Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Ides of four

Good morning! I'm at work, watching these two guys in a pick up truck, salting our parking lot and going way too fast, a term that in this case means,  fishtailing around the corners. One of these guys looks almost cartoonish, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. They did not beat my first customer, though, a middle-aged Barbie type who just had to get here at 9:00 am to cash her birthday checks.  I suppose everyone with an SUV thinks they were made to ignore travel advisories.

I'm the spoiled kid with the garage-kept car, living just five easy miles from work. This is the end of my first week back from cruising, we are woefully understaffed, and so I will be on overtime in about half an hour from now. It takes me about a week to be mentally back from vacation and back in my groove.

This year's cruise was the best ever. It was impossible not to feel the difference between this year and last,  but also, everything really did go smoothly. We took more excursions than we ever have, very interesting ones. And we lucked into great weather.

The first time we boarded one of those small taxi buses, headed for our first excursion,  I couldn't help remembering how last year, on Tortola (our first stop), two passengers on our ship were killed when their bus turned over. One of them was about my age. It was predictably hard to get that off my mind, and I suspect everyone on the ship had the same experience.

Accidents always remind us how random and unfair life is.  Whatever it is I want to do or learn should not be put off for a "better" time, or retirement. A popular song when I was in college repeated, "everybody's working for the weekend," which is a tragedy. Some of us need an attitude change.  Today. Nothing is wrong with today. Seize the day, seize the moment. Unless you need a nap. Naps are good.

What a difference a year makes. Christmas this year will be a revelation, since I remember waking up last year feeling dreadful. Poor Mike ran out to a drugstore for me. On Christmas morning. Reminder to self: some people work on Christmas morning. By the time we got to his parents' house, I was feeling much better, but since I still had my drains and stitches, I flinched around their big, lovable, wild dog.  Comet has forgiven me. And I can drink this year--this sounds shallow, but life really is more fun with wine.

It's the little things, and it always has been. The smell of cumin, a soft blanket, admiring our Christmas tree, French fries, Peeps, Scrabble games. Which I almost always lose, but it's okay. Life is good.

Happy Holidays! May you visit with people you love, laugh, and have fun!