Sunday, October 28, 2012


Last night, my wife and I returned home to a warm but wet-nosed welcome by our three "best friends."  "Pippy," "Buddy," and "Scoobie-doo" had never been separated from "Mommy and Daddy" for a week before.  Needless to say, the air was astir with wagging tails!  If I didn't hurt to much from all of the walking we did on our fiftieth anniversary "gift cruise," I would wag right back at them!  My mother-in-law spent the night at our house all week, just to keep them from total isolation.  To Mom, thanks from all five of us!

To our daughter Laurie and her husband Doug, thanks for not only the fact that you paid for the cruise, you took the time to accompany us to make sure we survived.  I honestly believe we would never had made it without you guys!

To the staff and crew of the Carnival Fantasy, especially Angel, Alex, Tatiana, and Gilbert, thank you for your "servants' hearts," and for making our experience one that will be treasured for the rest of our lives!  And a special thanks to the Captain, who not only protected all of those on his ship from Hurricane Sandy, but also for caring enough for a single passenger suffering from a medical emergency, to head into port early.  We missed one port of call due to the hurricane, and spent one day tied to the pier because, like Jesus who left the ninety and nine to find the one lost sheep, our Captain valued the life of one of his passengers more than he cared what his passengers might say on their evaluation of the cruise.  I have so much respect for the Captain, and for the passengers, whose attitudes, in response to the situations were to be commended; I heard nary a single complaint!

To Carollynn, Sue, Diane, Joy, Stephen, and Consa  (sorry about the spelling if any are wrong), thanks so much for your friendship, sharing "tastes," and pleasant banter; I honestly enjoyed our evening meals together more than any other part of the cruise!

To my wife of fifty years, thanks for your patience, your modeling of a Christ-like spirit, and for your gentle "handling" of a less-than-perfect husband throughout the somewhat difficult adventure.  You are a true gift from God, and the longer we are together, the more I am grateful to God for giving you the strength to tolerate me.  I honestly wish I was the man you deserve; unfortunately, you will have to wait until I see Jesus face-to-face (1 Jn. 3:2).

We don't have to wait until Thanksgiving, to be thankful!



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