Sunday, July 25, 2010

My grands are off to Sea Adventure Camp!

American Pride tallship 

I’m just so thrilled! My granddaughters, 13 and 10, leave tomorrow morning for Sea Adventure Camp, spending five days aboard a three-masted schooner, American Pride, where they’ll raise sails, snorkel and kayak the waters of Catalina Island, explore and discuss marine life and their adaptations, learn ecology, geology, island history. There’ll be popcorn movie nights, beach parties, skits, sea shanties – my tummy’s tingly with excitement for them!

Here are a couple of links if you’d like to learn more:

Doesn’t it sound like a wonderful adventure? Like being a pirate at sea but without that pirating part – lol! My grands are very cool little chicas and they love a good adventure! One of their greatest gifts is that they are so adaptable to different situations. They know how to go with the flow and be flexible. Their mom and dad (my daughter and son-in-law) take ‘em on trips to the river and the lake in the summer, and snowboarding in the winter, plus other vacations (Hawaii, Mexico, Washington), and they’re just very comfortable and easy-going about things as a result. They aren’t tied to an outcome, rigid and inflexible; they just roll with whatever happens. Not being tied to an outcome and being adaptable are such great qualities, don’t you think?

When I called my dad the other night, he asked (as he always does), “How are the girls?” Now, Dad’s had a couple of strokes, so his memory isn’t as sharp as it was; he tells me “My clutch is slipping” – lol! On top of that, his hearing is pretty bad, too. Put bad memory and bad hearing together and you have yourself a challenging phone call for both of us. But we do our best. Sometimes I have to repeat something a time or two or remind him of names and relationships. Sometimes it’s too much and he just says some non-committal statement to make me think that he heard/understood me, but I know he didn’t. Doesn’t matter. We move on and it all works out.

When he asked about the girls, I told him about their Sea Adventure Camp and that they’d be on a schooner for five days. Oh, how he perked up! Dad served in the Navy in the Korean War aboard the USS Ernest G. Small. On October 7, 1951, his ship hit a mine off North Korea, killing 9 and wounding 18 of my father's friends. Four days, later her bow broke off in heavy seas. My dad loved being in the Navy. He’s always told me he loved being at sea, away from everyone; he loved the peace of being out on the ocean.

So he is just thrilled about the girls going on this Sea Adventure. I told him they would learn how to tie nautical knots and he told me that although he learned them in training, he never did them after that. He was the Personnel Officer so there was no need. He told me, too, that as Personnel Officer, he would get up at 4am each morning and check the newswires for the latest news. He’d then gather all the pertinent information together, make stencils and create a daily newspaper for the crew. I loved learning that about him. I love any and every opportunity I get to learn more about my dad’s personal story. I want to know his stories so I’ll have them to enjoy for the rest of my life. We all should share our stories more …

I’ll be picking up the girls on Friday when their ship returns. I’m really looking forward to hearing their stories about their adventures at sea!


PS. My youngest grand has been saying for some time now that she wants to be a Marine Biologist. Isn’t this just perfect?


dec0r8or said...

I'm so excited for you AND your grands, Rose! You'll get to hear all of their stories of adventure, and live vicariously for a while! What a wonderful opportunity for the girls. I've never heard of such a thing, but I LIKE it! I wonder if Kathleen would?

Please stop by my blog...If you're patient, there is a book recommendation for you--and I didn't even know about your father's strokes! Serendipity in action! (You'll see why.)

I want you to know that I have been taking many opportunities to just "be" this summer, and it's really paying off. I feel very peaceful and content, and in some small way, I have you to thank! ♥

Alex Steed said...

My father was also on the Ernest G. Small when it struck that mine in 1951. I am in the process of going through his pictures, seeing his buddies, etc. Dad passed away last year and I miss him greatly.