Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Wife

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your life... Ecclesiastes 9:9

Tom's Take:  I’m not sure what the process or the requirements are for saint hood but whatever they are, I believe my wife is qualified.  I’m not an easy person to live with and I should know, I live with myself.  They say opposites attract and that fits Sandy and I pretty well.   I’m a little more willing to try something that is a little more daring or adventurous (unless it's a new or strange food).  Sandy, on the other hand, needs a little more encouragement.  This might explain why, in the time we have been married, I have had several knee and back surgeries, stitches etc., to zero for her.  I jump then think about the place to land, she likes to ask a zillion questions and know as much as possible about where she will land before she jumps in.  I have a tendency to get lost; so she bought me a Tom Tom (I think that was actually for her). But By getting lost we have found some cool (and not so cool) places.  It has all worked out well for us even though some tense or stressful moments have occurred.  Most importantly, we have managed to have fun through it all. 

One of my favorite memories was a situation that became a real stretch for Sandy.  We have kayaked before and enjoyed it but our trips have always been in calm Caribbean waters.  On a recent visit to the big island of Hawaii we had read about a beautiful bay that was an ideal spot for kayaking and sight seeing.  At the far end of this bay is the location where Captain John Cook was killed and it's a popular trip to paddle across the wide bay to visit the marker that pinpoints the exact location.   It was a beautiful day when we visited, the sun was shining and there was no one around.  I wanted to kayak out and visit the marker but Sandy can’t swim very well so the idea of going out on the ocean in a small two person kayak took a bit of coaxing.   There was a lot of me saying “trust me honey, we will stay close to shore”.   You would think by now when I say “trust me” her radar alarm would be going WOOP WOOP WOOP.   But trust me she does and we rented the kayak and off we went.  

The pacific is a little less calm than the Caribbean waters we have kayaked in before, so at first we stayed close to shore.  But if you’re an experience kayaker you know that the closer to shore you are, the rougher the water is.  So I told Sandy that we needed to go out a little further from shore and besides, this was a big, deep bay and it would be quicker to go straight across then it would be to hug the shore line and since the majority of the paddling was being done be me I thought that was the better idea.  "Trust me," I said and trust me she did.

As we started to cross the middle of the bay I noticed some splashing several hundred yards in front of us and it appeared that whatever was making the splashes was coming our way.  It was then I realized the splashing was being created by a pod of dolphins and I told Sandy look to look straight in front of us. Fifteen to twenty dolphins where heading directly towards our kayak.  We were out in the middle of the deep blue bay all alone and no one else was even close to us.  I’ve seen dolphins many times before both above and below the water and have had the opportunity while diving to swim with dolphin pods in Costa Rica and again in Cozumel, but Sandy has never had an opportunity to see this beautiful animal so close.   She was as excited as she was scared and the dolphins quickly reached us, surrounding our kayak and jumping and swimming under and all around us.  It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  I held the kayak steady and we looked down into the clear water, watching the pod swim right under our kayak, coming up on the opposite side and jumping into the air just a few short feet away, spinning and splashing us with water as they put on a show just for us. There were several new born dolphins in the pod, some only a foot or two long and we felt the moms were showing off their kids, bringing them close to the kayak side and circling around and underneath us, rolling over and coaxing their babies to do the same.   As the mothers brought their babies alongside the kayak for us to get a good look at, the babies responded to our presence with curiosity and not a trace of fear. 

Sandy was nervous at this close invasion but she squealed like a little girl with excitement.  The show went on for about twenty minutes before the pod decided it was time to move on and by that time a few more kayaks had joined us.  That experience was worth the cost of the entire trip and I will forever remember watching Sandy watch the dolphin’s impromptu show.  I had more fun watching her and her excitement tinged with fear than I did watching the dolphins.  To be able to share that experience with her will always be one of the best memories I will ever have.  We stayed out for awhile longer hoping the dolphins would reappear but as we watched them swim out to the open ocean, we realized the show was over and made our way over to the other side of the bay to visit Captain Cook's marker, our original destination.  

Having a partner in life that is willing to be with you no matter what has made life wonderful.  The funny thing is, as we have gotten a little older the dynamics in our adventurous spirits have began to change.  Sandy isn’t ready to bungee jump or cliff dive but she has gotten a lot braver and I think I have mellowed al little more.  And even with a Tom Tom, I can still get lost.

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