Back from the Briney Blue

May 10, 2014 | 4 comments

Living Room at Sea

Living Room at Sea

Regular “Oysterville Daybook” readers know that I’ve been on a self-declared ‘sabbatical’ for ten days. Traditional sabbaticals, of course, have two components – they last for a year and are a rest from work. The term comes from the Bible (Leviticus 25) where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year.

My ‘sabbatical’ was not only a rest from everything to do with normal life, but it was a gift. A friend from junior high school days took a group of us old friends on a cruise! And not just on any old cruise, either! It was on the Norwegian Pearl where we had a special suite all to ourselves. It was on the 14th deck (inaccessible to anyone without a special elevator key) complete with living room and baby grand piano, dining table/chairs for eight, outside hot tub, upper level with private pool, AND concierge and butler service… and more! Unbelievable! The gift of a lifetime!

We cruised from San Pedro, California to Vancouver BC with day-long stops in San Francisco and Victoria. We ate (and ate and ate) in a variety of restaurants, saving the ensuite dining for our final evening at sea. We went to theater presentations and lounge shows. We sat and watched the ocean which was calm, calm, calm, and sat out in the sun every day. But mostly we laughed and talked and reminisced about our days at San Rafael High School more than sixty years ago. (We were the class of ’53.)

Under the Golden Gate Bridge

Our spouses, who have heard the stories many times over the years, put up with us – even giving us prompts to re-tell some of the best of our shenanigans. Like the time Neil (our host) and I double-dated to see Louis Armstrong in San Francisco and his car key broke off in the door. The other fellow with us was able to hotwire the car and all was well…

Or the time that Neil and Milt were on a road trip the summer after graduation and ran out of money and presented themselves as experienced cherry pickers to a farmer in the Yakima Valley… Within minutes they were SO busted, but the farmer took pity on them, put them to picking apples (after a short lesson in ‘how to’) and not only provided them with lunch, but paid them by the day so they could eat regularly!

Last Night at Sea

Our Last Night at Sea

We reveled in our survival after all these years and grieved over the loss of other members of “our group” who numbered about a dozen in the beginning. We congratulated ourselves on managing to stay connected and renewed our commitment to see one another more frequently now that the years grow more precious. What a wonderful time we had! We caught up on news of children, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren! We might have mentioned our various ailments but didn’t dwell on them – as in what’s the use? Mostly, we just plain enjoyed one another and the chance to leave our various worlds behind for a few days of glorious pampering.

And here Nyel and I are, back in Oysterville. It’s all a-blossom with rhodies and lilacs. Osa is scolding with growly meows and the chickens are clucking contentedly. Hard to believe that we were ever gone… NOT!


  1. Jo Lucas

    Wow, what a fabulous gift. And I don’t mean just the trip. Lovely to reminisce with long time friends. Good to have you back.

  2. Claudette Tourtellotte

    Welcome Home! That sounds like an absolute awesome trip! I’m waiting to see if some of the others in our class, take a clue! What a gift of friendship! Happy for you all!

  3. Jenny

    So glad you were busy having fun whilst away from your “Daybook Duties”! Even gladder that you’re back!!

  4. Bonnie

    What an awesome adventure! Not many of us have friends that go back even a decade, and you and your ‘classmates’ have a special and unique connection. How wonderful!


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