Friday, March 27, 2015

God Winked

Let's see if I remember how to do this.

This picture was taken about 10 years ago when we lived on the boat. It was right after 9/11--oh my God! That was almost 14 years ago!--, the cap'n and I had been docked at Gangplank Marina when the attacks happened.  They shut down the Potomac for about 3 weeks and when they finally opened it up, the cap'n said, "To hell with staying in the Bull's Eye Zone, I'm going to Fantasy Fest in Key West before I die."

Two weeks later, we were on a mooring in Garrison Bight, Key West. If you know anything about traveling on a sailboat, you know we hauled ass!

So here is Stanley, the killer bichon (he wasn't blind yet.) looking about as trepidatious as I was about donning a mermaid suit with two tiny triangles to cover my bodacious ta-ta's and a tight mermaid's tail skirt and wandering around with a bunch of drunks all night. (That would be me in the mermaid suit, not Stanley. And if you've ever been to Fantasy Fest, you know I was way over dressed.)

Yes, my costume was giving me cause for concern, but that wasn't the real reason for my trepidation.  For the longest time, maybe ever since I started drinking, I dreaded the thought of these kind of events.  I used to stare in bemusement at people who got so enthused about concerts and big holiday parties, and all-inclusive vacations.  These same people would wander into work on Monday morning and laugh about how drunk they got and what fun they had.

That was  never me.  My stomach was always cold with dread before these occasions, and afterwards...well, I didn't come into work laughing about what some other drunken idiot did at the office Christmas party. I was usually the drunken idiot.

My drinking was always wrapped up in worry and shame.  Maybe that should have been my first clue that maybe I shouldn't be drinking.

Oh, I had fun, but only after I had enough drinks in me to make it seem like fun.

There weren't enough drinks in all the bars on Duval Street to make Fantasy Fest Night fun.. I was pretty much wasted by 7:00 pm, which is when I thought I'd pull one of those drunken girl tricks.  I guess I decided that the cap'n was ogling too many of the bare but highly decorated and much younger ta-tas of the other female revelers. So I thought, I'll just step away for a minute and see if he misses me. Not a good idea in the shoulder to shoulder and other sweaty parts to other sweaty parts press of humanity that is Key West during Fantasy Fest.

This little mermaid was soon swept away by the crowd.

I didn't see the cap'n or Stanley again until 4:00 am. Of course, the cap'n swore he never moved from the spot where I left him.  Then we had the photos developed--that was a long time ago, wasn't it? Suffice it to say Stanley ended up with a lot more beads than I did and most  of the photos depict a decidedly worried Stanley trapped between two masses of silicone.

We said good-bye to Stanley last May, he was nineteen and blind and even the mild Mexican winters were getting hard on his bones, but he still loved me ferociously. I used to comfort myself with the fact that I couldn't be all bad if Stanley still loved me.

God Wink Time. ( I bet you wondered if I'd ever get around to it, huh?)

1:00 a.m day before yesterday. I can't sleep. It's been my 53rd birthday for an hour and I'm feeling a little sorry for myself. I'm here in Mexico all alone while the cap'n is stateside working. I think I suffer from Birthday and Holiday PTSD from all those years when the kids forgot to call me, or relied on the fact that they could forget to call but tell me that they had, knowing I'd be too drunk to be sure.

All of a sudden my phone on the nightstand makes that little "brrrinnngg" sound it makes when I get a notification and I grab for it in the dark to see who might be sending me my first Birthday Greeting.

Up pops the picture above. Nobody sent it and I had no idea it was even on my phone. I obviously didn't have that phone 14 years ago. And the computer it was stored on died two months ago. I have posted the same pic on this blog I think, and on the old blog I used to write about cruising, but I haven't seen the pic in a long time. Not since Mr. Stan died.

I guess he was letting me know I wasn't as alone as I thought I was. Oh geez, here I go crying again.

I've been receiving a few God Winks that I should get back to writing this blog,  So here I am. Not much has changed in the last half year.

But I'm still not drinking and that's pretty major.


  1. HI!!!!!!!!! I'm glad to see you :) and i love when things like that happen. Not drinking is totally major. you aren't alone: here I am! Happy Birthday xxxooo

    1. Hiiiiii back! Thank you for being here. I hope I didn't sound flippant about your medical problems in my commment on your blog today. I am praying that everything turns out, but I know you are strong enough to kick ass no matter the outcome.

  2. Happy birthday! So glad you came back. Loved the story!

    1. It's good to be back. Thanks for giving me the impetus.

  3. Great post! Glad you're back!!

    1. Thank you, amiga! It's a comfort to know you've got my back in and out of the blogosphere.

  4. "I used to comfort myself with the fact that I couldn't be all bad if Stanley still loved me." <--- yes, this.

    How utterly odd and amazing that the photo just popped up out of nowhere on a day and time you most needed it. I believe. :)

    I was planting some bulbs in Spot's garden on the one year anniversary of her death. Out of the blue I heard the clucking of chickens. Thankfully my husband was there and heard it too, otherwise I would have thought I'd imagined it. Never heard the chickens before, didn't hear them after that.

    Spot and I agreed before she died that her sign to me would be chickens. Because she loved chicken jerky. ;)

    The universe is a strange and beautiful place.

    So nice to see you back friend! -c

    1. and our best buddies. I've come to believe that God's little messages are subtle, he gives us the choice of whether to believe or not. I'm glad I've found another believer. BTW, I was blown away by your latest post and shared it on the message boards.

  5. I am so freaking happy to see you out here!!!! That's MY God wink.

    I've got many of these stories but mostly about humans. We're starting to talk about the advanced age of our dogs...I wonder if they'll send us any signs know.

    Welcome home my friend. I missed you.


  6. I'm so glad you are writing here again! And I love that gives me goosebumps. Not the mermaid part, but the Stanley check-in and birthday greeting! Thanks for continuing to share your story and journey!

    Much love,
    Heather P