christina Perri song, “A Thousand Years”

“I have died everyday waiting for you, darling don’t be afraid. I have loved you for a thousand years. I will love you for a thousand years more..”

While I’m baking and cleaning and perfuming and figuring out what to wear for the long drive to the airport, I’ll listen to my favorite songs by Christina Perri:

1. Don’t Count The Miles, Count The I Love Yous”

2.  “A Thousand Years”

 

 

#dayoftheseafarer

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Princess Rosebud and Her Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I will speak in third person, not sure why, but that’s how I’m feeling at this exact moment so that’s how I’ll roll.

Princess Rosebud had a terrible, horrible, no good, VERY BAD DAY.

Her arms are crossed, lower lip jutting out, brow furrowed (as much as a Botoxed brow can be) and she’s stomping her foot.

A melt-down is imminent.

The day had started out in spectacular fashion.

Her Tugboat Man was FINALLY! COMING HOME!

He had been gone for almost a month and Princess Rosebud missed him a lot especially since he had been absent during the whole retinal tear/laser surgery episode as well as the “meeting Al Gore” event.

The house was spotless; the bed freshly made with 800 thread count linens that had been ironed and perfumed (with Chanel), ‘cos even a tough tugboat captain gets tired of smelling diesel fuel all the time and he appreciates the little things.

After hitting the trifecta: Trader Joe’s, BevMo, and Sprouts, she dragged nine bags of groceries from her car to the house and up the flight of steps to reach the kitchen (they live in a Southern California tri-level).  She then walked back down to the garage to bring up a bottle of Gruet champagne and a couple bottles of wine.

Taking care of the most important chore first, Princess Rosebud placed the champagne and a bottle of chardonnay in the refrigerator and gathered together flour, cocoa, sugar, and eggs for a baking session.

The special welcome home menu would be Caesar Salad with homemade dressing, freshly baked French bread, and a (hopefully) moist and fudgey decadent chocolate cake.

Taking a brief moment to drink a glass of refreshing lemon water, she opened her computer to check for an email from her Tugboat Man with specific flight details. The airport is about forty minutes away and takes much longer if there’s traffic, and there’s usually tons of traffic.

This is what she found in her Inbox:

From MASTER XXXXXX
Bad news they’re asking me to do another trip. I’ve asked them to keep looking for someone else but it’s a possibility. Not happy, sorry. 

(She pounded out a swift reply, of course all in caps.)

To MASTER XXXXXX
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I JUST WENT GROCERY SHOPPING FOR YOU. OMG. IS THIS A JOKE?

(Storm clouds on the horizon. An upset Princess is NOT a good thing to behold.)

From MASTER XXXXXX
I am not kidding.  I will have more time off when I do get home. Just trying to look at the bright side. Now you can eat for a while. I will call you tomorrow with the final word. Love you.

To MASTER XXXXXX
I don’t know what to say. 

(She had a lot to say, but didn’t want to say anything she’d regret at a later date.)

From MASTER XXXXXX
You and me both honey.

What was Princess going to do? She had been so very excited to see her Tugboat Man and he was now delayed for two weeks because his relief captain was unable to take over for some reason. 

It’s not like this never happens in the life of a professional mariner.

It’s always a possibility.

Other mariner spouses have all experienced the “delay”. Either the assignment lasts longer than expected, or another obstacle presents itself.

Like this. Like having to work an extra two weeks because the company is in a bind.

That’s why most of the time Princess doesn’t allow herself to get too excited or plan anything until she knows he’s at the airport and on his way.

But this story has a happy ending. Sort of.

No, her Tugboat Man didn’t get a reprieve; he’s still scheduled to return around the 26th, but Princess’ friend came over and helped her drown her sorrows with a couple of bottles of wine purchased for the homecoming celebration.

A different ending than one of Angel Boy’s favorite childhood books…

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…but the message is the same.

We can learn to cope when things don’t go our way — and in my case, a few glasses of wine turned my frown upside down!

All About Love: The Engagement, The Wedding, The Anniversary

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Today is our 20th anniversary. We were supposed to be camping at Zion, but my tugboat guy had to leave sooner than planned. This should be a short assignment and we’ll celebrate when he returns — but he’s out of cell phone range already so I’ll only get a short call on the sat phone…such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife.

More to the point, appropriate gifts for the 20th include china and platinum.

Hmmm…good to know for my shopping trip today. Deets later.

The Engagement…

“Don’t ask any questions, but get all dressed up and be ready to walk out the door at exactly eight o’clock.”

“Why?”

