Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It’s been sure nice talking to you….. My father and I talk at least once a week on the phone. He lives in Maryland. So guess that’s like a million miles away? At least it feels like a million miles away. He was in the US Navy for almost thirty years. He is an amazing man and I have always hoped to be half the man he is. He commanded submarines and was gone at least six months out of every year. Can you imagine living under the ocean blue for six months without much communication with family, friends and current events? It took a very special and dedicated person to be able to do that. He missed a lot of my childhood due to his career. Every once in a while he mentions a particular song that immediately brings tears to my eyes. The title of this blog is a line from that song. So maybe you have already figured out the song? I will drop a few more hints as I continue. I have found myself living the same way he did. I am way too dedicated to work. And I spend less time doing fun things with my children. Song lyrics….. “My child arrived just the other day He came to the world in the usual way But there were planes to catch and bills to pay He learned to walk in the usual way And he was talking ’fore I knew it, and as he grew He’d say, I’m going to be like you, dad You know I’m going to be like you.” I am bringing this up due to the new additions to the household. Last week my oldest daughter gave birth to twins. I have found myself just staring at these incredible creatures for hours and hours. In fact an entire week went by and I really did not do anything but hold them. Life is truly amazing. I am now a grandfather. Seriously, a grandfather! In my head I still think I’m only 25. Where did the time go? In the blink of an eye I went from being a child to being a grandfather. So back to the song, have you figured it out yet? Song lyrics….. “My son turned ten just the other day He said, Thanks for the ball, dad. Come on let’s play. Can you teach me to throw? I said not today, I got a lot to do. He said, that’s okay. And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed And said, I’m going be like him, yeah You know I’m gonna be like him.” So as my life continues to blaze by I find myself struggling for time. This is the same for everyone, I am sure. I was just hoping living in the Caribbean would help slow things down a bit. But it seems it doesn’t matter where you live. Time flies by regardless of where you hang your hat. Song lyrics….. “Well he came from college just the other day So much like a man, I just had to say Son, I’m proud of you. Can you sit for a while? He shook his head, and he said with a smile “What I’d really like dad, is to borrow the car keys See you later, can I have them please? Have you figured out the song yet? Song lyrics….. “I’ve long since retired, and my sons moved away I called him up just the other day I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind. He said, I’d love to, dad. If I could find the time You see, my new jobs a hassle and the kids got the flu But its sure nice talking to you, dad It’s been sure nice talking to you And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me He’d grown up just like me My boy was just like me.” Here is the great reveal and my final thoughts. It is said, that life passes by in a blink of an eye. It is true. So find the time to get together with the people you love, even if we are a million miles away. I have lived in the Caribbean for over three years now. I have not been able to travel back and forth to the states as much as I would like. But with Facebook, skype and cellphone it is a little bit easier. It’s not the same but it works for now. Try not to blink and if you have to treasure that moment and we will have a good time then…………….. Song lyrics….. And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon When you coming home, son, I don’t know when But we’ll get together then, dad Were gonna have a good time then.” ------ Harry Chapin, 1974
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Mona Island. Yes, Mona Island……
Sunday, October 2, 2016
The Islandwide Blackout, Zombies and Babies. Wait, Babies? Seriously, it was a crazy week. The power station in Salinas, Puerto Rico caught on fire and left the entire island without power. Shortly after that the water service, internet, cellphones and cable television all went out as well. We were completely in the dark in all aspects. Only a few radio stations were broadcasting. The Puerto Rico governor called for a state of emergency as the power was not projected to return for several days. All gas stations ran out of fuel the first day and ATM and credit card machines did not work. It was a mini zombie apocalypse, without zombies. I will admit the night sky was as bright as the Alaskan sky for those three nights. Another interesting observation during the blackout was everyone actually talked. No one buried their faces in their cellphone (like zombies, lol). In the waiting room at the hospital people actually talked to each other. In the elevators people actually talked. And so on and on and on. It was refreshing to see the interaction between strangers and friends. Some of us saw the power outage as actually a good thing. Ok, back to the most important thing, the babies. My oldest daughter Berkley has never made things easy. During the first day of the power outage is when she and her babies decided to join us. The hospital was running on generators and they also had a backup water supply. It was a normal day inside the hospital except for the lack of internet and cable