Friday, September 29, 2017

Word of the Week: Birthday

This past weekend was hot, like 90 degrees hot. Normally it is in the 60-70s around this time of the year, so we made sure to take advantage of the weather. We headed up to the lake, of course. My in-laws have a boat that we us. We invited friends to come up, and by 4:00 we were out on the water. After a stop to fuel up, we headed out onto the lake. Destination: the boaters beach where we anchor out, swim to shore, and spend time enjoying the sand and drinks.

As typical, after about 5 minutes on the lake Steve started to slow up. This is my sign to head to the front of the boat, pull out about 20 feet of anchor line, and get set for Steve to yell to put the anchor in. But, I didn't hear him say that. Rather, he said "the engine just cut out on me." Fan-fucking-tastic.

To note, it was the starboard engine that quit. The port engine was still doing fine. Thank the good Lord for two engines.

Had it just been the four of us, we would have gone back to the dock. But, since we had friends up we kept to our plans. Steve did a bit of troubleshooting, but with no good outcome. He positioned himself, skillfully with just one engine, and we set the anchor. We stayed at the beach for about 2 hours, just chatting and drinking, while the kids played.

I add the drinking part because that keeps me cool. For the record, Steve wasn't drinking. He doesn't when he is driving the boat...safety first. I am not so cool under pressure. Steve is. I can also get anxious about things, and an engine out is something that can certainly raise my anxiety level. This, folks, is where it is nice to be married to a pilot - he's cool under pressure.

The port engine went out last summer (impeller), and Steve kept his cool then, too.


As the sun started to set we decided to head back to the marina. We loaded back into the boat, the port engine started (yeah!) and the starboard engine still did not. Steve got us back into the channel, slowly but steady. She was working hard to get through the water, and I was certain to throw up a couple prayers. We have been stuck out on the lake before (on my Father-in-Law's old boat, which just had one engine...again, the impeller), and I cared not to be stuck out on the lake again.

As we were approaching the marina, our guest asked to help out. He hasn't assisted with docking a boat before, so not only did I have to get detail about docking in general, but I had to add to the situation. Steve is skilled at driving the boat, but he was crippled.

If interested, the reason the boat was crippled, even with one engine, is due to steering. When you are going a decent speed, you can use the steering wheel (is that even what it's called) to steer. But, when you are going slow speeds, you have to use the engines to steer. Since there are two engines on the boat, Steve will work both engines together to get the desired direction. When one engine is out...well, think about paddling a row boat with only one oar.

We were about 3 docks away, coming in slow and steady. No winds. No dock partner. All good. A fellow marina friend yells out "coming in VFR?" Steve responses with the fact that we were down an engine. Marina friend starts walking quickly to the dock, ready to help out.

Steve slowly turned towards the dock. No winds - good. We threw out some lines, and before long we were all tied up. When Cici got off the boat, she yelled out "land, sweet land" and kissed the ground. It wasn't that dramatic, but it was nice to be back at the dock. I share the story because Steve did a great job, and I'm certain it is because of his conditioning for his job. He said his blood pressure wasn't even raised during the whole situation. This made me happy - I like that he is able to keep incredibly cool and calm and in control. What to know what else made me happy? The multiple beers I was drinking to keep my ass calm.

Here we are coming back in. You can see, by lack of water movement on the side,
just how slowly we were going.
***

I turned 39 this week.

Steve was home for my birthday this year. It's always nice when he's home for birthdays. The day had to be typical: work/school, after school activities, and PSR. We then all met at a new BBQ joint for dinner. The evening ended with a proper sweet treat.


There are two things I really don't like about this pilot wife gig: taking the trash out, and locking up the house at night. In my head these are traditional male roles in a house. But, I'm the one stuck doing it when Steve is gone.

Knowing the above, Steve gifted me google home. Now, at night all I have to do is "hey google, turn off the lights." And she listens. Off go the lights. Steve put real thought into this gift, and that makes me happy.

I have to share a google home moment...the kids were getting ready for bed and I made my way downstairs into the kitchen (where she lives) to clean up. I said "hey google, it's my birthday, play me some music."

And wouldn't you know it, Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles, starts to play. I instantly start to tear up.

You see, this song plays a very important part in my book. There is a death in my book, and this song is what one person plays to another from beyond the grave. As I was trying to maintain my composure, which wasn't very pretty, Steve looked at me curiously.  "This is the song that Victoria plays for Dean all the time." He heard what I said, but he didn't get why I was emotional. You see, these characters are a part of me. I've created them. Their pain is my pain. Their joy is my joy. And that song was a sign...a sign to keep writing.

And that motivation was on the perfect day. It is my goal to have my book finished, including editing, by my 40th birthday. One year - tick tock. Just keep writing...



****

This week was also the week of MD appointments. I was in search of a new PCP, and I think I found her. She is actually the mother of a good friend, but beyond that I really clicked with her. I met her the other afternoon, and she is awesome! As we were getting to know one another she asked how long I have been married. She responded very favorably when I told her 14 years.

I joked that since Steve is an airline pilot it's really like we've only been married for 7 years. She related that to a woman she knows whose husband is a truck driver. The woman presented her marriage to be perfect.
- they enjoy their time together when he is home...check.
- they have a good love life...check
- and when they start to get sick of one another, he is off again...check
- and when he is gone, she gets to do whatever she wants...check
- and just when they start to miss one another, he is back home for the cycle to start again...check

This cycle really can keep things fresh and fun. Generally speaking, you really do miss your husband when he is gone, and you really do enjoy when he is home. Sounds like a great marriage when you lay it out like that.

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