I’ve been married to the man for close to forty years now.  Someday, I’ll sit down and figure out how many of those years we’ve actually spent in the same house.  Not that it would change anything. 

For a lot of those years, he didn’t even have a chest of drawers in the bedroom. Just a place to toss down his sea-bag.  He’d come home, put his razor and tooth brush in the bathroom.  About the third time I ran all his clothing through the washer and hung them on the line to dry, they’d lose some of that diesel-and-boat smell.  I’d get to see the latest addition to the scar collection.  Hear the latest ultra gross jokes.  Hear which boats had caught their limit, who was losing his boat, who was buying a bigger boat, which old friends weren’t ever coming home from sea again.  Usually he left again just before spring to go north and fish herring, stayed for salmon, and came home in late September or early October. 

The toughest year was the one our younger son was one.  The man was home for just under a month that year.

He went from fishing boats to tenders to ocean going tugs.  Then to a NOAA ship in 2007.  He was gone for almost all of that year, but we got a few breaks together when he came home for a week or two.   And such a novelty: Email!  And sometimes, his cell phone worked.  Not if he was down in the engine room, but some nights, if he went out on the deck, he’d have enough bars to call home.  He managed to get home for a couple of weeks at the end of August and we went to the World SF Convention in Japan.

2008.  The man stayed home for amost a whole year.  Saw summer with us.  Celebrated our daughter’s birthday in June, one of the rare years that he has ever been home for that.  Got to know his grandson.  Had to help mow a lawn!  Went out on a couple small jobs, but nothing over a couple of weeks. Then he was home again.

And, I suspect, got just a bit bored. 

So, on Wednesday, he headed out the door.  Loaded up the duffle bag with all the usual gear.  Checked to make sure he had his licenses packed.  Put him on a plane for Freeport, Texas.  Not sure how long he’ll be gone. The Sea Trader needs to be rejuvenated, and it may take a bit of doing.

Irony department: Since Robin Hobb was so late finishing the book and had to work so many hours on it, we didn’t have much free time together after September.  Well, now the book is finished and the man is off to sea again.

The house will be quieter.  The bathroom will stay clean.  The house will look as if only women live here, as will indeed be the case.  The menu will change.  There will not be any sockets or screwdrivers going through the washer or dryer.  The weekly laundry will be done in three loads or less.  The cat will walk on the table with impunity.  The dog will sulk.  The coffee cups will stay in the house, not wander out to the garage or vacation in the cab of his red pickup truck.  I will not have to share the remote control. The newspaper will stay where I put it. 

Guess it’s time to start writing another book.  It’ll go a lot faster without a sailor underfoot.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Commenting closes after 14 days


  • I’m glad your cat gets to walk on the table now. My parents are always yelling about that, I don’t see what the problem is. I let my cats eat off my plate and drink out of my water cup too.

  • sini74 says:

    As this is in Megan’s journal, can we hope that the next book will be a Lindholm one? Not that I have anything against Robin but isn’t it Megan’s turn for change?

  • katogden says:

    I am not sure about that. It is well know that while Robin is gracious to work with, the sort of author who brings her assistant chocolates from abroad, Megan Lindholm is the type who disappears with said chocolates and will not disclose the hidden location of the chocolates.

  • I’m happy that the writing will go faster, but sad that your sailor is off again.

  • erikh says:

    Megan has only your best interests at heart.

    Even a small amount of ingested chocolate can be very bad for you, especially your heart.

    Oh, wait. That’s dogs, isn’t it?

    Oh, well. The chocolate was good.