?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


There’s something sad about the last full day on a cruise ship.  I think it’s because that old friend, Reality, checks in.  She knocks early in the morning too.

The mail slot outside our cabin door is stuffed with instructions as we head to breakfast and one more chance to have corned beef hash covered with a sunny side up egg.  We never eat this at home, and I hear Reality clucking  her tongue at us for being so decadent.  We ignore her and grab the instructions to read as we eat.

We’ve been given our time to disembark, our tags for our luggage, and a final admonition to settle our on-board bill if we haven’t already.

When we return to our cabin, the steward has already taken away Earl’s rented tuxedo, a sure sign we’re about to be last week’s passengers.  We look at each other.  Today, there will be all kinds of “final” presentations to attend: a lecture on stocks, an art auction, Bingo, and line dancing. Earl decides he’s going to the program on stocks; I decide I’m going to the Trough for a final clutch of oatmeal cookies.

As the day passes, we pull our bags from under the bed and start filling them with things we know we won’t need until we’re home in Michigan. My formal dress goes in the bottom followed by three scarves and gold shoes.  Two swimsuits dive in as well as gloves and a hat meant for the beaches of Normandy (the gloves and hat, that is).  I never used any of these items.

After dinner we’ll return to packing.  Then we’ll set our alarm for six in the morning when we’ll finish removing any remnants of our visit from the bathroom. We’ll walk off the ship before 7:30 AM and begin thinking about our next cruise.

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