Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, February 28, 2008

This story starts over 10 years ago, before my 40th birthday. Me and #4 decided to pack everything we had and put it in storage. We were going to hike the Appalachian Trail. First we needed to find walking sticks, an important tool for the hiker. First we fashioned sticks from the melaleucae tree, heading to the southern terminus of the trail we first stopped at my mom and dads house. They liked our walking sticks so much we left them for my parents to enjoy. Still heading to Georgia another stop leads us to #4's old family friend. He fashioned some beautiful walking sticks for us, mine was made of cherry wood. Cherry is my walking sticks name, it was time to put her to use. We arrived at Amicalola Falls, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail located in Georgia. Walking sticks in hand we head up Springer Mountain,Cherry really got her first work out. As I passed through each National Forest, I carved in the top of Cherry. Decorating her as I went. Miles passed and Cherry was there for me, a good tool, to reach, to stir the fire, knocking down cob webs and a million other uses.
We had finally reached North Carolina, where my sister and husband lives. I called her from a phone booth along the side of the road. Waited for her to pick us up, so we could get a little time in civilization, gather supplies and just feel clean for awhile. Not realizing until a few days later that Cherry was not with us. I was sad, for she was with me for 2 states already. We spent a week with June and Mike, but it was time to go the trail calling to us. June dropped us off at the same location, I walked over to the phone booth and Cherry was still standing there. Perhaps Cherry was waiting for me. I was so happy, time to carry on with our journey. We hiked for months it seemed. Time had taken its toll on my knees and it was time to end our journey on the Appalachian Trail. Not ready to go back to civilization we headed to find a taxi to the bus station, our next location would be Long Island, New York. Our taxi arrived and Cherry was put in the trunk. Just wanting to continue our journey we again left Cherry behind. Calling the taxi immediately, the driver brought her back to me. Of course it cost us a few bucks.

After our trip was over Cherry was put in the closet and just forgotten about, the carving on her worn and the bottom was splintered and cracked. She came with me when I Relocated there she sat for years. I got married to #5 and she moved into the closet of my new house. Still standing alone among my jeans and dresses, time marches on.

An opportunity for Cherry to come out of the closet so to speak. I was heading to New Zealand, the airport was the first place I had problems. Before I got on the plane Cherry was examined up and down. She passed inspection and we were on the plane to California, already passed security so we went on the next plane to New Zealand. Cherry was sniffed by dogs and again passes the inspection. For four days we hiked through the rain forests of New Zealand ,time to resume my travels and Cherry and I were off to Sydney,Australia upon arrival I noticed a sign which posted all the things that other countries contributed to Australia, the U.S. was responsible for the roach. Well, Cherry didn't pass inspection. I couldn't believe that I was going to leave her behind. She has been with me so long. I worked out a solution with one of the agents. I would put Cherry in storage until the end of my trip. I figured I would pick her up on the way out of the country. I traveled around Australia for a month and it was time to go home. It was only then that I realized Cherry was in the wrong place. I was not leaving out of Sydney, but out of Cairns. My last chance to retrieve Cherry was to get on the phone to Sydney and see if they would mail her to me. After repeated attempts I reached the right person on the phone, they agreed to mail Cherry back to me in the states.

I arrived home without Cherry all I could do is wait. I waited and waited, just when I had lost hope, Cherry arrived carefully wrapped up and now she would return to my closet among the jeans and junk. She stays there waiting for her next adventure. Don't worry Cherry you will come out and help me through another journey.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I know after reading the others you must be curious about the 5th husband, and I might ad the last. Unless I can find someone who meets an extremely rigid profile.

1. Must be rich.

2. Must have heart condition.

3. Must have no more than 6 months to live.

4. (optional)Restricted to a bed or wheelchair.

This describes the perfect man. I am accepting applications.

