Oct 30, 2007

Of All the Times to Forget the Camera

This weekend's trip to New York City was amazing. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to document it. I realized that the camera was sitting on my desk at home, and Ben's was on his dresser right about the time the plane started to taxi out to the runway. In my defense, the sun wasn't up at that point, and wouldn't be until we landed in Atlanta.

But, I digress.

As with any trip that Ben and I take, there is always some little snag that has the opportunity to become a huge snag if we let it. This time it was the torrential rain on Friday night. On Friday night, we went to go see Les Miserables at the Broadhurst theater. So, of course, we got all dolled up in some of our nicest clothes, I did my hair, and I even wore heels (shocking, I know), and we left our room ahead of schedule. If we didn't make it to the theater by 5 minutes before showtime, our tickets would become null and void. We figured that by leaving an hour to go 10 blocks, we would be able to catch a cab and make it to the theater in plenty of time...boy were we wrong. It took nearly 40 minutes to catch the cab...and once we did, we were in gridlock. Somewhere around 41st street, we bailed out of the cab and started to run. Somewhere around 43rd street, I took off my shoes and ran in my stockings, in my little black dress, through the pouring rain. We made it on time though, and enjoyed a fantastic show! After the show we had some of the best pizza I think I have ever tasted.

On Saturday, our first order of business was to get me up to Yankee Stadium. I know, it seems sacrilegious for a Red Sox fan to be adamant about a visit to Yankee Stadium, but I wanted to see it before they tear it down. Now I have, and I continue on despising the Yankees into eternity.

After our visit to the Bronx, Ben took me to Rockefeller Center so I could see where they put the tree. If it hadn't been raining, we would have gone ice skating. After our visit there, we went to Saint Patrick's Cathedral, at the suggestion of my friend Sam. What a beautiful church. The architecture and the stained glass were amazing. I have to admit it was a little awkward to be at someone's wedding with a bunch of tourists gawking at the church (what a way to ruin a ceremony...with a bunch of people you don't even know talking throughout your vows), and the gift shop set up in the cathedral was not the classiest thing I've ever seen...but my goodness what a beautiful church.

After our visit to Rockefeller Center and the church, Ben and I went to Times Square. I still can't get over the sheer number of people there. I have never seen so many people in one place! It was a really neat thing to see. We capped of our visit to Times Square with a walk through the biggest Toys R' Us that I've ever witnessed. Three floors of toys! And a Ferris Wheel! We made it out with our wallets intact, and headed back to the hotel. I needed a nap before the World Series game :)!

It was quite an experience to watch the Red Sox pummel the Colorado Rockies while sitting in Yankee Territory. the funny thing is, I'm not the only one who was cheering for the Sox in that bar! We went to a place called O'Haras, less than a block from the World Trade Center site, and sat at the bar beside a group of Englishmen. What a fun group of guys!

After the game ended, it was time to head back to our room. My trip was pretty much over. However, it was a really good trip. Things between Ben and I are getting much better. Not everything is 100 percent yet. However, if this trip did anything, it was to remind us what we are fighting so hard for.

Oct 25, 2007

When Titles Are Superfluous...

This month has been a bad month, and it's not even over yet. I know that I promised to write more...it's just that I have had a hard time finding things that I'm comfortable writing about in my life right now.

I started a second job when Ben left...and proceeded to quit it three weeks later because I hated it.

Ben and I have been having some serious problems (I hate admitting that on the Internet where you can all read it, but, it is what it is). Serious enough problems that I almost moved out last weekend. Disturbing enough that they've rocked me to my core, and destroyed some of the best memories of my adult life, replacing them with anger and hurt. But, we've agreed to commit ourselves to trying to fix it. Therefore, I leave for New York City tomorrow at 6 a.m. to see him as the DALLAS moors. When he comes home, we will go into counseling to try to save all that we have created here.

And...the hardest thing of all...I have admitted that I am depressed. For this, I am seeking help and counseling. I want to be the person I used to be. The one who could climb any mountain that was put in front of her without batting an eyelash. I'm tired of being sad and scared, and always looking behind me, waiting for fate to kick me in the ass.

So far, I think it's helping. Wish me luck.

