Thursday, December 27, 2007

Building a Boat (Or, The Coolest Christmas Present Ever!)

My closest friends know that my pre-nursing years were spent in the Merchant Marine, sailing around the world and living in exotic tropical island locales. When I was a sailor, I spent a period kicking around the South Pacific on a great big sailboat courtesy of my former employer (who lent a shipmate and me use of his 40' sailboat in lieu of a bonus).

We spent the better part of three months sailing to the Marquesas and back to our home in Tahiti. It was one of the most treasured experiences of my life, simply for the sheer adventure of it.

But I am married now, and I have settled down a bit (although that point is up for debate by many who know me).

My beloved bride met me when I was still very much a wild, brash, untamed sailor. We fell madly in love at first sight, and we married less than three months after we met. I was at sea for more than half of that time. That was nearly nineteen years ago.

Well, she tamed me. And she opened up a life for me that I had never dared imagine. Nineteen years later, I am still absolutely nuts about the girl, and she is lovelier than when I first met her (and let me tell you- that's saying a LOT).

But I still missed the feel of a deck beneath my feet, a sail above my head, and the smell of the sea in my head. I never missed the going away- after meeting my beloved, I hated parting with her- but I loved the sea. I still do.

My beloved knew this. She knew it for years. I tried to get a boat some years ago, but it fell through. I did not realize it at the time, but she knew how I missed it.

Well, this year, she gave me the best Christmas present I have ever received: The plans and finances for a sailboat I will be building myself!

The sailboat is called The Weekender. The design has been around for decades. But the boat itself it perfect for me.

My bride, she hates the sea and everything in it. But she loves me, and she knows how I miss sailing. Now, I get to build my own boat, sail when I can, and never go away from my beloved bride. I have the best of everything. God has blessed me.