I wrapped up our Experiences in Guam posts yesterday and have them all posted to that page now. Soon I will start on our Experiences in Paris. Since I don’t have copies of e-mails from that tour, I will have to wrack my brain before I can post anything. Thankfully, it was our most recent move, so hopefully my brain won’t let me down too much. I’m thinking about posting some pictures from our many adventures as well when I get the chance.
My husband went to Florida yesterday to get our (temporary) new house ready for when we move in June…31 days ’til pack-out… He’ll be gone for 2 weeks; he’s also got a military conference in Jacksonville he’s got to attend and a couple of job interviews. While he’s working down there, I am planning a total clean-up and purging of our house here. It is amazing how much stuff can accumulate in less than 2 years! If the computer or I get buried in the process of cleaning and I can’t update my blog anytime soon, click on the tabs above if you missed reading about our first 2 overseas adventures in Japan and Guam. When you’re done with that, click here for my other blog www.sorose.blogspot.com. After that, I guess you’re on your own. Have a great weekend!
I really enjoyed going down memory lane with the old e-mails from when we lived in Japan. Some I had not even read before because they were between my husband and his parents while he was deployed. My mil gave us a notebook of e-mails from when we lived in Guam as well, and I am reading through it now and will post some of those sometime later.
For now we are in Florida and the kids are having a blast with their cousins. We left Friday afternoon right after school so that we could get here sooner and the kids could have more time for playing this weekend as the spring break here was last week. They hit the ground running when we arrived Saturday afternoon and finally had to stop last night when everyone had to go home to get ready for school today.
The cousins have gone back to school today, and I am playing Guitar Hero with the kids – for the first time – and according to the game, I Rock! I got it for our youngest for his birthday a couple of weeks ago, and my husband liked it so much he decided to upgrade to the whole band – the drums, microphone, and another guitar. It is more fun than I thought it would be. I’m sure we are a sight to see.
We have a few things planned for the rest of the week, some work, some play. Everything’s still up in the air about where we are going to live when we arrive back here in 2 months. We start going in one direction and another idea pops up. Our oldest will start his last year of high school in the fall, and I’d really like for us to be settled in a house that we will be in for years to come so that he’ll have a house to call home. With all of the moving we’ve done all of their lives, I just want things to be more settled for all of the kids now that the military moves will stop. So, on to the search for home sweet home.
Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure: Japan 2000 (part 12).
“7/30/01 This Saturday morning we went to the softball fields at Nimitz Park; I went to play in the end of the year softball tournament and was pretty excited. We placed third in the regular season and had a good shot at winning the tournament. We ended up placing third in the tournament out of 16 teams. I had a blast and turned 5 double plays from 3rd base in four of the six games we played. That’s tough…I haven’t seen anyone turn a double from 3rd base all year, and I had only turned one other throughout the regular season. So I had the big head and was feeling pretty good about my athletic prowess riding home in the car with the family who watched the whole tournament (because it was so exciting). The windows were down, the radio was on a Japanese channel playing some American song from the 70’s, and life was good. I turned to my loving supportive family in the back seat and said, ‘Who is the greatest 3rd baseman in the whole world?’ Without even blinking an eye, Jay looks up and said, ‘Chipper Jones.’ Lulu says, ‘Yup, Chipper Jones.’ Then Mr DL, who has to copy everybody, repeats the same, and SR (just to drive it in) says, ‘Definitely Chipper Jones.’ I thought my family was more supportive than that.~G8r”
We have a lot of great memories from our 19 months in Japan. As apprehensive as I was at first, I am so glad we got to go. It is a beautiful country and most of the Japanese were wonderful and welcoming.
Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure: Japan 2000 (part 11).
“7/25/01 (e-mail to G8r’s parents) We pack up tomorrow and our time in Japan will be finished…for SR and the kids at least. We are getting excited as things get closer and the kids keep asking when we are going to see you guys. Our departure date was moved to the 4th of August, but we are still set to arrive in Jacksonville on the 9th. Sunday we did something a little nuts. We should have done this earlier, but we were clinging to the memory of the piano we left there in Florida. We bought a Casio digital piano. It was on sale. Yes, I know, either SR is rubbing off on me or the Mamoo gene is revealing itself as dominant. It feels just like a piano, but you can make it sound like an organ, etc., and it has a lot of neat features that we hope will keep the kids interested. I had a blast buying it; the store I bought it from had no English-speaking people, so I had to buy it and have it delivered in Japanese. It was fun to give them directions. I’ll bet Stephanie and I know more about getting around Kyushu than some of these Japanese people. Our housing is only a few miles away, but they had never delivered here and didn’t know the area at all. Jay is playing with the record feature now and the sounds coming out of it are horrendous. The good thing about it is that there is a spot for headphones, so you can limit the pain incurred upon the rest of the family during practice time. We are heading out to eat now because there is no food in the house, and I don’t have to go to work tomorrow due to packing out. G8r”
“7/30/01 Our exact itinerary is still in limbo but we know we will arrive in Jacksonville on the 9th. We will spend five days in Toronto (with SR’s sister) before we come home to Florida. The kids are excited and can’t wait. We packed everything up last Friday, so we are in an empty house standing by to check out. The kids made a cardboard TV complete with a remote control to make it easier to change channels. We have the sports channel and several international channels. One channel is completely dedicated to our neighbor Carrie. It only plays ‘The Carrie Show.’ So you see things are pretty good here. Looking forward to seeing you guys on the 9th. G8r”
Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure: Japan 2000 (part 10).
