Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Helen (My First Cruise)

As usual, Helen had done "homework." She opened her notebook and read the title at the top of her first page: My First Cruise.

Immediately, Hattie said, "Oh, another romantic story!" She turned giddy.

"Actually, not this one," Helen said, smiling at her friend, adding to the suspense.

True, if you read the writing on the page, it wasn't intended to be romantic. But when Helen elaborated on it afterwards (just talking through it, not writing more) the story turned out romantic in the end. Helen loved her husband. That much is clear.

My First Cruise


When I was a teenager, I liked to read the society pages of the Sunday newspaper. I miss those days. There were articles describing the "coming out" parties and the "balls." Descriptions of the participants' gowns were given in great detail. I, also, liked to read about the weddings. Sometimes, a few years later, I would recognize the name of a former "ball" young lady. Often the article mentioned that the couple was spending their honeymoon on a cruise.

I hoped that someday I could go on a cruise. The opportunity came years later when our children were adults. An organization to which I belong made plans to go to Bermuda. My older son looked at me, smiling, and told me to start to pack my bags. To say I was elated is putting it mildly. It was to be an all-expenses-paid trip.

My daughter was accompanying me. She was as excited as I was. We had a lot of fun choosing what we were to wear.

In the designated day we boarded the huge Galileo ship. Almost immediately we were shown how to use life preservers. Then, we were free to enjoy ourselves. We soon forgot that we were on the water. There was even a movie, a library and a casino, among other things aboard the ship. Then we docked in Bermuda. The ship was our hotel.

Bermuda was beautiful - flowers, trees and plants were everywhere. The people were very friendly and we enjoyed broawsing. We especially liked the jewelry. At night we saw some very good shows in the theater. The Captain's Ball was fabulous!

When we returned home we couldn't stop talking about "The Cruise!"

The writing ended there. As Helen finished reading her last word, she looked up and in the same breath, continued telling us more. The highlight was really the Captain's Ball, she told us. The Captain was so handsome. He stood in the receiving line and danced with everyone who would dance. He had a white uniform on, complete with a white cap with gold trim. When Helen went home, she told her husband all about the Ball and the Captain.

He said, "I'm glad you came back to me."

She said, "He wasn't you."