Oct 8, 2007

The Old College Try (Whatever That Is)

A few weeks back, Ben asked me why I stopped blogging. I really didn't have an answer to tell him. I could say I've been too busy. I could say I didn't have anything tow rite about. Those would be lies though. During this last inport, we've been to California (yay, San Francisco!). We went home to Massachusetts to visit Fenway during a Yankees series (the ultimate pilgrimage to Baseball Mecca if you ask me). We bought a new mattress. I've taken a second job. Katelyn came to visit (Double YAY!). There have been plenty of things to write about. I've actually written several blog entries, but haven't posted them because I didn't like them and thought I would go back and edit them later.

I just haven't.

I don't know why.

I guess part of it might be that I just don't feel like writing lately. Work is bothering me a LOT lately. Ben and I have gone through some serious growing pains in the last couple of months. My car is acting up, and I'm just NOW beginning to start making friends (of course, because I'm leaving in six months).

I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel isolated out here. I can count the friends I have on one hand, with fingers to spare. I'm hoping that I can make some more friends while waitressing, and maybe then have SOME kind of social life. That's one of the things that drove Ben nuts during this last inport. I had no social life, so I wanted him to hang out with me...constantly....to a point that I can admit I was probably being overbearing.

Well, I'm trying something new. I'm going to try to come out of my shell, and actually make friends. Also, I'm going to try to post more often (I know I said this LAST time too).

Wish me luck!

Aug 27, 2007

Appreciating What You Have

I know that my postings have been sporadic to say the least. Sometimes it's because I don't feel like writing. Sometimes it's because I don't want to write about things that may not be going well. Other times it's just because I'm too busy, or I just don't have anything tow rite about.

Today there are plenty of things I can write about. I could write about the trip that Ben and I took to California. I can write about the recent re-shaving of my dog. Or maybe the bike ride that Ben and I took this weekend (lots of fun, a bike is a great way to see Folly Beach).

However, those I'll write about in another post.

You see, on my way to WalMart this morning, I was involved in something that made me cry (yeah, I know, big shock), and really thank the Heavens for everything that I have. You see, sometime during the night, someone hit a dog out on Folly Road, and left him for dead. As I was just passing the Piggly Wiggly, I noticed a shape in the "suicide lane." Another woman, driving the other way noticed it as just about the same time. Realizing that it was a dog, both of us stopped, and ventured out into the middle of the road like lunatics. As the other woman (I believe her name was Tracy) called the veterinarian listed on the dog's Rabies tag, I got down on my hands and knees to see if he was still breathing. Maybe it's the optimist in me hoping and praying that we weren't too late, but I swore I saw some shallow breaths raise his tummy JUST a little bit.

As I was getting ready to help Tracy (?) lift the dog and put him in her van (he wouldn't have fit in my car), another woman pulled up in a little Mercedes. She pulled out a trash bag to wrap around the dog, and in her business suit and heels ran out into the middle of the road, mascara streaming down her face, to help us.

The dog died before we could get him into Tracy's van. As I knelt there on Folly Road with my hand on a stranger's dog's chest, feeling what I think was his last breath, I cried. Actually, I bawled. But I know I did the right thing by stopping. The strange dog, having lain there for Lord only knows how long - in the rain no less - died surrounded by the love of three strangers. Not only that, but Tracy was still going to bring him to the vet so that his family could claim him if they wished.

All I could think of was my Coda-bear at home, sitting there on the kitchen floor, probably staring at the door waiting for his momma to come home. I could just imagine the fear he would feel if he were that dog, and hope that somebody would stop and help him too.

I'll post again later, and I promise, it will be happier...

Jul 30, 2007

Almost Home

We're almost there. It has been quite possibly the longest two months of my life, but Ben will be home in 48 hours. More importantly, this time tomorrow I will be well on my way to Jacksonville to meet the ship. I will be riding the ship back to Charleston on what is called a "Tiger Cruise." It is a opportunity for some of the crew members to bring their family on board for a short while. I am so excited. How could I not be with a chance to see Ben a day early?

I'm also excited for myself. Another chance to get offshore on a Coast Guard cutter, does it get any better than that? Sometimes, especially right now, I don't think so. You see, a cutter is it's own microcosm. It is interesting watching all of the social and professional dynamics at work. Then there is my desire to just get back to seeing the stars, and ONLY the stars in the night sky. I used to make fun of the deck watch officers who could see 360 square miles of water from the bridge and nothing else...now I would give my right arm to see that.

