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A Blanket of Grief

This Little Housewife has been neglectful, but for good reason.

First, I found out I was pregnant. After the initial shock came delight, and lots of knitting.

Patriotic booties, fitting for the child of a Naval Officer.

Patriotic booties, fitting for the child of a Naval Officer.

Then came weeks of intense nausea and fatigue.

And excitement. Lots of excitement.

The Commander dubbed the critter growing inside me “Wilbur” and was ready to run out for ice cream at all hours if “Wilbur” required it.

I love that man.

Then, two and a half weeks ago, The Commander and I went for an ultrasound. We were supposed to see our baby’s heart beat for the first time.

I had begun to bleed a few days earlier. I was hoping for the best, but I knew in my heart what the doctor would say.

No heartbeat.

A heavy blanket of grief enveloped me. For three days I waited while my body did what it needed to do. I walked for miles on the beach, everyday, trying to help my body along. Still feeling pregnant.

Those days were agony.

When the cramping finally began, I felt a mix of relief and devastation. When the cramps turned into contractions, I was angry. I’m not sure at whom or what I was angry, I was just angry. I was going into full on labor, but there would be no baby at the end of it.

Twelve horrific hours later, it was over.

Everyday since has been a roller-coaster of emotions, and a battle to not let that blanket of grief overcome me. I try to remember that this happened to my Commander too, and to be extra good to him. Most days I do pretty well. Other days…

Other days are harder.

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A Proud Quickie

You may have already heard, but The Commander was promoted last week.  No longer Lt. Commander, he is now Commander.

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It’s kind of a big deal.

I remember the day he found out that he’d been selected for command, four years ago. We were newly dating and I didn’t understand anything about the military or the significance of being ‘selected’.  All I understood was that he was excited and that it was important.

I was proud that day, and am proud still.

When the big day finally arrived, his folks and I all got to be a part of the ceremony. His Pop, a retired Warrant Officer, swore him in, then his mama and I swapped out his old shoulder boards for the new ones. Then his Pop placed on his head his new “Scrambled Eggs”…

Scrambled Eggs!!

Scrambled Eggs!!

It was just flat-out awesome.

His mama and I shed more than a few tears.

Seeing him standing there, looking quite fine in his Whites… I felt as though I could burst, I was so full of love and pride. I still get teary-eyed thinking about it.

Posting this on 9/11 was not intentional, but it is fitting.  My husband joined the Navy out of love of his country. He’s worked hard, seen a lot, and sacrificed much. He still loves his country.

And I love him, more with each passing day.

Congratulations, Commander!

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A Dolla Makes Me Holla!

Have you ever found yourself doing something really stupid, and thought “Hey, I better change my COA (that’s ‘Course Of Action’ for those of you not savvy with military speak) ASAP, before a very unpleasant and foreseeable outcome comes to pass”?

Good. Me too.

Earlier today, I was feeling bummed out and homesick, so I did what any sensible coastal resident would do: I went to the beach.  I strapped on my helmet, mounted ‘Jack’,

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and off I went.

The stupid action was not going to the beach, nor riding my bike. The stupid thing was wearing a skirt while riding a bike.  A long skirt.

For the record, wearing a skirt was not about being cute (although truthfully, that was a part of it) but to protect my very sunburned legs from the sun. But that’s a whole other story.

So there I was, cruising along when I thought to myself “Hey, this is stupid, and I know better.”  As I was pulling over to make necessary adjustments to my skirt, IT happened. My lovely skirt got caught up in my bike chain.

*sigh*

Eventually I was able to free my skirt (which required some tearing), returned home to put on sensible riding attire (yoga pants) and, at last, arrived at the beach… Where I quickly realized that I had forgotten to bring water.

But there was my lovely, pyrite-speckled beach. I was thirsty, but I was there.

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Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved Sand Dollars and have always wanted to find one intact. This is no easy feat. Over the years I’ve found plenty of pieces, but never a whole one. But my beach loves me. I can tell, because I’ve never left without one.

