Well, one week in, and I am enjoying being home very much, although there have been distractions. It's 6am, which is not my usual writing time. I woke up at 0500, a full 2 hours early for me. Strange, too, as I went to bed late. Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife had dental surgery yesterday, which has left her... grumpy and uncomfortable, let's say, and I've been trying to fill her shoes.
My wife is a housewife these days, with all that that entails. With just one teenage boy in the house, the workload isn't horrific, but it's certainly a full-time gig. We generally eat all of our meals together. I don't give a shit if we're eating pizza, we're sitting down with real plates and glasses, napkins and all of that shit. No TV or cell phones, either. It's just our thing, one of the ways we accommodate being separated so often by the work I do. Plus, when we do eat more casually, outside by the grill or whatever, we enjoy it all the more.
I don't take the hard work my wife does for granted, certainly, but I'm still astonished by how fast the damn kitchen gets dirty and how much crap just always needs to be washed. I have a thing about dirty dishes- I don't like not being able to see the bottom of the sink. My wife's the same. I do cook about 1/3 of the time when I'm home, but I rarely have to clean much. Division of labor and all that.
The support and comfort structures we put in place as a compensation mechanism in dealing with regular absences of a married mariner are repeated by some of my coworkers, although so often we arrive at these measures independently. People are so different and variable in our natures and ways that how we provide or seek out comfort and support might vary in infinite ways, but the results tend to look somewhat similar. Variables like kids and things like that seem to make this more obvious, but that may have more to do with the lifestyle attracting people predisposed to certain things, anyhow. Regardless, it seemed like the older sailors I worked with had done some of these things, too, enough that I noticed and noted it, and over the years between then and now, I've mentioned it to some of the younger guys. I think it will be harder for them. Different times.
There have been a few challenges in my first week home. With my company tightening belts and the oil transport trade in general looking like a shit show just now, I've been looking ahead wondering what the future holds for yours truly. If you follow any of the folks on my sidebar and bloglist, master mariners like Captain Jill have been struggling for a while to find stable employment. I've been lucky, but I am not longer able to take my great good fortune for granted. I need to be able to survive instability in our trade, and am starting to take notice. I need to take some more classes, be ready to sail on my license and up the tonnage, too, which I have been coasting with for a while.
Since I moved to Florida, pressure washing in the summer has replaced snow shoveling in winter. Spiderwebs in my screenhouse and mildew on my driveway and patio just won't do, and every 4 months I pressure wash outside, and it's a wet and messy job. I managed to blister my right foot pretty good last week, walking around with wet feet for a couple of hours, so I've had a gimp. The other night I slipped getting out of the shower, and strained my LEFT ankle, so I've had a double gimp. I've been shuffling like an old man or walking like a penguin, but also sitting on my couch at night, which is NOT my style. I tend to keep busier than that. So it goes. I have always been... maladroit, let's say.
I'm just starting to feel better today on that, although I'll be driving my kid to school in another hour and plan to stop at Home Depot on the way back, so we'll see how a little walking around goes.