"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Semper Paratus

I received an email the other day from an old service buddy who I’ve neither seen nor heard from in nearly 30 years. We served together in the U.S Coast Guard (Semper Paratus) from 1977 – 1978 in Alameda California. And like lots of people, over the years we just lost touch with one another. That’s what happens. He found me on a USCG web site called Fred’s Place.

As I ran this morning, I thought about my old Coast Guard days. I have many fond memories and of course, a few regrets. But this morning, it was the fond memories which flooded back.

I remember sharing the bonds resulting from an extended ALPAT (Alaskan Patrol) and the sensation of being at the ends of the earth as we sailed around the island of Attu and into the Bering Sea.

I remember crossing the International Date Line (180th Meridian) and surviving the age old traditions of becoming a Shellback, thereby entering the Domain of the Golden Dragon.

I remember the storms which seemed to last forever and the extreme sense of humility brought on by being at sea where all you can see in any direction is the sea.

I remember standing endless watches, losing consistently at poker, watching really bad movies and occasionally throwing up.

I remember becoming friends with some of the greatest people I’ll ever know.

All these great memories occupied my mind this morning while my body did its thing.

Thanks L.J.

It’s great to hear from you again.

“Life gives us brief moments with another...but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a life time...” - Anonymous

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