Category Archives: ♦♦Fun Experiences♦♦

The Final Countdown

In less than 60 hours, I will be in my new office starting a new phase of my life. I found out yesterday that I already have an e-mail address at my new job, and I haven’t even started yet.   I’m pretty excited to be back in the workforce but hope I don’t stress out about the house.  I have been running it full-time for the past 18 years, so it’s gonna be hard.  But then again, I may be too exhausted to notice the laundry is piling up or the dishes haven’t been washed in days.  We shall see.
The past couple of weeks have been great to have before I begin on Monday. I drove “home” to Gulf Breeze/Pensacola and then spent a couple of days on the beach with my sister, her 2 boys, my mom, and my youngest son. We watched about 6 different fireworks shows from the balcony of our condo on July 4th.  My daughter and her grandmother drove up to New York for the week to visit a friend.  They are on their way home today after stopping in DC yesterday. My daughter has never been there and wanted to see the monuments, etc. I think she has enjoyed having my mother-in-law to herself for a few days, but I will be glad when she is home to spend my last couple of days of “freedom” with her!  My husband and oldest son stayed home where they worked on preparations for building our new house.  The land is cleared and leveled and the foundation should be poured pretty soon (yay!).
My oldest son hit another milestone yesterday when he bought his first car, a 1999 Chevy Cavalier. It looks like a great first car.  At least it was manufactured after he was born.  My first car was 15 years older than I was, but it was pretty cool, a 1955 red Plymouth Savoy.  My dad was in an antique car phase and also bought a 1955 pink and white Ford Crown Victoria, a 1962 aqua and white Chevy Nova, and a 1969 Mercedes-Benz.  I got to drive them all while I was in high school; my friends never knew which car I was going to show up to school in.

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Florida Living

I got to ride one of our horses today!  It was so cool.  I haven’t ridden my own horse in over 25 years (oh my goodness, I’m old!).  My family had a 17-hands high Appaloosa when I was around 12 or 13.  Sergeant Tommy was kept  out in a little country town, a little bigger than the one we’re living in now; it was more than a 30-minute drive from our house.  My parents would take my sisters and me out there every once in a while to ride him.  Now we have 2 horses, right in our own backyard!  It’s so weird.  I love that I get to be a little bit of a city girl but get the bennies of living in the country too.

After all that fun, we plopped down to watch some college football.  Since my mother-in-law is out of town, she offered up her University of Florida game ticket for tonight, so our boys went to watch the game at the stadium.  They were so excited; they cleaned the car and decorated it all up with orange and blue window paint.  Even though it wasn’t an even match-up, I know they had a good time.  There’s just something about being in a stadium, football, baseball, whatever, that is just so energizing.

My daughter just asked me, So what are we doing Sunday and Monday?  I’m thinking, Not much, right now.  A Netflix movie, a walk through the neighborhood, maybe a family board game… sound good to me.  I love three-day weekends!

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Sports in Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 10).

“8/15/03:  We just got back from flag football skills assessment.  I found out from the director that he got a lot of “complaints” last year about my kids:  that they are TOO big!  Mr DL was probably the youngest player out there last year (he’s in the 5-7 year old group).  But his skill level is 5-7 year old.  So…it was funny to hear that.  I just think all the other kids are too small :).  (my kids were never on the growth charts, height or weight, when they were younger – they were always well over 100%.  Right now, my 16 year old son is 6’3″, my 14 year old daughter is 5’10”, and my 12 year old son is 5″9″, and they are all still growing!)  I went to a spinning class at the gym yesterday for the first time.  It is bike-riding on a stationary bike – with music and some additional aerobic activities put in with it.  My legs are spaghetti today (really sore spaghetti).  I thought since I run that I wouldn’t be this sore, but Oh My!!  The instructor is another wife in the squadron, and she is in sickeningly great shape.  She does the class everyday, but the MWF classes are the only that are during school hours, so I might start going to those.  If I don’t die this weekend first.  SR”

“2/26/04:  Dear Home, Mr DL had his first ever baseball game today, and he was so excited.  It was a blast to watch him play because he was so into it.  He wore his uniform all day  He made the only put-out in the game (scooping up a grounder and throwing the runner out at first and hit three triples which in all reality were home runs that the third base coach stopped).  It was a good time.  Today I was asked to go to Hong Kong with the Guam Rugby Club to another tournament.  I am still hurting from the last three games, but I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I will be able to say that I played rugby (although not well) at the international level.  Plus it gets me out of the office for a week into a cooler climate.  I am excited but am stocking up on Motrin and buying much needed pads and a helmet.  Hope all is well, G8r”

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Before Heading Back to Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 9).

“7/11/03 (e-mail to G8r from his mother):  Mr DL is so funny.  He has made a tie rack for your daddy for his birthday.  He is so proud of it.  He has it in a box and keeps moving it around the house so your daddy will not find it, and then he asks your daddy if he is going to go in the particular room that he has it hidden in.  He left the box in the family room the other day, and he saw your daddy walk in the room.  He saw the box and sauntered over to it so as not to attract attention to himselft, closed it, and started whistling and looking around the room as he carried it out and into another room.  It was hilarious.  SR and I saw him and tried not to laugh.  He did not know that we saw him.  He is dying to tell your daddy about it.  He may last until Monday!!!!  Love you, Mama”

Mr DL (our youngest) was 6 at this time.