“What part of don’t ask any questions don’t you understand?” “Just be ready to go.”

I had no idea what was going on, I really didn’t.

My twelve-year-old son already had plans to stay over at a friends house, and while my tugboat man drove him there, I tried on dress after dress, littering the bed with pretty much the entire contents of my closet.

Without knowing WHERE we were going nor having any idea WHY my tugboat guy was acting so mysterious, I figured the solution was to get as dressed up as I could because, in my experience, you can never be overdressed. And I HATE being underdressed. I like to shine, always have, always the princess.

I chose a pretty silk floral dress with a wide belt (1990s ha ha), a wide skirt that fell mid-calf (1990s calling again) and a pair of really high red heels. I have always been passionate about a pop of color.

“ARE YOU READY?? IT’S ALMOST EIGHT 0’CLOCK!”

I’ve never been one of those females who makes her guy late; if you tell me I need to be ready at a certain time, I’m usually ready a few minutes early, so yes, I was fully dressed, made up, perfumed, and really curious.

I wasn’t used to being surprised by my tugboat man; mostly we planned everything together after a lot of discussion.

I mentally ticked off the possibilities. It wasn’t my birthday, it wasn’t Valentine’s Day — the only thing I could think of was that this was somewhere around the time of year that we had our first real date in 1991 and we were going to go out for dinner to celebrate, especially since I learned early in our relationship that my mariner NEVER misses a meal.

I love to cook and bake — he loves to eat — a perfect match, right?

My boyfriend (ha ha, it’s funny to think of my hub as my BF) told me it was time to go NOW.

I opened the front door.

Parked in front of my house was the longest, shiniest stretchiest black limousine I’ve ever seen.

I looked at my tugboat man who was grinning from ear to ear.

WTF?

“This is just the beginning”, he said.

All the neighbors were outside pointing and waving to us.

I felt like I was in a dream. My first limousine!

After getting settled in with a glass of champs, we drove away, taking a detour to show my son and his friend the limo. My sweet tugboat man had obviously thought of everything.

The boys thought it was totally cool.

I found out later that my son was in on the surprise and had totally kept the secret  — in fact, my amazing guy had asked HIS PERMISSION to marry his mom. A lesson to all you guys out there…this is how to do it RIGHT.

I kept asking where we were going and what was going on and my sneaky mariner kept deflecting my interrogation with more champs.

I bet you can tell where this is going, but I was totally clueless. TOTALLY.

We took a drive up and down the coast. I was feeling like a real princess in the back of a limo with my handsome guy.

After a bit of kissing (details are intentionally fuzzy here ‘cos you know how tugboat man hates it when I spill too much on my blog), we were holding hands when he slid away from me and dropped to one knee.

He really did, I swear,  just like in the movies.

My mouth dropped open.

It’s like you’ve always daydreamed about something and played the scene over and over in your mind, but you’re still not prepared for the actual feelings that go along with it when it’s REAL and not a DREAM.

That’s what I was feeling.

He was so nervous and took my hand and was saying all these amazingly loving things and I was having a hard time breathing and I was all shaky and couldn’t even hear anything very clearly except when he said, “I love you. Will you do me the honor of marrying me?”

I. DIED.

Oh, of course I said YES, a huge YES, and in case you’re wondering, he didn’t have the engagement ring yet, ‘cos he knew I’d want to be a part of the selection process. See how well he knew me even back then? Hee hee.

We ended up at a romantic restaurant on the beach in Encinitas. When we were seated, the maitre d’ brought me a dozen long stemmed red roses that my now fiancé had delivered. I guess he knew I’d say yes, right?

(I don’t remember what we ate except dessert was my very first ever Chcolate Lava Cake, which is now one of my faves to bake for my tugboat guy.)

My guy thought of every single detail to create an unforgettable moment in time.

We drove around a bit more after dinner. When the limousine dropped us off, I was literally walking on a cloud.

We didn’t want the magic to end, so we stayed up the entire night and went for a walk on the beach at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise.

We walked miles that morning. On the way home, we stopped at a little restaurant in Carlsbad and had breakfast.

[Fast forward]

The Wedding…

February 20, 1994
After the ceremony, me In a vintage gown, my tugboat man in a tux, we danced to our song, Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable.

Here we are in 2014, twenty years later, and I’m still the luckiest girl in the world.

Even though my tugboat man is out to sea and I’m alone for our anniversary, I know we are as connected by our hearts now as we were in 1994.

And that’s all that matters.

P.S. Along with the prezzy I’m getting. Just keepin’ it real, y’all!