An infinite number of rays pointing in all directions


“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

— Mark Twain, Great American Writer

I have never, not once, regretted my decision to join the Navy.  Yes, I complained at the time as anyone and everyone did.  But living on board a ship for a year, formed who I was and that formation has stayed with me through my entire life.  I have a restlessness and an energy for movement and adventure.  I love change.. and I love that some things appear to stay the same within that change.  I am sometimes sad that I retired .. sad that I am the age I am and cannot go back and start it all over again… and yet… I am fine with where I am!

“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.”

— Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain

I love the sea, waves, boats, birds, blue skies, endless sun, ocean and surf!  I love the smell of the water, the sound of it lapping up against a boat.  The idea of taking off from one shore and landing on another sends chills down my spine and sets my mind to dreaming of the various adventures I could (again) find.   I love compasses, sails, ropes, and the stories that have been made from this topic.  It was how all lands and new worlds have been discovered!

“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.”

— Joseph Conrad, Writer

I was invited to Baltimore for some seafood and of course I had to stop at the piers to take in the boats!  So beautiful!  Every time I find a port, I devour it.. I take tons of photos.. I relive my favorite and most life changing job.  I do not know a single sailor who does not do this.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

— William Arthur Ward, Writer

Even when we were complaining, we were dreaming.  I am lucky enough to still be in touch with many of my sailing friends and though most would not go back at this stage of their lives.. there are so many great memories shared.

“What she really loved was to hang over the edge and watch the bow of the ship slice through the waves. She loved it especially when the waves were high and the ship rose and fell, or when it was snowing and the flakes stung her face.” 
― Kristin Cashore, Graceling

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“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

— Vincent Van Gogh, Painter

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“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

— Kenneth Grahame, Writer

“There is nothing like lying flat on your back on the deck, alone except for the helmsman aft at the wheel, silence except for the lapping of the sea against the side of the ship. At that time you can be equal to Ulysses and brother to him.”

— Errol Flynn, Actor

 

“The cabin of a small yacht is truly a wonderful thing; not only will it shelter you from a tempest, but from the other troubles in life, it is a safe retreat.”

— Francis Herreshoff, Boat Designer

Stillness


I started this post in 2016… life had been very “unstill” at that time.  It is more still these days.. and yet with the government shutdown.. less still internally with the insecurity of what is going to happen to myself and others who have no idea when the government will open back up.  Waking up in a panic wondering if I still have a job..though once the cobwebs of sleep clear.. knowing that I do.. but wondering how we got to this point and when it will end.

So with time on my hands.. restless and yet so still… I thought this would be a good reminder to get back on the move with becoming more still… and patient… deep breath..let’s go.

 

Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.   ~~~~~Morgan Freeman

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Further posts on stillness or serenity

Aishwarya, Dailypost, Wanderlust, Deetravel, Another Voice, pixiedust, emptythoughts, lifeaccordingto, memoirsof, doris, jardin, joan, momma

3 days – 3 years


As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.

-Yo-Yo Ma

I am 3 days from the end of my 3 year tour in Lagos, Nigeria.  It has been as amazing as I have expected it to be and as good as any other place I have had the pleasure of living and working.  The people are magic and the country is unfound gold.  Yes, there were ups and downs.. good people with bad….like every where.  Unlike everywhere, there were electrical outages, random housing alarms, floods, bacterial and parasitical infections, needing to leave 10 hours ahead of a flight to ensure you get to the airport in time to fly out, and of course chaotic traffic issues.

However, if you open your eyes, heart and mind to what is around you, you can find the smiles and the warmth that exist beyond the frustration, image or object that is directly in front of you.  When you can do that, you will find that as different as everything is around you, at the core of it all, it is still very much the same of who and what you are.. just people in a random part of the world trying to make a living and a life.   You will find that you have become a part of a life that at times had seemed incomprehensible and that life has now become a part of you.

When I arrived in Nigeria, I was considered a tough manager who was too hard on the people I was managing.  My expectations were too high and I did not cut anyone any slack.  A year into my position, I held an awards dinner for my staff because not only did they meet my bar but they surpassed my expectations for achieving a cohesive and high-functioning team.  Before I could even present my award to my team, they stopped me and actually gave me a speech at how much I positively affected their lives and their work.  The team lead started out by saying, “My oga (big boss), when you arrived it was like a hurricane…” another team member shouted out, “MORE LIKE A TSUNAMI!!!” This brought chuckles but also earned me the affectionate nickname “Tsunami Sam”

On Friday they gave me a shirt and told me that on Monday, my very last day of work here, we would all wear this shirt.  I am proud of my team and proud of myself for breaking down walls, changing hearts (mine as well).. and leaving Nigeria on a super positive note.  I will miss Nigeria with a passion.  I basically say this at the end of every tour.. and I basically mean what I say.  Nigeria I will miss you!!

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One of the girls even drew a pencil sketch of me.. amazing…

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I will end with some photos of my last few walks.  I will miss … not miss … some of the hazards of walking on the sidewalks.. not really sidewalks of Lagos.  I hope you have enjoyed my visions of Nigeria as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of my experiences here.

And off I go!!

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.   – Steven Wright

I don’t know what my path is yet. I’m just walking on it.   – Olivia Newton-John

Life of Value


Beach Day – short and sweet.  This is the first time I have travelled to the beach and did not actually take pictures of the beach.  For some reason I was much more interested in the journey then the actual time spent there.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did!!

Fait alone will lead you to – – –

The Netherlands


Much of the Netherlands lies leagues below sea level.  On one level I knew this but traveling there and actually seeing several different cities and the leaning of the buildings as they struggled to stand straight and tall in the sand, it really dawned on me that I was literally walking under the sea.  Not really but it was an impressive thought that everything i walked on had once been under water.  I understood after visiting several cities that the Dutch really were born of the sea.  I stayed in Wassanaar near a windmil, visited the Hague, Edam-Volendam, Leiden, Delft, Haarlem,  and a few other surrounding cities.  It was amazing and so different from my visit to Amsterdam.  I was super happy to have been able to get back there and explore areas that I had not been to before.  I hope you enjoy.