Friday, April 29, 2011

Hidden Treasure

The Captain and Mr. Chippy
My sweetheart came home! He was away for most of this week, and this is the second such trip in a month. Sigh....

When The Captain travels for business I always feel a bit at loose ends. He works from home (except for the travel) and I truly love having him here. We have a rhythm to our days. If he is gone long the days lose their natural order. I don't sleep as well either. And, there's more work to do (he does so much around here that I don't really have a grasp on), which means either I have to figure it out or I have to engage the kids to do the most necessary things (filling our water tank is high on the list!) (O.K., I can do those things, but I have enough else to do...)

As it happened, the kids were not around much this week either, what with school, work, sleepovers, etc. I did get The Bosun to top up the water yesterday so I could shower, but I haven't seen a lot of anyone in the last few days. I am a Moon Child through and through, so family and home are the center of my life. That makes weeks like this one unsettling. I get lonely.

I think, though, that blogging made a big difference this time. Planning my posts and talking with The Captain about them and the feedback I have been getting has given me something meaningful on which to focus. Thank you all! You have really kept me on an even keel, just knowing that you are interested. Please keep the conversation going, and if you haven't joined in yet, leave a comment below--it means so much.

What about my thesis, you ask? Ah, yes. Funnily enough, I also believe this regular blogging is helping me clarify my ideas for my thesis as well. It takes me a lot of rumination to get to the actual writing time, but then the writing usually flows. Giving myself the job of writing about new topics is a meditation in itself. I learn so much when I have to organize my thoughts coherently!

Along those lines, if there are topics of interest to you, or articles/books, etc that you would like me to review or address, do let me know, because I want this blog to be part of a larger community, not just me talking at people.

Back to The Captain... So, normally he is the one to sweep and do the tidying around the boat. He maintains the hottub, a finicky job because we use peroxide instead of bromine. He does any mechanical sort of care needed. I am in charge of the galley, the shopping and cooking, medical care, laundry, that sort of thing. We never made formal agreements, we just sort of claimed the jobs we cared about. Every Friday, when Blondina and I are at our homeschool group, The Captain makes a special effort to ready the boat for the weekend, shaking out rugs, filling the oil lamps, and so on. We often grill steaks and have a leisurely dinner.

Not only was today The Captain's homecoming, it was also Friday. So I cleaned: scrubbed the head (bathroom), the galley, (finally) cleared the winter boots/mittens/snow pants/heater off the aft deck, and yes, I swept and shook out the rugs. I took steaks out of the freezer, anticipating a family meal.

I met the little commuter plane and brought my sweetheart home. And wouldn't you know (I did, because I know him that well), he was absolutely thrilled! The sun was dancing on the water, shining on the little cafe table and chairs that replaced the kerosene heater on the enclosed aft deck. It was quiet on the boat, but it was filled with warmth and the gorgeous sun of a long-awaited Spring afternoon.

But no kids. They all went in different ways, to work and sleepovers and hanging out. With The Captain home, though, that was just fine. I braised a steak for me (with stock, onions and tomatoes I dried last summer) and pan fried his. I made vegetables for us to share, and a salad for him. And we sat face-to-face, talking about this and that, just being together. Even Mr. Chippy wanted to reconnect, looking for his favorite "daddy-rubs" (ever noticed that men interact differently with pets than women do? The Captain can somehow get away with literally rubbing the cat's fur the wrong way. I mean, the cat loves it, and comes back for more! If I did that, he would bite me.)

That's it. Quiet married life (tonight, at least!) We support each other, miss each other when we are separated, share our load in unspoken but equitable ways. This makes everything else in life do-able. Remember, we have everything we need...  And if your life doesn't look at all like mine, I am certain that there are equal blessings, though you may have to find and celebrate them. Even in my troubled first marriage, there was hidden treasure. I had my precious children (whom I would not have had otherwise), supportive friends, relative health, sanity, my senses, and so on.

You could say I am blessed. I am not religious, but that seems to be the right word. It means I have received a precious gift, that I am content, that I am fortunate and joyous. And indeed,  all of that is true. I wish the same for you! Happy Friday!


What gifts are you celebrating?  Have you found the treasure in your challenges?


Sue said...

I love reading your blog. I found you just as you were leaving south Florida.
We all have blessings, I call them gifts from God. My 2 biggest and best are my children. My husband, their father passed away 7 years ago. I relate to your feelings about your children.
Your blog is an inspiration. Keep writing, keep posting. I will try to respond more.
I am looking into the GAPs diet, perhaps that might be what we need to feel better.

Sofia said...

I love the title and the whole article is so sweet.

Justine Raphael said...

Thank you so much Sofia--Your saying hat means a lot to me!

Theresa said...

I wish I had time to comment other than 'another wonderful blog, Justine'. You certainly have a knack for helping, inspiring, motivating, etc... I hope you'll share your thesis too:)

hevelyn said...

I love reading your blog,
thank you for all your whit


Justine Raphael said...

Theresa and Hevelyn--

You are so sweet! Thanks you for your kind words...

I will share the thesis when it's more concrete.


Justine Raphael said...


I am so happy that you find some inspiration here. GAPS is very powerful, and helps so many conditions--because it is such a simple rebalancing, it gets to the core of things. I highly recommend GAPS Guide if you are exploring the idea. Baden has an amazing way of making things doable...


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