television. At around 9:45 the twins joined the us in the world of the living. We did not get to see or hold them until around 5:00 pm. Berkley returned to the room around noon and went to sleep right away. The day was very different from a normal day as outside the thunder, lighting lasted for most of the day. We watched the storm from the hospital windows while talking to total strangers. Yes, talking. It’s a form of communication that occurred before cellphones took over the world and made zombies out of all of us. These little incredible bundles of joy came into the world during what most called one of the biggest disasters in many years. The major energy blackout, water shortage, cellphone outage, internet outage, cable television outage and incredible tropical storm. I guess you could say they came in with a bang, so to speak. As the days went on we noticed that no one really was upset about the lack of services. It was kind of like being on vacation for a week in a far off paradise. We all rather enjoyed it. The power was restored on Friday morning at 1:00 am. And the water, internet, cable all started working shortly after that. You could hear the neighbors cheering down the street. I guess before we knew it we were all back to the land of zombies? Almost immediately my cellphone started to get text messages, emails and voice mail notifications. Chirp, beep, chirp, chirp, beep, beep and on and on and on. I could feel my anxiety level start right away. Three days without being connected. You should all try it. You might find you like it. I realized some very important things from the recent blackout and seeing the new bundles of joy. Maybe it’s time to let the zombies stay on TV and start living in the real world. Let’s turn these devices off. Let’s change how we communicate. Let’s play games, have dinner together, celebrate life and enjoy the land of the living. The recent mini disaster was a blessing just like my daughter’s little bundles of joy.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Superstition or just an excuse for a party? As we get older it is funny how we let superstitions find their way into our lives. I am sure we all have a few things we do daily that are just plain weird. I know I do. I won’t go into much detail about that though or you might think I am weirder than I actually am. The most popular superstition in Puerto Rico is related to the Moon. They say all the crazy things that happen seem to happen when it’s a full moon (lunacy). The biggest thing I have noticed about the full moon in PR, are the drivers. It seems that the friendliest people to into the most unfriendly people behind the wheel during a full moon. Unfortunately, this seems to last for several days before and after the full moon. I am not excluding myself. I also turn into a lunatic driver during that time. So let me get back on track. Superstitions, we all have them. We just may not realize how important they are until something happens. We recently purchased a small boat in San Juan and sailed it to the west side of the island. On the way we had a few challenging things happen. So now we take superstitions a little more seriously. The boat we purchased came with a name that we did not like and it was very difficult to say, “Senses Pleasures”. Can you say that ten times fast? Or can you imagine how that name sounds on a scratchy VHF radio? Plus as my son says, “it sounds like a strip club!” So we decided on a new name and started moving forward with changing the registration and USCG documentation. You would think this is an easy task. Nope, I am convinced that things that should be easy never are. After several months we were granted approval to officially change the name and update registration and USCG Documentation. We then removed the name from the boat. We did not put the new name on the boat until we completed a ceremony to the gods. It is a very bad omen to change the name of a vessel. But it can be done if some certain steps are followed. The process of changing the name of a boat is more involved than removing the old name and slapping on the new. Basically it’s an excuse to have a party, drink champagne, and have some very good spirits. The first step is to congratulate and celebrate the new owners. I thought this part was funny. You must convince the boat, yes the boat that the new owners are worthy and generous. The boat has to believe this. I am pretty sure our boat believes this now. Then and only then can you precede with the ceremony. First you must thank the previous owners and gods for their previous stewardship of the vessel. Then the old name must be written on a small metal plaque and thrown into the sea. Of course, it is important to remove all traces of that old name from everything on the boat before the ceremony. The previous name will now be retired and stricken from Poseidon’s list. A final toast with good champagne is made to all who are present, then to the previous owners, and finally to the gods of the wind and the seas. It was a wonderful day. We invited all the important members of the maiden voyage to this ceremony. We had guests travel from Maryland, Isabela, Rincon and Hormigueros. Keep in mind that it is very important to honor the gods as they grant safe passage over their seas. Plus, it is excellent excuse to have a party, have a few drinks and reminisce. I am not a superstitious person but after the first voyage I am not willing to tempt fate. And watch out for the next full moon as this lunatic will now be driving a boat. ARRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHH, that's pirate for lets have a party....