And tomorrow night I will see that...and get to keep my arm in the process.

Jul 28, 2007

When You Don't Have Anything Left To Give

A good friend of mine has often told me that I give too much of myself to others, especially in friendship. He is constantly warning me to follow the popular maritime axiom "one hand for yourself, one hand for the ship," and apply it to any friendship or relationship that I enter. I have had a very hard time doing that. It many cases, such as with Ben and many of the friendships that I have been fortunate to have over the years, ignoring that advice has been the best course. However, many failed romances (BELIEVE me, many of my friends and family STILL won't let me live some of them down) and friendships later, I think I'm starting to learn.

Having your generosity of spirit and compassion taken advantage of is not fun. In fact it is very painful. I always try to go by the Golden Rule, treating others as I would hope to be treated. If that means having a hug, or a shoulder to cry on, or a waiting ear when things go bad, then so be it. If that means being ready with the confetti when things go well, I'm all for it.

But how much is too much? When does giving all that you have (and then some) turn into not enough? What happens when you aren't willing to give up everything in order to help someone?

In some cases they understand that you can't go any further. You've already undermined what's best for you enough that sometimes you forget that you need to take care of yourself too. Unfortunately, in others they get angry and lash out at you, expecting you to give that last bit that would destroy you.

Tonight I feel like the stump from the Giving Tree. However, unlike that stump, I won't let anyone sit down on top of me. I need to have SOMETHING left. In fact, I'm not even going to give up my trunk. I'm hoping to grow back some branches and leaves so that I can enter into other friendships down the road.

I'm tired of worrying about others so much it makes me sick. I'm tired of sleepless nights, worrying that I haven't given the right advice or enough of my time or helped a friend out enough. I'm tired of doing things that I really don't WANT to do, just because they bring a smile to someone else's face. What about the frown, heartache, and anguish that it brings to me?

I've given as much as I can.

I think now it's time that I worry about me for a little while.

Go West Young Man (and Woman)

So, in the inevitable wisdom of the Coast Guard, it has been decided that Ben needs to go to TRACEN Petaluma for a week...immediately following the ship's return to homeport...to go through Leadership and Management (LAMS) class again. Yes folks, that's right. They are sending him to California for a week, immediately following patrol. This equals no standdown for Ben, and no time for us to get to know each other again.

So, how are we going to solve this problem? I'm going on vacation, taking a week off to fly out to California with Ben while he is in training. Back to my old stomping grounds that I was itching to leave. Now, under any other circumstances, I would not be too excited about his...but strangely enough, I AM!

You see, I have been homesick for California for a while. I miss Katelyn, I miss Rosie, I miss Tiffany, and I miss Andy. I miss Sephora and the Rosenblum Cellars. I miss cool nights when I can wear a sweatshirt, even though it is August. I miss driving along the coast just to watch the sun set, knowing there's a good chance I won't be able to see anything because the fog has already rolled in. I miss all of those things that were familiar to me for better than three years, and that I find myself pining away for right now, as I'm here without Ben in Charleston.

Don't get me wrong, I love South Carolina. It is beautiful, the people are wonderful. I'm sure come January, I'll be glad that I don't have to scrape ice off my windshield. I haven't really put my roots down here yet though. I don't have a friend base like Ben was hoping I'd make (outside of Sam and Goose, I really don't have any friends here at all). As nice as most of the guys are at work, I really don't want to hang out with them outside the terminal.

Another good thing about going to California again is that it will give Ben and I a chance to go back to our beginnings. That is where we began. That is where a lot of our best memories are. A couple of romantic nights in San Francisco? Then a week up on the edge of wine country? I'm all over it. Ben and I were talking about taking a vacation somewhere that we wouldn't have to worry about Ceres, the Coast Guard, the dog, and anything else. Just some time to spend reacquainting ourselves and getting back to the basics. Well, we've fulfilled almost all of those requirements with this upcoming vacation.

California, here we come! I can already taste the Ghirardelli ice cream down on Fisherman's Wharf...