Family Fun Day and Pre-Longline Boat Work

I never get sick.

I don’t work in an office (does my bedroom closet count as an office?), don’t fly on airplanes very often, or hang out in schools. I exercise a lot, eat well most of the time, and have taken prenatal vitamins for the past three years.

I carry Clorox wipes with me to clean off restaurant highchairs before placing Vincent in them. I carry hand sanitizer in my purse, shopping cart seat covers in both the car and truck, and usually bring my own bags inside the grocery store so I don’t have to touch the shopping baskets.

(I never used to be quite this bad. My sister, Stephanie, however, is this bad–worse, actually–and her ways have had an impact.)

Anyway, I’m sick now, and I know why.

I taught Jazzercise this week at a facility I’d never been to, as a favor to the regular instructor at that gym. Unfortunately, my own microphone did not work in their (in need of repair) sound system, and I was forced to use the “gym mic”. As a result, I now have swollen throat glands, an ear ache, congestion and small cough.

George has been busy on the boat, taking care of a few loose ends before the crew gets here and they start the real work necessary before leaving for Alaska to catch the halibut and blackcod quota. He spent the week working on the starter for the main engine, repairing the fuel pump for the main engine and generator, and replacing the hydraulic motor for the longline hauler. (The longline hauler is a piece of equipment, similar to a crab block, that brings in the hook-and-line longline gear.)

A friend remarked that it seemed George was leaving for this season earlier than usual. She’s right. The price of halibut is good, and he’d like to get up there and wrap it up before the price drops. The price of marine diesel is incentive enough to get up there and get it done. It will take about 6000 more gallons of diesel to top off the tanks, and at $4 a gallon…$24,000 right off the top is a good motivator to just get going.

I spent some time this week continuing to read and work through a little book I’ve found to be very useful. The chapter I worked on was called “Endurance.” One of the prompts asked me to list all of my daily activities and the goals they fulfill. If there were activities listed that didn’t line up with my goals, the suggestion was to eliminate them.

“This will be easy,” I said.

“My kids are so little that we aren’t a part of the soccer/softball/ballet/piano lesson circuit yet. We just hang out here at home. We don’t run all over town, trying to get here and there. I don’t have anything to eliminate.

“Hardly relevant to me,” I assured myself.

I began my list with “Breakfast for Kids.”  The goal: feeding and caring for my children.  Nothing wrong with that, I assume. Next up: “Make bed.” Hey, I’m making my living space clean and tidy. Next:  “Go to Jazzercise.” Exercise for Mommy, play for kids, socialization for all three of us.

So far, so good.

But then, “Clean kitchen” came up. “Vacuum floors” appeared. “Mop.” “Filing and bills.”  “Clean kitchen,” again. I even entered “Misc. household things,” as one of my activities.

It was obvious: I spend too much time cleaning and organizing my household and everyone in it. It’s where I lose my endurance. And that’s with George’s help! If I try to keep up this pace up while he’s gone, I may not have the endurance needed to make it successfully through each day.

Lesson noted.

In other news, we put Eva and Vincent in the sit-‘n-stand stroller and walked to a family festival in our town today. Eva found a hoola hoop and chased after some bubbles that a nice lady blew over  the community green. George kept his eye on Eva while I listened to a folk trio on stage and kept my eye on Vincent, who sat contentedly in the stoller.

The individual voices of the trio were decent enough, the harmonies almost pleasant.

Closer to Heaven everyday,” the trio sang to a crowd of mostly children and parents.

Not bad, I thought, when the song ended.

“That song wasn’t about Jesus,” one of the singers announced when it was over.


“It was about beer!” she called into her microphone.

George looked over at me then.

“Isn’t this Family Fun Day?” he asked.





  1. I saw your husband’s boat this year here in Westport-nice one, if I should say. The ducks flag was, well, a ducks flag, but we all cannot be huskies, right? Anyhow, I am going to turn my wife on to this blog, as I work out of Kodiak(F/V Kulshan) and hopefully here in Westport this winter. I HOWLED at the whole clean house thing-you and she said the same thing, except for the dishes was, “I kept the dishes clean all summer, and now that you are home, it seems like the dishes are always stacking up”. Yeah, it is a universal thing, believe me! Take care, and I hope that your husband and the Vis do well longlining this year. If I see him in the next few in Kodiak, I will say hi.

  2. Hey, what a wonderful comment, thank you! I feel the same about the dishes. G doesn’t believe me when I say the house is perfectly clean when he’s fishing and it’s just the kids and me that are here….now I have someone to back me up. Thank you so much for your good wishes on the longline season. Same to you and your family!

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