Another Happiness

July 13, 2006  Thursday   Another happiness I’ve realized today is that most of my close group on the ship are all E-5s, better known as Second Class Petty Officers.   It isn’t really like a “class” like you would have in school, or I once had, but there are parallels.  Our common touchstones are…

A Brief Survival Guide to Being Lost at Sea

March 18, 2006  Saturday Dear Carlson Family, far away– I was asked by Marley and her family tonight, as they visit her (she has just returned from Italy) about what life is like in the Navy.  More specifically, what it must be like to be out here amid the waves for so long?   I…

Mostly Waiting

February 25, 2006  Friday Today was spent mostly waiting, doing an odd job, then waiting some more, trying not to look at the clock yet wanting it to suddenly get to whatever point it took until they relented and let them free.  Having duty today, I was not stressed by this, because my time will…

Princess Is Outta Here

  February 2, 2005  Wednesday The last of our brief three days out to sea, tooling up and down the Atantic coast, is highlighted by some remarkable news.  This morning at quarters Uittenbogaard (a first class perry officer who arrived to the sonar division in November while I was away cranking, so a stranger to…

A Crank No More – The Impressive Mr. Owens

January 28, 2005  Friday A crank no more.  Yes, I am done, the Wardroom Odyssy begun on October 25th has come to an end.  Overly dramatic?  Strangely, I am as happy to rejoin the Pingers in sonar as I was to leave them for a while and begin my food service tour.  A lot of…

Never Too Careful

  January 11, 2004  Tuesday Finally  back from a 10-day leave to Illinois, for New Year’s.  Yesterday I felt like it was my first day on board.  The rust was heavy, not only from leave, but because it was the first day with the entire crew back in three weeks.  I am also amazed by…

A Seed Planted in Rock

  November 24, 2004  Wednesday Hello once again Home– I got your newest mail, and I am glad to hear that you are still doing well.  I also liked getting your news clipping proclaiming a rejuvenating Iraq amid a nay-saying American media.  I’d like to write my thoughts on this below, to the article you sent….

Welcome Aboard

September 28, 2004 Tuesday   Hi, Home–It’s me, and I’m glad that first you will check your email more, and second that you share my letters with Dad.  I’m sure that both of you have many questions about it here, and I’d like to answer any you may have.  What must just be part of…

The X-Rays Were Negative

September 11, 2004  Saturday   Dear Mollie, now way over in Japan, Excuse me if I make some typos today (more than usual).  Everything is pretty good over here in Norfolk, Virginia, and nothing to complain about.  The “fleet,” as they say.  It’s not like our sonar school in San Diego.  However, we did pretty…

The Reluctant Sailor, Chapter I: Soft Mad Children

written August 11, 2004   Chapter I: Soft Mad Children                                                                      September 11, 2001- April 23, 2002   The anti-beginning was on a Tuesday, but of course nothing has been the same since then. An English Lit. class was begining soon, at 9:30, and I was on Western Illinois Universoty’s campus more than an hour early. …

The Seventh Day

written May 21, 2006   This morning I slept until 9:30 (well, I was in bed til then, but thinking for most likely half an hour, just lying there).  Finally I made myself get up and take a shower, to feel fresh for my day “off,” finishing just in time to make it to the…

Shell Games

written February 2015   Shell Games Not many know this: Bonnie Prince Charlie’s heart, the slippery, pulsing piece of warm meat that propelled its perfumed, armored outer shell into leading the famous Scottish insurrection, now resides in a cathedral in Frascati, Italy. It happens to be in Italy and not Scotland because in 1746 the…