Monday, October 22, 2007


I am reading OLD letters I sent to Dad when we were apart for 6 months at a time...can you IMAGINE that? Talk about frustrated and was tough but then all the other military wives were in the same boat so I couldn't feel SOOOOO sorry for myself then. But looking back, I DO feel a bit sorry for Penny aged 30 in Japan with a newborn third child and knowing that he will be 2 1/2 months old before his father even sees him! An ocean apart from the family back home most of the time and trying to walk to the post office on base in the RAIN to see if there is mail from the USS Midway ship that day or not...I cannot believe I tolerated that but I did and hundreds of other wives did, so it wasn't only me by any means.

It is sad to read all of the anxiety and hopefulness but yet I also am sort of pumped up that I did it! I thought that I was sort of wimpy but I guess not!?

It is great in a way at my age to look back and see evidence that you actually gave pretty cool birthday parties sans Daddy, had a neighbor and her three kids over for quiche ( a brand NEW recipe and sophisticated idea!), went to PTO meetings, drilled math facts, went to soccer games, kept a 2-year-old boy for over a week while his mother (sans his Daddy who was on the ship with Winston) ) had a c-section, went to Ueno Zoo with three kids and a base tour group, lost toddler Laurie (and found her sitting at a zoo picnic table with a Japanese family eating a rice ball!), put toys on "layaway" at the exchange and fretted over being able to pay them out before Christmas, found a scrawny Christmas tree shipped over from California to the base in Japan and decorated it heavily to fill in the bare spots where all the needles had fallen off...

Had a nursing newborn and a two-year-old with double pneumonia and begged the pediatrician to let me treat her at home rather than hospitalize her because the Dollahon grandparents were there to help me medicate her, fretted that at the exchange there were NO manila envelopes and Winston NEEDED manila envelopes on the ship, gave a baby shower for a wonderful dear neighbor, Mary Keeton, who I miss to this day - accepted the marvelous "gift" of a Japanese housemaid who came every Tuesday from 9:00- 4:00 for $17 my in-laws paid for, so that I could take one child alone with me for MAMA TIME while Fumiko-san (aged 55 and I thought that she was ANCIENT!) tended the other two and fed them odon noodles with chopsticks...

Wrote sheeves of letters to my parents and in-law parents which this day are the basis of actual journaling of our lives in the early 1980's! Wow! It's better to have gone through all that and emerged fairly triumphant than not to have been challenged at all! Talked to a second grade teacher at the elementary school right across the street to find out that Walker was bright and delightful, went on a preschool base bus tour with Laurie's class and led the singing of "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round"...had someone at the commissary (grocery store) mistake Sean for a girl because of the pretty curls at the nape of his neck...stood on the corner of our lot wearing a blue wrap-around skirt my mother-in-law had made and sent to me and realized that all the horn beeps and "Whoooo!" calls by sailors was because the wind had blown the skirt OPEN at the back! Sheeeesh...who wears a slip under a wrap-around skirt?

This is life. Gotta love it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You got a dog?

I have been trying to catch up on a lot of household work and in the evening I am reading TONS of letters out of a big carton I have collected for, congrats cards my parents got when I was born, a letter from my parents to me when I was at summer camp in 1960...TONS of letters between Winston and I when he was in the Navy of course.

In one written August 28, 1977 (weeks before his fourth birthday) Walker and I were in Houston; I quote my letter to Winston ~

At Aunt Cyn's in Rockport, he crossed over to their neighbor's yard, to meet some boys. His opening remark wasn't, "Hi - my name's Walker", or anything so civil.

Instead he blurted,

"You got doo-doo in your yard. You got a dog?"