Relying on Grace.

We knew December was going to be a tough month around here; getting ready for the Dungeness crab season, celebrating Eva’s sixth birthday, preparing for Christmas, entering the final weeks of pregnancy, and doing a major bedroom overhaul here at home was never going to be smooth or easy.

Unfortunately, we had no choice but to do everything in four short weeks and it has been as overwhelming and tiring as we anticipated. There have been some highlights; our friend and neighbor’s help with the room switch, Eva’s birthday party turning out better than I’d hoped, and receiving Christmas cards from friends and family have all been little spurts of joy throughout.

I’m probably a little more burned out than usual because I’m on new medication for the last four weeks of this pregnancy that makes me nauseous and tired. Of course, I’ve felt that way from the very beginning so it’s not a real change for me…just that I’d hoped for some relief before the birth.

At one of my three-times-a-week doctor appointments, I finally asked one of the nurses why this pregnancy  has been so much more difficult than the others.

Is it my age? Is it the being watched like a hawk by medical staff that’s a spirit-dampener? Is it the mental challenge for someone who doesn’t deal well with surprise or change? Is it from exhaustion having two energetic children already at home? The physical strain of a third pregnancy?

Most likely, it’s all of it. There is really nothing to do but see the rest of these few weeks out with as much grace as possible and hope for the best when it’s time to deliver.

Speaking of which; we still don’t know whether George will be here for the event. As you know, the baby is due on January 25. We finally received word that the official start date for the Dungeness crab season is January 24. For those of you that don’t know, that means they’ll set gear (dump 500 crab pots) about three days before, which is January 21. In order to get to the boat and out to the middle of the ocean, George will leave home on January 19.

My best hope is that the baby up and decides to make her way out by herself on January 15.

We do have an alternate captain scheduled to take the wheel and relieve George for a couple of weeks during the crab season, but George absolutely has to be there for the first setting of 500 crab pots. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, the safety of crew, and several families with children all depending upon getting the season off to the best financial and safest start possible.

If the crab season had begun when it usually does, around the first of January, George could have set the first critical round of pots, got the season started, and then handed it off to the relief captain and come home for the baby.

However, the season starting so late in the month put a big wrench in that plan. As I said, all I can do is stay calm, have a plan in place, and try to see these last few weeks through with as much grace as I can muster.

I want to take a minute and pay a small blog tribute to my old Southeast Alaska fishing friend, Monte, who passed away suddenly and tragically this week of a heart attack at the age of thirty-two. Upon learning this news, I literally doubled over and sobbed, unable to believe or comprehend what happened. I was sure my eyes were tricking me, that it was some terrible joke or hoax.

Of course, it wasn’t.

Monte, who leaves behind a wife and six-month-old baby, was the sweetest, toughest, kindest, most original character you’d be lucky to know. At his funeral yesterday, I think everyone felt comfort that the music, stories, pictures, and video perfectly captured Monte’s authentic spirit and person. His love of fishing, the outdoors, creativity, wife, baby, friends, and helpful nature were all represented at his final departure from shore.

Rest in peace, dear Monte. You will never be forgotten.


  1. Jen, I am so sorry to read about Monte. My prayers are with his family, his friends, and you.

    I am still praying that George will be with you as you welcome your baby to the world. If he has to go before she arrives, let me know if you need any help. I would love to come up!

  2. Oh, Jen… So sorry to hear of Monte’s loss, and the rough time December’s been. We lost one of our most beloved fleet members two Septembers ago; still hurts, although we’ve gotten to the point that we tell more Steve stories with laughter than tears. Sending thoughts of support, best wishes, and yes, grace, to you and yours. Hang in there, friend.

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