Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mighty Tug Boats

Until our cruise last fall, I never comprehended just how valuable the tug boat is to the shipping industry and the local economy.  In fact, it is so valuable, the entire shipyard would sink without the tug boats'  valiant efforts and  might behind their tiny frames.




It was my turn to put Clementine down for a nap in the cabin, and since we had balconies, I did not mind.  The view from our side of the ship was rather bleak and very industrialized.  When the rains moved in, I thought I would be bored until I stopped to watch the action in the ship yard further up in the bay.


That is when I spotted those mighty mights, those powerful tug boats, and realized how absolutely fascinating they were.

Enormous cargo vessels that carry products to every part of the world, cruising across all of God's beautiful waters through rough seas and calm waters, were absolutely powerless without the tug boats to help them out.  And the bigger the vessel, the more help that was called for.



One would take the front and the other, the back.  They would first pull the vessel straight out from the docks.

Once the vessel was perfectly centered in the shipping lane, the back tug boat began to push while the front tug boat pulled.



The role of the tug boat was about strength, precision, and communication.  I was able to zoom into the captain of that mighty vessel.  I was curious what language was being spoken since the vessel was from the Middle East and we were in Freeport, Bahamas.


Imagine the pressure everyone was under to maneuver that vessel, in the rain, through the shipping channels, without hitting the cruise ships docked on the other side all the while working with a language barrier.


The crew on the shipping vessel had their jobs to do in order to assist the tug boats.  These men had to be ready to man the lines that connected their vessel to the tug boats.

The one tug boat pushed and pushed and pushed the back end of the shipping vessel.  I was curious what had happened to the second tug boat in the mean time.



Once the bow of the shipping vessel had been swung around where it was  facing the cruise ship, I found the second tug boat.  There he was, working just as hard, but out of sight.  He was continuing to push and push in order to help the first tug boat swing that vessel around.



After the crew released the mooring lines from the back end, the first tug boat came motoring around the bow of the ship to work side by side with the second tug boat.




And once in position, the tug boats released that vessel out into the deep, blue waters.  Isn't that amazing!!

I was thinking about the tug boat last month, during a very stressful week in our home school.  To be quite honest, it was so stressful (finals week) that I thought "What sane person would really want this job?"  The week ended and my job seemed so thankless with no pay, no accolades (come on, we all need an atta girl every now and then),  and did I mention, no pay?

Would you laugh if I said, because of that moment, the tugboat reminded me of home school moms?  It did.  So small in stature yet so mighty in strength.  I was certainly glad to release my mooring line attached to the vessel of home schooling for Christmas vacation.

And the tag team?  It reminded me of all those dedicated husbands behind our home schools.  Those dads are amazing in strength, are they not?  Sometimes, we only see the mom in the picture doing all the labor, but if you look behind the scenes, our husbands are just as much a part of the team supporting us emotionally and taking on the financial burden, at times even dipping their hands into some of the schooling.

Where home schooling is a blessing, it is also such a sacrifice on so many levels, including personal sacrifice.

So this one is for all of you home schooling moms out there.  You are mighty and powerful, precise and  vocal.  The vessels in your lives need you and are so blessed to have you!  On your worst day, know that "This, too, shall pass!"  Your rewards will come some day!

~  Patty  ~

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this analogy! Beautiful Patty, beautiful.

    what a gift to have not so pretty a view from the thought of it, but the view had a much bigger beauty within.

    I love that.
    And I love that you noticed it.

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  2. You changed it a little around here too...love that too!

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    1. Yes, I did. And thank you. I kept meaning to take down the nativity scene. Our weather was just beautiful yesterday that I went out for a drive north of us and found these scenes.

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  3. Kathleen....in case you are wondering, I accidently deleted your comment while on my phone in the grocery check out line. Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. What a lovely connection you just made. Mothers (the stay at homes, working, and homeschooling varieties) are so much like those tiny, mighty, unnoticed tugboats aren't we? Not at all glamorous or flashy, mostly doing monotonous work, but slowly and steadily guiding and directing mighty mountains. I love it!
    AND…all those pictures make me super excited about our upcoming cruise! Thank you for a lovely thought today, friend! <3

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    1. Yes all mothers are, Haunani. And many fathers, too, for that matter. Hope I didn't upset you by referencing home school moms alone, but as I mentioned, in my stress-filled week of homeschooling, thinking I was absolutely nuts for following such a calling, knowing that there HAS to be other homeschooling moms in my exact position, (because I don't hear the "real complaints" all that often (which can make one feel alone), I thought of them. Because I KNOW there has to be others that feel the stress of that moment like I do. This post was written in particular for those homeschool moms. :)

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  5. I love your new blog header ;)
    These photos are gorgeous and the water in that first photo? The color is stunning! I love how you took an ordinary event with the tug boats and translated it to a metaphor for life. So true, we are so often in the background pushing and pulling our children around to the best position and ultimately we push them out into the great wide world! And I certainly couldn't do all that I do without the support, love and encouragement of my husband. Great post Patty!

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    1. Thank you, Jen. The support of husbands is so crucial. Glad you like the header pictures.

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  6. As always, wonderful timing with a thoughtful, insightful and encouraging post. How beautiful that you noticed this out your window (and took amazing photos!!) and could share the analogy with us. We all need those atta girl pick me ups and this did the trick. Thank you, Patty!

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    1. You are welcome, Sarah! I was thinking especially of those home school moms stuck up in the frozen tundra ;) Where we can get out and breathe in fresh air throughout the day, it is harder for you folks up in the way north.

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  7. Beautiful analogy! You met MY mighty strength today... Behind the scenes almighty Dad power! I know you will comfort and inspire many with this one! Thank you;-)

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany. You ALWAYS inspire me with yours!! It was great to meet your "behind the scenes almighty Dad power"! Your kids will be in great hands while you are absent.

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  8. Just to let you know I nominated this blog for a Sunshine award. You can find the link here: http://thebreadboxletters.blogspot.com/2014/01/awards-kisses-ricky-nelson-and-uh-oh.html

    God bless!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! That was a GREAT post you put up. So funny. Gave me a good laugh :)

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