“4/8/01 Hello, Home, I always debate as to whether I am going to tell everyone what is going on because things change so much in the Navy; you never know if things will turn out the way you want or expect. On that note, I am going to tell you what our current situation is and what we are trying to do. I found out last month that there is an O-4 with orders to replace me in June of this year. That means that I have an opportunity to leave here 6 months early. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, and initially I did not want to leave because after June I would get to spend the whole summer with SR and the kids. I didn’t want to roll straight from here, zip through the Fleet Replacement Squadron (helicopter training) and then right back out to sea. That would also change when I went to San Diego and make it so that I would be flying H-46’s…bad. Well, our Air Boss made a suggestion that I couldn’t believe; he said, ‘Well, why don’t you just go to the Wing in San Diego and help them set up the H-60 (the Navy’s Army Blackhawk) program?’ It is too good to be true. The ship is behind my early release, and I have talked to the detailer (the guy who writes my orders), and he is going to try to make it happen. Here is the plan: Detach from Sasebo July 20 and go straight to Florida for 30 days leave en route. We would spend the summer visiting (SR would also like to see her mom and sisters) as well as going to Pensacola to check out the house. Following leave we would go to the Wing in San Diego until January 21, 2002. Then I would learn to fly H-60’s for 5 months and then go to Guam. We could take 30 days leave on the way to Guam if we wanted to. We’ll see – you know how things went last time we tried to go to San Diego. I am trying to check into NAS North Island in Coronado before school starts there so that the kids would get a whole year there before going to Guam. This is great because it doesn’t change my timeline and I still get to fly 60’s. This hasn’t happened yet, so I can’t get my hopes up, but this is a nice alternative to staying here and going to sea in the fall. In other news, things here are great. I love being back with SR and the kids, and once again have fallen into the coaching role (if only for two weeks). Yesterday, Jay’s base team played against the Japanese team he used to be on. It was a very good game even though the Japanese team won 12 to 6. Jay pitched the last half of the game and allowed only 2 runs. He is a thinker and threw some amazing trash at those poor kids. Our first pitcher throws much faster than Jay, but he is 12 and about twice his weight. He also throws the ball in the same place every time. Jay, on the other hand, had them swinging at balls that landed ten feet out in front of them and then watched strikes go by. In one case I told him to look out for one of their batters (their best player hitter who hit a home run off of the first pitcher), so Jay threw him four balls. He could have ben a little less obvious, but it was funny. One ball must have gone 20 feet in the air! Mr DL and Lulu are on the same team… the Angels. SR loves it and is so proud that her team is doing well (especially since some of the parents are starting to complain about the crummy coaching of the first team they were on). I think she is doing a great job. Mr. DL is having a blast, and all he wants to do now is play catch and hit balls off of the tee. Lulu is having fun too and is getting a little more caught up in the game because the poor girl is outnumbered especially now that SR is coaching. I am on watch now and it has been a busy night. It is time to go to sleep, so I will bid you goodnight. G8r”
“6/25/01 I hope you liked the e-mail from Jay. We had a fantastic time on that golf course, and he loved the fact that I lost more balls than he did. We finally received orders and are slated to depart here in early August. I really enjoyed reading your e-mails about the farm and how the hay season is going. It makes me miss home, and I can’t wait to get back there. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t having fun here though. The Japanese are some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with. I see where they can be incredibly frustrating when you can’t speak the language, but my Japanese has really improved since I got back. I love watching the looks on their faces when I start talking to them. They generally light up and smile although a couple of times they have just laughed because I used the wrong word (just a couple of times). I saw a comedy routine once where a young Chinese guy steps onto the stage and starts talking with a wicked Tennessee accent. Sometimes I wonder if that’s how I come across. Oh well, we are having fun, and I am going to try to schedule a trip to Mount Fuji before we leave. G8r”
Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure: Japan 2000 (part 9).
