MJC's Journal

Page 123
Tuesday - July 22, 2008

Talk about time flying! The time has gone by way to fast since my last entry. We had a very busy year in 2007. Our grandkids, Gabriel and Naomi, visited several times and we went to Lapeer, Michigan and Great Lakes, IL. Beth was home (her home in Michigan of course) on leave from Japan a couple times. She was home for Christmas which was a pre-visit to her tranferring from the USS Kitty Hawk to the USS John C Stennis but first she had a school to attend for updating what she is trained in. She attended school for about 4 months in Norfolk, VA and then had a 30 day leave which also was her travel time to get the family moved to Washington state where the home port of the USS Stennis is. It took the place of the USS Carl Vinson while it is in Norfolk refueling, updating, etc which would take about 2 years if I remember correctly.

They left Michigan early enough so they could stop in Iowa for a visit at Grandpa and Grandmas. When they left from here "to go to their new home in Washington state" (as Gabriel told me) I felt a hole open up in me and it is still there. We miss them so much and we do talk often but it isn't the same as having the little squirts in the house with us. Anyway, the family is now living in Bangar, WA and the kids are really enjoying having Mom around more often. :O) She does have to be gone for weeks sometimes when the ship goes out for various reasons but it isn't anything like when she was in Japan and Ray and the kids were in Michigan.

When the ship is in port Beth still has to report daily for work, Ray has a full time job, and the kids are in day care. The kids have visited the ship to see where Mommy works. Gabriel had always thought she worked on an air plane. The first time he went with Ray to take Beth to the air port at the end of her leave Gabriel was told that Mommy had to go back to work. So he thought she worked on the plane. Now when he sees a plane he doesn't say his Mommy is is working. :O)

Naomi is enjoying day care every day having playmates to play with. But Gabriel was having a bumpy time - he was the only boy in his age group. He told me all the girls chased him around and hit him and he didn't like that. But Sunday night when I talked to him he told me that he was going to "big boy" day care (in other words preschool) on Monday. He was very happy about it.

Naomi turned 3 years old on July 6. It doesn't seem possible that 3 years have passed that quickly. The ship had been out since the family arrived in Bangar so Beth had to leave Washington and meet the ship in San Diego. The ship arrived back into port a couple days before Naomi's birthday so Beth was able to be home for Naomi's party. Several days later while talking to the kids I asked Gabriel what he got Naomi for her birthday. Nothing was his answer. Beth later told me that they had been out several times shopping for presents and when they were wrapped she forgot to put Gabriel's name on his present he had picked out.

When we were talking on Sunday I asked Naomi what they were going to do for Mommy's birthday the end of the week - Beth's birthday is July 25. Talk about your "baby" growing up fast. LOL

The time has come! Norm retires this year. August 29 is his last day of work at Fisher Controls. We had to use up his vacation time so he took this week off since he was going to take a couple days off anyway. Then he will work next week, then take another week off, work a week, then another week off, and then the last week he will have 1-1/2 days off and work the rest of the week - his last week at work. Getting me ready for when he is going to be under foot every day all day long. LOL

The reason he was taking time off this week is RAGBRI (the big Bike Ride across Iowa) is coming through our little town, Albion, on Wednesday (tomorrow). He was asked to take photos for the committee and town. And he has been doing just that already with all the prep work the committee is doing to get ready. Our little "berg" with a population of less then 800 will swell to over 10,000 tomorrow. I thought we heard the figure of 20,000 but according to the Des Moines paper they said 10,000 plus bike riders - they didn't give the count for all those support teams with each rider so maybe that is where they got the 20,000. But again according to the paper they support groups and their vehicles drive a different route to the next overnight town then the route the bikers take so I am going with over 10,000 addition "bodies" will be in Albion tomorrow. Oh my! I am staying home in the AC and Norm can go take photos. They will be here for lunch and then they will be on there way to the next county where they will be staying overnight. Not sure if there is enough empty space in Albion for an overnight here. LOL

It is going to be interesting to see how many people call in September to see how Norm is doing. I think some are worried about him. When they called 5 years ago when he broke his ankle and was off work from August to mid-January they would ask how he was doing and I would just say "he's still alive." I always said that his broken ankle was God's way of getting me ready for retirement. LOL

Check back often I should have lots of time after August 29 to let you all know how we are doing. :O) I bet Beth checks in daily for the first couple months. Oh my! This too shall pass.