Ships In The Night

Chris and I were literally ships passing in the night. In the fall of 1998, before he and I had ever met, I’d been living on a little sailboat, up in the SF Bay Area.  After much prepping and planning I sailed under the Golden Gate and was headed ‘South’ on my first longish-term cruise. I didn’t get very far. Ventura County was it for me. At that very same time, Chris had departed Channel Islands Harbor and headed North to San Francisco searching for Swordfish. We’d never met, but we actually were ‘ships passing in the night’.

Within a few months, I’d settled into life in Channel Islands Harbor and ended up picking up an office job at Channel Islands Boatyard. Chris’ boat happened to be in the slip one space over from where I lived on my little boat. I walked past his boat on my way to work every morning and every afternoon after his day of fishing, he walked past the boat yard office where I was working on his way home. I guess we had to meet eventually.

The family that owned the boatyard had quickly adopted me as one of their own. Kathy*, along with her husband Cliff took an interest in helping me to love living in my new town by keeping me up to date on local music, food, art showings….and eligible young men. Kathy had a ‘thing’ for trying to match me up with just the right guy. They also gave me an education on all things marine related, inspired me with their love for and pride in their harbor community and provided an up close view into what it looks like when a couple runs a business together. Let me say this; it can be LOUD. They were…. ‘passionate’ about their feelings. But, among the spats and yelling ~ they demonstrated to me a unique and incredibly strong and loyal love for each other. They were so very special to me, taught me much, and so, so kindly cared about me right when I needed it most. I didn’t realize it then, but I was being educated on all the things I would be needing for my future life by this vocal, amazing and huge heart-ed family.

When Swordfish season came to a close that year, Chris came into the office to have some boat work done. Suddenly everyone in the place started acting nuts. They whispered, they google-eyed me and slyly pointed to him… I thought they might be trying to signal to me to lock up the cash or something. Actually, they were trying to tell me he was single. Well, little did they know…. I had ZERO interest in being ‘coupled up’ with ANYBODY at that point. Plus, this Chris The Fisherman character was NOT my type.

But, earning some extra cash… that interested me. Chris introduced himself and with that big ol’ voice of his, asked me if I could in help him do some bookkeeping work for his Commercial Fishing Business. I was not a bookkeeper. I am still not a bookkeeper all these years later. Trust me on this…. this area is NOT my specialty. But, I was kinda broke and needed the extra money. So, I said yes. Thankfully, he wasn’t actually interested in my bookkeeping skills.

Within 3 hours of our first ‘meeting’ we were having our first dinner together. About 3 weeks after that, we were discussing our thoughts on marriage and children. Sometime around 3 weeks after that, we were sending out invitations to our Engagement party. Clearly, I had no idea previously what ‘my type’ actually was. On February 5, 2000, we said I do.

So many tides, moon phases and fishing seasons have since passed. This week we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. We’ve weathered our fair share of storms, reveled in many glorious days, changed course when needed. We may be a bit weather-worn, but we are anchored firmly, tucked away in our Harbor and happy as a couple of clams. Happy, Happy Anniversary to Us!

(*Cliff and Kathy Jarvis of Channel Islands Boatyard have both since passed away. May they both rest in peace, and have the wind at their backs and the sun on their cheeks. Blessings upon their legacy…their two sons, daughters-in-law and all of their beautiful grandchildren.)

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