Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ode to a white paper bag

Yesterday I was given the privilege of a wild life cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park. My benefactor's investment was well rewarded as we watched a pod of Orcas dance in the water around our vessel, witnessed the majestic calving of a tidewater glacier, and enjoyed the unique elegance of humpback whales consuming their seasonal feast. It was truly incredible, and very memorable.

The cruise went quite well for most of the day, though the water was rough. I "surfed" the waves as the boat crashed from one crest to the next. I marveled at the beauty of God's creation, both in the water and surrounding it. Being several months pregnant, though, at one point I had to go into the small windowless space know in some places as a water closet. It didn't take long to take care of business, but it was long enough. Forgoing washing my hands (sanitizing wipes were available closer to windows and fresh air), I quickly exited that small windowless space, but not quickly enough.

Not even ten steps from the afore mentioned water closet, I realized I was in trouble! Having made it to a counter, my eyes settled on a thing of beauty; a spotless white bag with small clips at the top to seal it shut. I immediately grabbed a bag and put it to good use. Miraculously, a steward appeared; he took my used bag and handed me another. I put that bag to good use and we repeated the process. Then he took that bag and handed me yet another. Thankfully, all I deposited in the third bag was a well used paper towel. Then, with a voice only possible following such an event, I asked for some ginger ale, and headed outside.

The ginger ale and the fresh air had their desired effects, and shortly I was no longer feeling the effects of a small windowless space. In the process, I watched a huge humpback whale "dance" in the water, saw a cow and a calf (both whales) swim in unison, and again enjoyed the beauty of God's creation. I also learned a valuable lesson. NEVER spend time in small windowless spaces on any vessel in any kind of water, unless you like the feeling that requires a white paper bag with clips to seal it shut.

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