May 27, 2006 Saturday
We had our first mail call, just as lunch began. The line was formidable, but I waited. I get the mail for my entire division, and I was disappointed yet realistic when I was only handed the bills of a few and a Reader’s Digest. “Maybe next port,” I thought hopefully as I turned, sorting the scant stack.
Then I was stopped by Berkey: “Hey, Carlson! I missed some!”
Surprise isn’t the word for finding two small packages and a postcard from you. I quickly took my mail to berthing and found a quiet corner to open it in, thinking that the best I have even gotten something across the Atlantic in the past was two weeks. The mail actually beat me here! I was so thankful to get these packages from you, and it made my slightly grey morning evaporate completely, just knowing there you are out there. It was perfectly timed, and each package felt like a hug. Thank you. Each little thing, even the Kleenex and chap stick, meant, I know, take care of myself. I will have a little of the fruit and nuts the next time I am on watch, okay?
A week though! I never would have thought something sent on May 20 would have already reached me.
I really liked the postcard, stuffed full of peppers, and your funny note about green chile (I love how you spell it that way). After I had carefully tucked away everything, at lunch, I picked out a pepper that was just like the one on the card from the salad bar and ate it, all for YOU (I had a glass of ice water standing by, but it was more sweet than hot)!
My mind was now set: a had to respond in kind before we leave again.
The rest of my day, this afternoon, was rough. I’m okay now, but the gist is that I was kept busy right up to liberty call. After not getting off the ship last night because of duty, it would have been nice to have a little time away. Cliff and Ginty came looking for me when I was still the middle of what I was doing, but I couldn’t keep them waiting, when I know it was going to be awhile longer and I had yet to take a shower and all, and they were ready to walk off the brow. I said they could go on ahead, but Marley, I was really looking forward today, because they have duty tomorrow and I’ll most likely spend most of the day tomorrow at the hospital to get my aching right knee looked at.
But I’d like to positive and half-full. Yes, we are in a foreign country, but we are also in the middle of nowhere, and if this does have to happen, this is the place to not get off the ship at all. Yes, I am staying onboard, but I should explain. I looked around for others, two more (the minimum of a group is three), that wanted to just get dinner and walk through the city, but everyone I found just wanted to drink. Of course I was asked to go, just because every group is required to have one sober member, which I’m totally okay with. Ginty, Cliff, and I are going to be a sober group all to ourselves during this cruise, and we’ve already talked about not wanting to go out to be some party group’s crutch. If I could have done something I would have liked to get to the NEX store and mail off a nice package for you, because you deserve it. For doing so well in your Boot Camp, and because I want to make a few of your days surprises, like you have for me. Hopefully I will get this done tomorrow– it is at the top of my list. And I am already looking forward to our next (supposed) stop, more than this one. So I didn’t get out today, no, but I get a little time alone tonight, got time to write a long email to Marley, listened to some music, and now I’ll retire to do some reading. I haven’t been able to do that in a few days, so I am at least using the night to relax and have some time for myself. And I will call you tomorrow!!! =) I feel quite happy now.