“4/1/01 Hello, Home, I hope all is well with you guys. Things here are great…mostly because we pull in tomorrow. A friend of mine, Aki (who grew up in Japan and speaks perfect Japanese and English) and I took my fencing gear and crept out onto the flight deck early this morning. It was cool and breezy and the sun was just coming up. Although we were right in front of the bridge, no one on the bridge could see us put our gear on because we were seven levels below behind the bukhead. After we were all set ,we walked right out onto the bow. Not a soul was out on the flight deck except for one lone jogger. It was fun. Aki (which means Autumn in Japanese) took fencing in high school so we looked like we knew what we were doing. We battled back and forth for about 30 minutes before we walked off. I can now say that I have swashbuckled on the bow of a US Navy warship in the Pacific on April Fool’s Day. I guess it’s the little things in life that make it fun. G8r”
“4/5/01 Milly, G8r got home Monday. It is so great with him home; the kids are all over him. But it will go by so quickly, and he’ll be gone again the 23rd until mid June. The kids have spring break starting today, and we are going to take a road trip up to Hiroshima next week for a couple of days. There is a Marine Air Station close by we are going to stay at. I was talking to the kids last night about a book I am reading. It’s about a single mom and her high school son who is doing very well, plays sports, has good grades, and wants to go to college on a scholarship. I was telling them that he wants to be an engineer. Jay started asking questions about what an engineer is and as I told him, I said that Granddad is an engineer. So, to come to the point, I told him when we visit you next to ask Granddad if he would take him to work one day. So if that happens, I just wanted to let you know what prompted it. I was thinking that Granddad would love it if Jay asked him to do that. SR”
Jay still wants to be an engineer, chemical is what he’s saying now. I see lots of math and science in our future.
Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure: Japan 2000 (part 8).
“1/10/01 (to G8r’s parents) On January 7 we went with the Sasebo baseball team to the Hachiman Shrine to be ‘blessed.’ We had a 10:00 reservation and got the whole show. We all walked into the shrine area in front of an alter/stage and stairway to where the spirits come down. It was open behind us and the termperature was quite cold so luckily we were bundled up. The priest came out and prayed to a stick covered with white paper strips that was standing in the corner. Then he picked up the stick, shook the paper at a small baby then at some businessman and then at the baseball team. After that he sat down and a girl did some sort of a dance with some bells while another girl beat on a Japanese drum. I know I am not going into great detail but it was fairly simple and this is about it. Describing this makes me wonder about how a Japanese person might describe our communion ceremony. After the bell girl finished, we all drank about a milliliter of sake out of a dish and we were done. The kids all say ‘Hi!’ and miss you. I leave to go out to sea on Monday the 15th. I’ll be in and out for the next five months. Love, G8r”
“3/31/01 Hello, Home, I thought you would like this. SR has volunteered to coach Lulu and Mr DL’s tee-ball team. Lulu and Mr DL were originally on another team, but SR didn’t care for the coach’s attitude. When Mr DL showed up with his helmet the coach told him he couldn’t wear it. She said that he had to wear one of the ratty old issued ones. Well,…that wasn’t a good start for Mr DL or SR. Things went down hill from there and culmintaed in SR sending me an e-mail about how upset whe was. The next day she found out that there was another team that needed a coach so she decided to jump right in again. I am looking forward to helping her, but I know she will do great because of all the time she spent helping me. It’s really all about stickers and letting the kids have fun anyway. Last week I received an e-mail from the Commodore of Helicopter Tactical Wing Pacific informing me that he was happy that I was going to Guam. It was nice to receive something that personal from someone so high up. We pull back into Sasebo next week for two weeks before going down to Australia. It sounds neat but I am forgetting what home is like. More later… Love, G8r”
“3/30/01 Hey, G8r, Just a couple more days! Let me know when you are going to be able to get off the ship. We got our uniforms for the t-ball team before practice yesterday. We are the Hario Angels. So, I have Angels in the Outfield! I went on line and found the Anaheim Angels’ website and got the team logo and made up labels with the kids’ names and put them on their shirts. So, I had those to hand out first thing at practice, and all of the kids immediately put on their shirts and hats. I know all but 2 kids (mostly from teaching at the school); that is nice to already know them and what to expect from them. We have a few hyper kids and a few that are really shy. Most are really happy kids. First thing, we ran around the bases a couple of times to get them calmed down so I could talk to them. The I showed them how to run through 1st, and they each did that. Then I put all but one in the in-field, Jay at first, and they each pretended to bat and run to 1st while I threw the ball out to the fielders. The runner tried to beat the ball to Jay at 1st. The I line them up to show them how to stand at first going to 2nd. That’s about all I could get them to do with the bases yesterday, so I then lined them up across from one another and had them roll grounders to one another. Then I went over some rules with them which probably went over their heads; I also had typed something up and passed it out to the parents so they would know what the refs would be calling during the games. It is a lot less structured than Florida. No strikes, all 13 players play in the field (extras play in the outfield), no score kept, etc. I have some initial ideas about some positions; I am going to have them take the field and have them rotate as batters and practice batting and base-running at the next practice. I am hoping I can get several parents to help them at the bases. We will work on run-through and turn and look, although that may come later in the season and most will need to be looking at the 1st base coach’s signal. Lulu went on a field trip with her Brownie troop today to Hirado Island. Mr DL and Jay and I are going out to the field now to play around. Mr DL want s to hit off of the T. See you soon, SR”