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Even if it was just a tiny one.

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Once I began my walk I realized that I had gone at the wrong time of day; it was too early and the tide wasn’t right for treasure hunting. Also, it must have been a helluva night at sea, because the beach was heavily littered with sea grass and debris. All of the debris attracted a scary amount of birds.

Odds were against me.

As I was returning to the beach entrance after an hour of walking, I cheered myself with the knowledge that at least I wasn’t leaving empty-handed.

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I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a pink barnacle?

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And suddenly, there it was.

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I pounced on it before a bird could get to it.

It felt like a victory, albeit a small one.

But a victory, nonetheless.

HOLLA!

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My heart is rooted elsewhere

Since 2009, I’ve lived in six different states and driven through/visited twice as many others. We live in a beautiful country. The Commander and I often talk about where we’ll settle once he retires from the Navy; there are so many options, so many possibilities. The world is our oyster… or something like that.

And then a harsh dose of reality snaps me back to the knowledge that my heart, is in fact, already deeply rooted somewhere.

This morning I got on Facebook to check in on my family back east and was met with stories and photos that made me cry.

The Land was hit by a major storm last night. There has been no official word on whether or not it was a twister, but all signs point to one.

“It’s as if there was an invisible force-field protecting all the houses.”

hertz front

While there was some damage on the other side of the street, the bulk of the destruction was on The Land. From one end to the other, trees were uprooted, snapped, twisted, and down dangerously close to my family’s homes. All homes are without power, but not a single one was damaged.

“It’s as if there was an invisible force-field protecting all the houses.”

image Trees a quarter of a mile long blocked in the shared driveway.
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I’m still teary-eyed seeing it all. While I won’t presume to speak for everyone in my family, I will dare to speak for most when I say that The Land is a Holy Place for us. It is a place of family, celebration, growth, healing, LOVE.
I love that land almost as much as I love the people on it, and I love them fiercely.
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Seeing the destruction, and knowing how very close some of my people came to being hurt…
Seeing my beloved Land torn apart…
One of my cousins said “It’s as if there was an invisible force-field protecting all the houses.”
I’m weepy with gratitude, and weepy with loss.
The distance is very real and painful for me today. I can’t just drive over with a chest of ice, or help bring laundry to town for washing. I can’t help clear away debris.  Worst of all, I can’t hug my shaken up family members.
My heart aches to be there.  My heart knows where it belongs.
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I can see Mexico from my house

As many of you know (because, let’s face it, I’m related to 90% of my readers) I joined The Commander in California a few weeks ago. We haven’t lived under the same roof since last October. I have to say, it’s quite nice. I like it.

Also, I LOVE it here. It’s 75 and sunny, pretty much every day. And then there’s the delicious breeze that comes in off the Pacific. O yes, the Pacific… I can walk to it. I can see it, smell it, and hear it, every day. *Sigh*

Did you know that pyrite is in the sand here? The beach shimmers as though someone sprinkled gold glitter everywhere. Its gorgeous. It helps ease the knowledge that my neighborhood used to be a local garbage dump.

The Commander and I drove down to The Walmarts last weekend and bought us some high quality bikes, made in China. They creak and rattle, but they roll. I haven’t ridden a bike in over ten years, so I had a shaky start. Once I got moving though, it was glorious. What wasn’t glorious was how quickly my bum got sore and the fact that I felt like a total goober with a helmet on. I don’t know if it’s because of the ‘when’ or the ‘where’ I grew up, but we had no helmets back when I was last on a bike. My knee-jerk reaction was to rebel and go without, but then my loving husband reminded me of my two concussions and that he really enjoyed me having all (most?) of my faculties and could I please just wear the thing?

So, looking like a total goob, I attempted to keep up with my husband as we rode partway down the Silver Strand and then back home. The 8 miles wouldn’t have been so bad if the last half hadn’t been riding into the wind, which was a-blowin’. By the time we made it home, I was pooped and my legs felt like jello. I won’t say what my ass felt like.

