So, Christmas is over, and apparently I missed kind of a suck Christmas, as far as such things go. I'm lonely, though, it being in the middle of the night, us being anchored, and again, it being Christmas.
I had anxiety dreams all afternoon before waking up for watch, which led to an unpleasant sleep. The Staten Island Ferries are waking us periodically, which made me doze off quickly, the rocking motion being fantastic, but I guess my subconscious was working. I dreamed of my father's last days almost the entire sleep cycle. This being the first Christmas without him, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. So that sucked.
By way of cheering things up, I've been watching the TV show 'modern family' tonight, because my nieces have been telling me how much one of the characters resembles (and sounds like) Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife...turns out, they're correct-it's a fun show, and full of inside humor that manages to hit the bullseye when comes to being a fattish caucasian married to a very lovely latina. Speaking of which, I managed to give one extra Christmas present to the Mrs. before I drove to work, and she's coughing and sneezing and generally pretty annoyed at me for passing on a bug and then recovering very quickly from it myself.
By now I'm, if not immune, than certainly inured to the idea of holidays away. I am so happy that I was home for Christmas last year. So much has changed this year between my dad's passing and my oldest nephew having joined the Navy. My father (and a brother and sister, too) all spent time away for Christmas in the Navy, themselves, and their tradition (finishing work and climbing into bed with a comforting bottle of whatever) of celebrating Christmas away won't work for yours truly. Maybe it's like a famous captain said: "My mother was correct. I should have been a pimp."
It wasn't that long ago that I spent Christmas truly at sea, with no communication from the outside world. Days like today, it's easy to forget that it's only in my recent good fortune that I can call my wife and get yelled at two, even three times a day for making her sick.
In brighter news, today being Christmas, I finally got a chance to really crawl in and over everything in my new command. I got to climb the mast, poke my head in some void spaces, peer at the poop tanks (ew!), and tap and poke at all the corners and oddball valves and conduits. I finally feel like I can make a comfortable living here. Hopefully this bears out. I still remember the last time I worked on this class of barge. All the climbing over and stepping around pipelines and deck gear, I had my pants ripped damn near right off my body, to the entertainment and delight of the deck gang of the ship that we were bunkering at the time.