Sunday, June 17, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

The hardest words to say are Good bye. I have found this to be true many times over in my life, and at the end of this trip it was still true.  I held the tears in until they guys had left to go back to base, and we wives shared hugs and extra tissues. I can usually hold in things pretty well, but when people around me are showing their emotions mine come out too.

We grabbed some coffee in the lobby and then sat out by the pool and visited.  It was a nice chance to unwind.  We had decided to hit the road again at 8:30am and head North.  The trip back wasn't on as tight of a schedule as the trip down.  We stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico and spend 5 hours shopping the open market in Old Towne and having a nice lunch before heading out again.  During our trip I decided I love the robust colors and flare of the Southwest.  It definitively has a unique charm. 

The people are so welcoming and friendly. I met the nicest little old man in a bookstore.  He had been to the town I am living in and was originally from Billings, MT.  He shared pretty much the same opinion of El Paso I had formed, and told me about when he was stationed at Fort Bliss after Korea and how he would walk at night to Juarez. How things have changed.  He was a kind soul who had traveled working for an oil company and settled in Albuquerque.  I could see how, it is the second time I have been there and honestly I love it.  My new goal is to go back the 1st weekend of October for the hot air balloon rally.  Thousands of colorful balloons in the sky would be so neat to see! We also met a very sweet woman running a little novelty store that said she had came on vacation, fell in love and never went home.  Along the street were line of people showcasing their homemade jewelry on blankets to be sold.  One the guys we visited with came from a long line of jewelry makers and took the time to explain what each stone/rock was, a brief description of how it is cut and made.  His grandfather has jewelry on display in the Smithsonian and another grandfather was a Navajo code talker.  I could have listened to him tell stories all day.  One of the woman had a picture that caught my eye...a enormous rattle snake being held up.  I had to know if that came from near by...that would cure my wanderlust and thoughts of moving here someday.  She wasn't sure exactly where it was from, but told us about one of her sons who has 250 rattlesnakes, he milks them for their venom to make the snakebite antidotes...and laughed saying she is sure that is why he is still single.  I had to agree.

The rest of the trip mirrored the trip down.  We pretty much only stopped for gas and potty breaks.  I personally was in a hurry to get home.  I missed my little boys.  And as wonderful as all the gals I was traveling with were, you have to admit 5 woman crammed in a van together for 1200 miles is a bit much.  They made the mistake of letting me drive the 2:30am-8:30am shift.  While everyone was napping I forgot Tom-Tom threw in a weird detour in Wyoming and followed the GPS directions instead of "turn off the interstate in Douglas directions".  We were in Buffalo when we realized the error, so we had to back track to Gillette.  I felt bad and the extra 1.5-2 hours added on the to trip.  But in the end we made it.

My Wonderful Mommy - Who I appreciate more and more with every passing day.
I drove another 1.5hour to my folk's ranch and had a visit with my mom.  She wanted me to stay the night because I was tired, but I had so much to catch up on at home I enjoyed a couple cups of tea and conversation and was on my way again for another 3 hours.  The boys wanted to snub me for leaving them, the Toddler was upset I didn't bring Daddy back home and the Big D was having separation anxiety from grandma.  Once we got home we played out in the backyard and got good and dirty, we had an overflowing bubbly bath and cuddles drying off with the towel and all was well again.

All in all it was nice to be home.  I am glad I had to opportunity have some time together with my Husband before he left the states, it gave us a chance to reconnect and say goodbye without crowds and cameras.  Just what we needed to get through this deployment together.

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