Camping in a hurricane.

Our trip to Maine was planned last Spring, long before there was a glimmer of the hurricane to come that August.

My friends of 50 years—who basically have the same personalities dating back to when I was 12 years old—decided to proceed with the trip anyways. I mean, die here, die there, what does it matter? If Hurricane Henri was gonna take us out, might as well go together.

I can’t even call these people friends anymore. They’re just part of my topography, and there’s great comfort in that. With them, I can be who I am—a skydiver afraid of heights—knowing I’ll still be loved.

The camp counselor of the group bought us tickets for a day of whale watching. Everyone was excited except for me. All I saw was six hours on a boat with no way to escape should anxiety kick in. Knowing what was in store, I joined the excursion anyway. And as always, 30 minutes later, my anxiety left me, and I settled down and enjoyed the ride.

Lucky for them.

As it was only because of me that the entire boat got to observe a married pair of whales doing whale things: Dive for food, showing us their huge tail fins as they went down for the kill. After which, they hung at surface level sleeping it off. Up from their nap, they thought about having a little afternoon delight in the ocean.

My friends said that last part is nonsense. Said I couldn’t possibly know that that’s what the whales were thinking. But I know it’s true. All the same, two hours later, the guy-whale decided he wanted me, so he came near my side of the vessel and everyone got to experience him up close.

That never would’ve happened if I hadn’t been on that boat.

Or so I told my friends. Upon hearing my words, they just rolled their eyes. Because they know how I am. Different. Passionate. Bold, yet afraid. And they want me to stay part of the Ceil Place gang despite all that.

Book Two—C’mon Funk Move Your Ass: How a Demure Little Wife Made her Husband a Big City Mayor—is undergoing the final professional edit and should be on the shelves early 2022. In it, I speak more to that bold, but afraid part, and how it served in getting Funk elected.

Here’s to you if you’re taking the deep dive the times are calling for. Because if you’re doing that work, I know you’ll come up for air soon, stepping straight into the shiny new self that you’re currently incubating. More, I hope that you, too, have old friends who help make the wade through the muck easier to withstand.

The Photo: Me clutching Dennis’s arm for life, same as when I was a pre-teen. Thank God his wife isn’t the jealous type, just as you can see that Funk surely isn’t.

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