epic hike and other reflections

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We went hiking with our intrepid adventure buddies (Nate, Laurie and daughter Cate). We decided to find a waterfall mentioned to us by a fellow hiker. The distance estimates, however, were a little off. One guy we ran into was like, “Ummm, I’m not very good with times. It might have been five minutes?” Or it could have been 15, 20… You get the idea! We had a great time and Laurie gets a medal of honor for hiking with a spiral fracture in her pinky toe. She was a real trooper. (She didn’t break her toe on the hike – it was a freak accident…) The kids did great – it was a long time in the pack for them (about 3 hrs total) because it was really pretty slippery going most of the way.

Dave went to sleep at around 7pm tonight since he has to go into work at 2am on a holiday weekend. On Veteran’s Day no less. Appropriate! We can’t count how many holidays and weekends he’s worked, so this is no different than anything else. In fact, we were getting really comfortable with the relatively relaxed 50 hrs a week he’s putting in now. I was just reflecting tonight on how his current schedule feels like retirement to us. Made me wonder just how much he was really working while in the shipyard. I tried not to focus on the difficult times, all those nights I was alone, eating dinner with Sam, then doing the bath and bedtime routine by myself and finally unwinding at the computer looking for a place to live in Hawaii. There were so many of those nights during the underways (about 6 months total), and many more late nights when he was home. Tonight when I took Sam for a drive (a “date” with mommy) I remembered with joy how we bonded during those times, how I counted on him to be my little buddy, and how well we did surviving without Daddy.

Still curious, though, I did some quick math – Dave worked probably closer to 70 hrs a week most weeks, with some longer weeks and sea time thrown in. So having him home every night at relatively predictable times is a real paradigm shift for us. We are really grateful. This reflection is probably driven by thinking about Dave’s brother Dan and his imminent return home from Iraq. I am excited for his family as if he were coming home to us, here in Hawaii. It’s a thrilling occasion – all the anticipation and worry finally culminating in relief. I am almost nostalgic and wish Dave were heading to sea again so we could have that rhythm back. Strange – an email from Dan just came in! Signing off now to read it. Hug your nearest veteran tomorrow.


  1. great gramma or g.g.ntm401@ 11 November, 2006

    so many adventures!!!! sam is going to be an outdoorsman for sure!!! what great news from dan!! can,t wait to hear him from the u.s.a.the only veteran near me is unc. rich so he,ll get the hug…love to all xxxx g.g.

  2. Matt 14 November, 2006

    Epic hike and reflections. How literary!

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