“7/11/03:  That is so funny, but it is Mr DL.  He is such a neat kid.  I wish I were there to see him.  I know that they are having a wonderful time in Florida.  I wish that they could stay longer.  This last month has been challenging but the det as a whole is very strong and I like to think that I have done things right.  It was nice talking to you on the phone today.  Love, G8r”

“7/14/03:  We finally got to go fishing on Saturday.  It started out very nice and cool.  We left the house at 6:30 am and arrived at the marina around 8:00.  We started out at “Spotty Bottom” and caught fish immediately (shark and catfish).  The action was furious then your daddy looked south and saw a (big!) water spout on the horizon.  We could not tell which direction it was moving but later figured that we were about 5 miles north of it and it was moving NNW.  We dashed back to the river and stayed there for about an hour then went to the restaurant for lunch.  After lunch it was clear, so we went back out.   All of the kids got to drive the boat and they really enjoyed that.  We caught more sharks, stingrays, and one sailor’s choice (which we all tasted for lunch the next day).  All in all a very successful day.  Today we are baking a cake for your daddy’s birthday.  Love you, Mama”

“7/16/03:  Well, we just got home from the airport.  Man it is quiet around here!  They took off at 7:45 am and will be in California around 3 pm EDT.  I hope they got to do all the things that they wanted to do.  I know we certainly enjoyed the time they were here.  One last thing we did before they left:  We loaded the dogs in the back of the truck and let Jay drive around to the peanut field.  He was grinning from ear to ear when your daddy handed him the keys.  More later.  Love you, Mama       P.S. He also got to drive a tractor with James riding along.  I know he enjoyed that also.”

Jay had turned 13 just before we arrived in Florida.

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On Vacation in Florida (from Guam)

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 7).  Florida time has always been associated with vacation time – either the farm near Gainesville (my husband’s home) or the beach in Pensacola (where I grew up).  Here’s what we did on this trip.

“6/18/03:  (e-mail to G8r)  We went pea picking.  We shelled about a quart of them with the pea sheller then it broke down.  James (a long-time worker on the farm and family friend) said that he liked to shell his peas by hand, so of course the kids had to know how that was done.  They spent about an hour shelling peas last night.  Today the boys mowed and then your daddy took them and the boat down to the river.  We have not run the boat for 6 months, so he is just taking it down to have it checked out.  They took poles and fishing gear just in case it runs ok.  More later.  Love you, Mama.”

“6/25/03:  We finally made it out flying today (they own a small private plane).  Jay and I went first then Mr DL and I.  It was getting bumpy when we came down, so I will take Lulu on another day.  Jay flew from the airport to the farm after we reached altitude.  He was very steady on the controls and seemed to really enjoy flying.  I let him go up about 500 feet and then down again.  He also flew back to the airport after I flew over the farm for him to look at the hay field that he had helped rake the day before.  We had to quit early so he could make it back to help with the hay this afternoon.  He was quite anxious to get back by the starting time.  He had been told that they would be starting at noon and I had him there, but everyone was just going to lunch so he sat with them while they ate.  He spent the rest of the day in the hay field and came back at 6:15.  Tomorrow we are going to see your brother and Shelley.”

To be continued…

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Life on the Ship (while stationed in Guam)

Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home:  Guam 2002 (part 4).  I liked this e-mail my husband sent to his parents.  His feet hurt so badly sometimes that he pays our children to rub them.

“2/19/03:  Hello Home,  We just pulled out of port and I had a wonderful time.  I always seem to try to immerse myself in the local culture a little more than the people that I am with want to, but, hey, you only live once.  I learned that Chinese is difficult but still…making the attempt is worth it every time.

I was waiting for three of the guys on my detachment to get haircuts when I saw a place next door to get a foot rub.  They are everywhere here, and I had the time, so I gave it a try.  These three Chinese women came out and proceeded to yatter away in Mandarin.  I gave it a shot, and they all went crazy.  It turned out that they are all trying to learn English, so we were a perfect match.  This one lady proceeded to put the most excruciating hurting on my feet that I have ever felt (much less paid for), and the other two practiced their English.  It was a blast.  Halfway through the conversation I accidentally said, ‘Hai’ for yes, and the lady asked me if I spoke Japanese (in Japanese).  It was so cool; we blundered our way through one of the greatest conversations I have ever had – in three languages.  Just about the time it was over, my three pilots came in to get me.  By now they probably think I am nuts, but it doesn’t matter because I take care of them, and they think I am smart (got ’em fooled).  A little while later I bought this really neat Chinese mandolin.  I will learn what it is really called later.  It sounds kind of like a banjo with an oriental twang.  Zai Jian, G8r”

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Work and Play

We’ve been busy in Florida with our work and play.  Yesterday we signed papers for a new house – it will be a temporary one for us to live in while we are building.  It will be just around the corner from where we are building which I really like.  The kids will be in the area where we are going to end up living, and maybe it won’t feel so much like the big military moves we have been doing over the years when we move from one to the other.

Today the boys went fishing with my husband’s uncle – hopefully they don’t come back too sunburned but with something for dinner and smiles.  The girls are going into Gainesville to do some shopping 🙂  My mil is building a doll house for my 7 year old niece and needs to go searching for some parts.  She has lots of fun in her workshop.  Over the years she has built a canopy bed and doll house for my daughter, a cedar chest for me, dining room tables, etc.  And most of the wood comes off of the land here on the farm which makes it that much more special.

Tomorrow I am going to visit a really good friend from high school.  I haven’t seen her since our 10 year reunion ( a few (11) years ago).  She lives about 4 hours away, so we are going to meet half way and do some catching up.  Sunday I am driving back up to Virginia with the kids.  My husband is going to stay here to take care of some things for the houses.  We’re hoping to start with some of the permitting and other preliminaries on the house we are building, so that when we arrive in June things are already rolling.  That is the plan; we’ll see how it unfolds.

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