Our First “New Year”

You were able to come home the four days of January 17-21, 1983. It’s funny! After all these years, I can’t remember the specific things we did when you were home. It was just important that we were together. The falling in love seems to overshadow the ordinary goings on of the day. I just remember being excited you were with me and all the lovey/dovey things that new love brings – too personal to include in this book/blog that our grandchildren may read. 🙂

You were back at the Naval Annex from January 22 thru February 18 as you were trying to save up for a car. We have now realized that the Honda is a lost cause as you were only carrying liability insurance. We’re getting impatient with being separated and have decided that we could get married earlier if we had a car.

You mentioned that you wanted a used car to the Fields. They happened to be selling one and offered to sell it to you for a very reduced price. So, we moved the wedding date from August 20 to June 18. We selected that date, because if was the Saturday following June 15, our first date, so we would have known each other at least a year.

Our First Christmas Season

Since it was the Christmas season, we decided to be a bit more responsible with finances, so you didn’t come home on your days off during December 6 through 18.  You visited with  your Grandma Penn, Aunt Peggy and the rest of your mother’s family in Accokeek, Maryland about twenty minutes away from Arlington, Virginia.  I finished the semester at ACC and continued planning the wedding.  

You came home to celebrate Christmas during December 19-22.  We visited with both families as well as the Fields. We exchanged gifts with each other, but decided to wait until Christmas day to open them. You got me several things but my favorite was a stuffed St. Bernard dog and cat.  They have sat in every bedroom we’ve had and still sit in the armoire of our bedroom as I write this. 

I got you shirts and sweaters, because I loved how you looked in them and because you needed them.

We couldn’t be together for Christmas or New Year, because money was tight and you were the new guy so you couldn’t get leave. It was difficult for both of us, but I was always so thankful that our love was already so deep and secure that letters and phone calls sustained us. I also sent you several batches of cookies.

Short Separations

The best thing about your being stationed at the Naval Annex was that your normal schedule was three days on/four days off, then four days on/three days off. Thus, this began your coming home quite frequently, either flying or driving – whichever the budget afforded at the time. For the first days, you worked Wednesday through Friday (December 1-3), then had the weekend off and flew back home.

The letters represent these many days together. My letters to you end on October 7. I’d like to think the box got full and the rest just got lost over the years, but it seems more plausible – based on our personalities – that I stopped writing because I was seeing you so often and because I was now so caught up in wedding planning. Your letters slowed considerably. Where you were writing at least once daily and sometimes two to three times a day, the letters are now once a week. There is one letter this week – on the airplane back, but I had just seen you for six weeks. And, I was going to see you again in three days.

You flew back for the weekend (December 4-5). You were living on base with a room-mate. There was nothing to do, and you wanted to see me. We talked to my parents about me coming up to see you in DC during the holidays. They didn’t think that was a good idea, and I was so impressed at how you handled the news. I wanted to pitch an immature fit, but you assured me they were just trying to protect me because I was their little girl. You seemed to know from the very beginning what everyone needed, but especially me.

Those inter/intrapersonal skills would support us well through the years, But, most importantly, you were intent on knowing me better than I knew myself. The depths of your love were deep from the start, but just growing through the years. I am so blessed to be your wife!

On Leave and Together

You got a month leave between stations (October 12 – November 31, 1982). We were so excited! You brought me several bouquets of flowers over this time.  We carved our first pumpkin for Halloween and insisted on me sitting with it.  🙂  

I continued going to classes, but you took me and picked me up. Most of the time Kim drove herself, but sometimes she would tag along with us. I remember being so proud to show my handsome fiancé to my friends as you chauffeured me back and forth to school. I also continued my job at Balloon World, and you drove me to deliveries as well. Sometimes you would dress up as well, and they got two for the price of one.

On a warm day in October, we went to Carter Caves with Kim and Barney. They decided to take a hike, where they soon discovered the path was steep and slim. We had such fun listening to Kim yell at Barney the whole way while were leisurely having a picnic and enjoying one another’s company.

The rest of the month was spent visiting with my family, your family and Fields as well as going to the movies and Baskin Robbins several times. We also enjoyed walking around Central Park. Sometimes you would stop to play a pick-up basketball game while I watched. The best part was that we were getting to know one another better and falling deeper in love. Sometime during the month, we learned the NAVY was extending your leave through November 31 because of the Thanksgiving holiday. We couldn’t believe our blessings!