This sailboat was down near the dinghy dock at the Urbanna Oyster Festival a month or so ago. A very large boat--a cruise ship-- is involved in today's post, written by my mother about a trip she and my Middle Sister took many moons ago. This is but one chapter of the many vacation
Also starring in today's post: sweat, menopause, government forms, and Middle Sisters who twirl their hair rather than offer to help a stressed out parent.
Sweat Me a River
by Chesapeake Bay Mother
So much of life is beautiful, but a lot about life breaks your heart. The silver lining of heartbreak, a good cry makes you feel so much better.
I don't cry much since menopause, when in the process of going to seed, I cried a few times but always sweated like a longshoreman on the heavy end of the load. The reasons for crying varied, but the sweating was consistently a spontaneous event absent cause or cure.
There was the time Middle Child (Chesapeake Bay Middle Sister) on college break persuaded* me to spend my savings on a Caribbean cruise for just the two of us. Husband couldn't go and so that left me as the only grown-up, responsible and all.
After the flight and on the bus to port, we were issued papers to be filled out in agonizing detail, requiring all kinds of numbers, dates and details of our authenticity. I struggled to write answers through steamed-up glasses as Middle Child filed her nails. It was do or die as we were told, because if our information were inadequate, we could not leave the ship when it was in port. Pressure builds.
Soon I hear Middle Child laughing, and laughing some more. Then, "Why are you sweating?" so loud heads were turning. I was soaked from the waist up...hair, blouse, and even the pen was slipping from my sweat-soaked fingers. It was raining perspiration.
What a great vacation this was beginning to be!
As the ship was leaving Miami, all horns tooting, all bells ringing, the Star Spangled Banner playing on steel drums, I took a misstep on "Z" Deck and slid all the way to "A" Deck using the Slippery Metal Stair Express. I don't know how many people I took out on the way down. Really, it wasn't so bad though. I had a couple of vertebrae that weren't even bleeding.
The rest of the cruise was pretty much all Hallmark moments with photos of us taken at every opportunity by an eager photographer who struck when you were least prepared and posted the pictures publicly as a complimentary embarrassment.
Then there was the waiter of foreign extraction, who felt obligated to pay me undue attention since I was traveling without Husband. If my very life depended on securing a man, I'd have to make out a bucket list...I am not gifted that way. However, this waiter would take every polite rejection as a fire would gasoline. I actually had to lose him after each meal by going to other decks so he couldn't track me to our room.
When it's over, heading home, we think about the fun, the food, the falls and wonder who will play me in the movie when my life makes the big screen.
Maybe one of the Flying, Sweating Wallendas.
Above written by Chesapeake Bay Mother. Some time I'll tell the story of another family cruise involving both parents, all three sisters, and not one grain of common sense in the bunch.