Blazing through Navy life one duty station at a time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

These are days to remember

School started in our little town yesterday.  I was leaving the dentist's office as the high school across the street let out for the day.  As the students poured out of the school it took me back.  It's been 17 years since  I started high school.  17 years since I met my husband.  Where did the time go?

As I look back across the years, I realize that things are both simpler and more difficult now.  With age comes wisdom, for sure, but with age also come complications and responsibilities.  I look at my little dude, who turns 3 in December, and I am in awe of how much of life he has ahead of him.  I try to imagine him as he starts on his way, walking into school for the first time.  I try to imagine him as a teenager - what will he look like?  What will he sound like?  Who will he be?

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the crisp feeling in the air, the smell of logs burning in fireplaces, the sound of a whistle on a football field..  For me, it's a feeling of renewal, the start of the school year, and of new things to come.

Little dude's still a few years away from school, but seeing the kids in our neighborhood waiting for the bus reminds me that it's not as far off as I think.  For now I'll try to enjoy the time we have together, muster as much patience for the rough times, and remember that it'll be over in the blink of an eye.  These are definitely days to remember.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I am not a digital girl, but I live in a digital world

I have been spending a lot of time talking on the phone lately. This isn't something I have done in a while. Ever since I joined the rest of the world on Facebook, Twitter and with texting, I have noticed I do a lot less talking and a lot more typing. Since doing this I've also noticed that I have a lot less personal contact with people, and I think my friendships may be suffering because of it.

On the one hand, friendships have become a lot easier to cultivate with all the digital advances we have. Meet someone, get their phone number. Text them. Friend them. Message them. All of these outlets provide myriad ways to get to know someone faster than ever before. But are we really getting to know people? Sure, we know a lot about people. Where they went to high school and college. Where they work. When their birthday is. How many friends they have. But does knowing a lot about a person mean you actually know them? Who they are, what they think and feel?

I think the quality of a friendship far outweighs the quantity of friendships a person has. So I've been on the phone, getting to know my friends. Talking about things we are looking forward to, hopes for our children, places we want to visit, etc. At the end of the day, I am remembering that this is why it took me so long to adapt to all the new digital toys and fads. I'm old school (or maybe just an old fart) and pretty happy that way. I'll continue to keep up (or at least try to) with the trends, but I'm going to remember that the personal touch never goes out of style.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Carly Simon has invaded my brain. More specifically, her 1972 chart topping hit "Anticipation". It seems funny to me how my brain can pick a song that fits so well with my current mood. And then...I can't. get it. out. of. my. head.

Let's backtrack a little. Some friends passed on a link to a video of surprise military homecomings. It's all over Facebook. Maybe you've seen it? Well, if not, let me spare you the tears. I barely made it halfway through before I had to shut it off, tears streaming down my face. Homecoming is probably one of the best parts of military life. But what comes before it is definitely the hardest part. The separation caused by deployment. Thinking of deployment is where Carly comes in.

For over two years now we've been enjoying the shore tour lifestyle. Basically, this means a Navy job with no overseas deployment. In less than a year, all that will change, and we'll find ourselves back in the pace of deployment cycle(s). Of course none of this is news (or new, for that matter). I always knew this was coming, and I'm no stranger any of it. What is new is our son. He was 2 days old when his dad came home from his final deployment before starting this shore tour. The idea of explaining to him where dad is and why he can't call home is terrifying to me. However, seeing the joy on the faces of children in the video today made me realize that when the time comes, it is possible to weather the storm, and we can get through it. I've done this before, and it's my job to make sure the little dude gets through it too.

Until then, however, I'll be anticipating. Fortunately, Carly reminded me of something important to focus on to in the meantime:
And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, I don't know nature's way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days.


Today, while I was waiting for this week to end, I started thinking about all the waiting I seem to do in my life. Patience is an asset in Navy life, as we spouses seem to spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for the ship to leave, or waiting for the ship to come in, waiting for the mail, waiting for a phone call. The list goes on and on. You get the idea.

From the start of our relationship I was waiting. Waiting for the weekend to come, so that we could see each other. Law school (for me) and flight school (for him) were separated by a 3 hour car drive (which, after a year, turned into a 6 hour drive when he moved even further away). My week at school was defined by waiting for Friday so that I could hop in the car and drive to see him. In retrospect I think all this waiting was probably helpful - little did I know then how much waiting a Navy spouse actually does.

Waiting can be a good thing - waiting for the birth of our little dude was the best 8 months of my life. Until he came a month early and then I was waiting again - for his dad to come home and meet him. But that 's a story for another day.

Eventually the waiting becomes so rote and familiar that you stop realizing you're waiting because you're too busy getting on with your life. That's the thing I learned very early on - stay busy and try not to think about the waiting. Otherwise you'll wait your life away. Once you get past the waiting you realize all the exciting things you can be doing to help pass the time (like blogging).

I think Dr. Seuss said it best, in one of our most favorite books, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
...Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting...

Everyone is just waiting.
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

I hope I'm that kind of guy. Because let's be honest - doesn't the "bright place where Boom Bands are playing" sound like somewhere you'd like to be?

Hello World!

So here I am, blogging...This is certainly something I have been thinking about doing for a long time, I just never quite got up the nerve. But, here goes.

First, a little about myself. I am a Navy wife and mother, a job I find to be challenging, exciting, frustrating, and ultimately rewarding. I met my husband 17 years ago, on our first day of high school. Before you ask, no - we were not high school sweethearts. We might have dated for a minute or two every other year, but we did not become a couple until 8 years later. We married a little over 10 years after we first met, 3 days before Christmas and a week after I graduated law school. We've lived in 4 different states and have survived multiple deployments and countless separations. We have a fabulous little boy who we love dearly and enjoy every day of our lives. Despite all the difficulties involved in being a military family, we truly love our life.

But that doesn't mean it's all easy-going all the time. "Catching the 4 wire" is a phrase Naval Aviators use to describe landing their aircraft on the carrier. The 4 wire is the last arresting wire before the end of the ship - the last chance they have before falling off the end of the ship (they snag the wire with their tailhook, which "arrests" the plane). I have heard many a time that the 4 wire is good enough to get on deck. I find this to be a fairly appropriate description of how I might feel on any given day - the 4 wire is good enough to keep me from falling overboard.

My purpose is to share with you, dear reader, my crazy experiences, to bring a smile to your face, and to hopefully keep us all from falling overboard!