“Stand Down from General Quarters”

“All hands, secure from General Quarters.”

There is no finer call at sea than to stand down from general quarters. It means whatever was threatening the ship is no longer a danger. It also means sailors can get back to their normal routine.

We had gone to general quarters last night and sleepily drove past midnight to be on time for the delivery. When we arrived, we were met by a tired, expectant mother who said, “Mom, what are you doing here?”

Even I knew this was code for, “All hands, secure from General Quarters.”

Ardis was expecting little Anna to join the family last night and was, for some reason, more anxious than a first time father. I don’t understand why, she should have known better; she is an experienced grandmother now, with two other grandkids under her belt.

When she came into the office last night, I should have been more forceful. I should have stood my ground. I might have been okay if I had said, “We’ll go in the morning.”

When I tried saying, “We’ll go in the morning,” she did the big sad puppy eyes routine on me. I hate it when girls do that. A guy doesn’t have a chance when the big puppy dog eyes come out.

So, there we were, driving down the backcountry roads of North Florida to get to the blessed event.

Yesterday’s blog was short. Today’s is even shorter. I’m just too tired… At least I have secured from General Quarters.

However, this one sailor nowhere near back to his normal routine.


©2010 J. Clark

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