How many times do you think about your past and think, “Did we really do that? Was that really a thing?” Yesterday I had lunch with some friends I’ve known for more than ten years. One friend was my co-worker from one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. We worked together at the Community Support Center in Bad Aibling, Germany. The CSC housed the Family Advocacy Program for our military community and as a part of FAP, Terri would occasionally go on temporary duty to the States for training. I didn’t remember until she brought it up yesterday that it was typical for her to bring back underwear for the office whenever she would go. Of course, this was before internet shopping was as abundant as it is now. Not everyone shipped to Army Post Office (APO) addresses, so people going to the States were often given a list of things to bring back. Sometimes it was a request for food you couldn’t find locally – for us, it was Victoria Secret underwear. We were an office full of women, so we’d all put in our order for the 5 for $20 underwear. One girl liked thongs, I liked the bikinis and another liked the briefs. So during her free time, Terri would trek to the mall to collect a bucket full of panties.
It made me realize that 1) it’s strange what people miss when they go overseas; b) what a very good friend I have in Terri that she would buy me underwear as a souvenir; and lastly, how wonderful it is to have friendships like that last for decades. I do think there’s something about social media that has made keeping friendships longer, but there has to be a deep foundation to be able to pick up where you left off no matter how often you see each other.
We had lunch at a restaurant right on the water in Annapolis. It was overcast and a little rainy, but it was still nice on the water. It certainly didn’t keep the tourists away. While we were sitting in the restaurant we noticed right outside there was a bridal party getting settled on a boat. Perhaps they were going to be married “at sea” or maybe they were just going for a sail as part of the reception. Regardless, I started thinking about careers that have to do with bodies of water.
How many different careers must there be? Being not far from the Naval Academy, of course that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I have a different friend who’s son is a submariner. I have more respect for her family knowing that they ship off a loved one in a tin can with very little opportunities for communication. Bless them all! I wonder about the crews of charter boats and large yachts. There’s a television show all about the stewards aboard a private yacht. I think about the people out on the Eastern Shore who give boat tours of the islands.
This week is Shark Week on Discovery Channel. I can only imagine the frenzy of sea-related careers that I’ll see. People who study shark definitely need people who are so intimately familiar with the sea that they are at home there. I know that if I’m getting a cab in a city, I don’t want the guy who doesn’t know where he’s going.
What’s your favorite water related job?