fifteen things I did on spring break

cruise

For the better part of five days, I was without internet service or cell phone coverage. I couldn’t check my work email. I could not read my latest patient updates in our electronic medical record (something I’m apt to do on weekends or holidays, even when I’m off). I was not able to read status updates on Facebook or browse the beautiful images on Instagram. I was not able to tweet or read tweets. Or retweet, for that matter. I was not able to read the New York Times or the Washington Post or watch funny cat videos online.

Instead, I was able to do the following:
1. Read most of a book. I’ve become hooked on Tania French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and I’m almost done with the third one, Faithful Place.
2. Share in a nightly toast with my husband and children during cocktail hour, before each evening’s dinner. We toasted with our glasses of beer (for him) and wine (for me) and Shirley Temples (for the little ones) to each other and to a wonderful vacation.
3. Knit several rows of stitches in the shawl I’m working on, one of two projects on my needles right now. I’ve learned that I can’t have just one project at a time. Turns out that I’m not a monogamous knitter.
4. Have soft serve ice cream twice a day. Or more.


5. Show off my mad ping-pong skills. I am only slightly better than my kids, but they are so terrible at the game that it makes me look like a champion.
6. Sit with the sun on my shoulders and my feet in a swimming pool, with one of my kids on either side of me, while judging a belly flop competition. It’s amazing what grown men with a few (or a dozen) drinks in them will do to show off. It’s even more amazing that we all had so much fun watching the contest.
7. Ignore depressing current events.
8. Have countless discussions about the Titanic and whether our ship, the Brilliance of the Seas, was built better than the Titanic and had enough lifeboats for everyone and whether there were icebergs in the Gulf of Mexico. The answers were always yes, yes, and no.
9. Marvel at how the sun seems almost alive in its last minutes on the horizon, before disappearing over the edge of the earth.
10. Swim with a dolphin named Lula at Dolphin Discovery in Grand Cayman. I loved it more than I ever imagined I would.
11. Learn the definitions of forward and aft.
12. Fail to learn the definitions of starboard and port.
13. Not think about death and dying, family crises, work dilemmas, promotion and tenure, manuscripts waiting to be finished, manuscripts waiting to be started, summer camp sign ups, or my floundering enthusiasm for blogging.
14. Go to bed shortly after dark, and awake shortly after dawn, with never a nightmare in between.
15. Relax.

cruise sunset

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8 Responses to “not-so-silent sunday: the mother and the tigers”

  1. Macaroni Mama — January 5, 2014 @ 8:02 am

    I love the way you told this story. Great pictures!

  2. Paula — January 5, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    Such a lovely tale with such beautiful photographs.

    P.S. As for the Minecraft-addled boy, I think he took in more of the day at the sanctuary than you think 🙂

  3. Gail — January 5, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    Such a beautifully written story, MJ.
    Tigers are stunningly beautiful creatures and I’m glad the husband ignored the edict.

  4. Katy — January 5, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    Delightfully written and beautifully photographed! Thank you,

  5. Brooke @ Foodwoolf.com — January 5, 2014 @ 6:17 pm

    What a lovely story of acceptance, silence, and pretty tigers. I just re-viewed “Life of Pi” last night, so this post seems especially poignant. The part about your son reminds me that sometimes we’re just not ready to see beautiful things in our lives–it isn’t until we are ready from the inside that we can see the great stuff going on beyond us.

    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family.

  6. Min — January 6, 2014 @ 6:34 am

    Hilarious story and a lovely one to boot. Happy New Year, MJ!

  7. Di — January 8, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

    so well done. I have often thought of story-telling with photos instead of illustrations because I have zero artistic talent. I now know how successful it can be. As always, thank you for sharing.

  8. Ginnette — January 10, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

    LOVE this story. Thank you for sharing it and the wonderful pictures!

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