Back to my story. Husband #5, he will have a name, Steve. He was the love of my life. I also met him through a friend that introduced me to #3 I had come back to Miami after the break-up with #4. I told my friend that I just wanted someone to hang out with, you know a friend. #4 was always telling me that it would never work out between us because of our age difference, and out there somewhere was a person that he would fall in love with and marry. Well, I thought that fantasy love thing was something you see in the movies.

My friend introduced me to Steve, he was my age, which was weird for me. We started going out getting to know each other. Going out for coffee, then a dinner here and there. He had a motorcycle that we had fun riding to the Keys and other Biker Bars. Steve was a genuine good guy. We dated for about a month before we kissed, I don't what happened that day but a feeling came over him and me. We were married three months later. I had to call up #4 and tell him that magic is real, so sorry that I ever disbelieved him. I think he was pretty upset. Again, everything happens for a reason.
We enjoyed so much together, we were like peas and carrots. All good things must come to an end though. We were on the boat one day with my daughter Monica in the channel between North and South Bimini, when he pulled the throttle back and the boat slowed. Steve looked at me and said "this is the spot that I want my ashes sprinkled", I replied by saying "yeah, yeah, lets go we have to get back". Three days later he was feeling horrible, so I rushed him to the hospital to find out he only had a month to live. Steve knew, but he didn't want me to know. Doctors predictions were on the money and he passed away on St. Patrick's Day. Steve was born on the 4th of July, he knew how to celebrate.

Per his wishes, I took his ashes and my family, together in a private moment, tossed rose pedals and ashes into the sea. He did request that part of his ashes remain in the compass of the boat, so that he could always guide me out at Sea. Done. I also took him with me to Australia and his final resting place was near a giant clam on the Great Barrier Reef. What a world traveler.


Written by Captain Mary on Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I took a month off after my #5 husband passed away, and this is the trip that I always dreamed about, my husband did too. So I decided to pack some of his ashes and take him on the trip with me. I tucked him into a secret spot and carried him everywhere.
My first stop in my travels was Auckland, New Zealand, all I can say is wow, I could have easily stayed there and never seen the same things over. There is so much to do and see. I arrived and headed to one of the premier backpacking places to stay. ACB Backpackers, Auckland Central Backpackers was the best one I have to this date been in as far as amenities.
The city of Auckland is tall and beautiful as far as cities go. As I walked down the side street to the hostel this giant tower looked back at me, somehow calling to me. As the sun went down and the tower was lit with a beautiful display of colors, it kept calling. My room-mates told me that the SkyTower has a jump. I emailed the folks at home to take a poll: I sent them the info on the tower and asked if I should jump. The reply was unanimous, Jump. It is taller than the Eiffel Tower, the largest tower of it's kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Over 600 feet above the city. My roomy Keren was very supportive, (we stay in touch) she was a traveler from Mexico City, we spent time together on a City Tour.
The next day I signed up for the SkyTower Jump, they were running a special, two jumps for the price of one. Hey what a deal. After spending the prior evening exploring the Tower and the views I was convinced to do this.
Bright and early the next morning I got myself ready to go. The crew at the Tower told me to get there early, the cool breeze from the Antarctic gets worse during the afternoon. I put on the special suit, up the elevator with my guides, I walked through the back of the restaurant and crawled outside of the tower, the tower is so high that you can feel it swaying from side to side. Here I am outside the wind strong enough to knock you down, now I still have to walk the plank to the end. Now I know how the pirates felt, all they saw was sharks circling. I was so high I could hardly see the people on the street, I could see the big bulls eye they painted on the pavement. I didn't see any splats on the ground, but from this height who can see anything. It was a beautiful view. Don't they say not to look down, oh my, don't look down, ha to late.
The SkyTower crew attached me to the cables, they told me that their job is finished. I have to jump on my own. A little push would be helpful. I let go of the hand-rails and began to fall. Wooooooooooooooooo! Don't know what I was thinking on the way down, but when I hit the ground a group of pre-schooler cheered for me, was that because I am still alive. I stood there for a moment pondering the thought, wow I just defeated death itself. I thought about it for another minute and climbed back to the top to do it again.