Sore ass or not, I am happy, happy, happy.

It’s good to be home, at last.

 

 

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Hey, it’s been a while. Let’s catch up.

I have seriously been neglecting this blog lately. I don’t know if it’s the Georginess of Summer, or that I’ve been traveling and have no lap-top with which to blog my thoughts while on the road, or…

Squirrel!

My cousin-friend used to write her brilliant-but-short-lived blog on her iPhone. I couldn’t do that. I go cross-eyed when I stare at mine for more than a few minutes.

Hey, did I mention that The Commander and I finally upgraded from our flip phones to fancy-pants iPhones? I got my flip phone back in ’09 as a hand-me-down from a friend, who had used it as a hand-me down from another friend. In the end, it was literally being held together by a rubber band. I realized that perhaps it was time for a change when my cousin-friend (a different one), with whom I was visiting on my birthday, saw it and in a shocked and slightly mortified tone said,  “This, is what you’re using?!”

Hey, did I mention that I had a birthday? I turned 30 on the 30th. It was epic. I spent my day visiting with some of the awesome women in my life: aunties, cousins, sisters, and nieces. (Ok, it wasn’t all women, there was an uncle and a nephew or two in the mix.)

Some people freak out about turning 30. Not me. At one point I was drinking champagne (out of a mug) with the afore-mentioned cousin and her mom, on their porch, in the woods, the sun shining down on us, and I remember feeling nothing but satisfaction and gratefulness. That feeling continued on through the evening at the party my sisters threw for me.

Epic.

I realize that my definition of ‘epic’ may not be the same as yours.

Hey, did I tell you that The Commander is gone again? He was home for a minute after he finished school, we went on a quick road trip, then on Tuesday he left for the west coast. I got up with him at 4:30 a.m., fixed his breakfast, kissed him  “see you later, alligator”, and then he was gone.

When I woke up later, I was sad. This will be our longest separation since he was stationed over in that dusty Kingdom on the other side of the world. I didn’t really want to get out of bed. I wanted to have a pity party.

And cry.

Hey, it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.

But then, suddenly, a furry being was on my chest, face just inches from mine…

moser

I laughed out loud. And I got out of bed.

Since he left I’ve been working on the disaster area of a house that I live in, finishing books (I found myself in the middle of three at one time), painting, and drawing.

While I still find painting deeply satisfying, I’m still not very good. I’ll keep at it though.

Here’s a drawing of Theodore Roosevelt that I’ve been working on for The Commander  for six or seven months (it was meant to be a birthday gift… his birthday was in January)…

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It’s tedious work, and taking forever. Today I spent an hour on his left leg and am still not satisfied with it.

*sigh*

First world problems.

Anyway, that’s the long and the short of it.

Until next time…

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Let the juices drip

I’ve declared a ‘Summer of George’.

Of course, The Commander would point out that it’s really more of a ‘Year of George’ for me.

The Commander, who came home last week, will be heading west soon and once again leaving me to my own devices. Without a husband to take care of, I’m not really a housewife anymore. I’m ‘jobless’. I haven’t been jobless in over a decade.

So it’s the Summer of George. Or Alicia. Whatever.

Reading books from beginning to end has never been a problem for me. What has been a problem, is feeling guilty for only reading fiction. I always feel like I should be reading something educational or edifying, so I’ve tried to keep some non-fiction in the mix.

Not during the Summer of George. I shall read all the fiction my little heart desires. So far this year I’ve already knocked out eight juicy novels. Giggity.

Frolf isn’t on my agenda, but I have taken up oil painting, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years. My friend Andy talked me into it and even gave me my first lesson.

master

I have much to learn. I’m not  good yet, but am deeply satisfied by the process. It’s my favorite thing to do now.

There’s more to come.

It’s the Summer of George. Let the juices drip.