Good Fences ~ Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune

This fence that runs a mile and more to the entrance of Camp Lejeune Marine Base in Jacksonville, North Carolina is filled completely full of welcome home signs before every homecoming of Marines from their deployments. I left Jacksonville before our son in law’s homecoming so I didn’t get the fence full and overflowing but you can get the idea. It brings tears to my eyes!

P1050248With Memorial Weekend coming up and the timely return of our Son-in-law we will be thinking of all that those who serve our country have endured and we will remember their sacrifice this Memorial Day more than ever. The center of this next collage is a photo of our daughter Katie and our son-in-law Andrew at homecoming on May 17th!

Camp Lejeune1Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all my bloggy friends in the U.S.A.

I’m linking to Good Fences at Run Around Ranch Report.

A Picture…

…is worth a thousand words!

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 He’s home and back in the arms of our daughter Katie.

Andrew’s Battalion landed at Cherry Point last night (May 17th). Before being bused over to meet their families they had to check in all their gear. Agony in waiting knowing their loved ones were so close but joy when they could finally see their loved ones’ faces!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for Andrew during his deployment in Afghanistan. We thank God for keeping him safe all these long months. We are overjoyed to see this photo and this reunion.

I just had to interrupt my usual Sunday Hymn posting for this gift from God to us. If you scroll down you will see my hymn for Sunday, too.

Road Trip Re-Cap

It’s time for ABC Wednesday and we are on the letter R.

Thank you to the ABC team!

I’ll share a few snapshots of my daughter and my road trip across the U.S.A. The reason for our road trip was to return her and her car to Jacksonville, North Carolina to be ready for her husband’s return from Afghanistan. The reunion will be rewarding for them. We left Seattle on April 27th and arrived at our final destination on May 4th.

In the meantime it’s interesting living in a Marine populated city with license plates from all over the U.S.A. I will leave Jacksonville on Thursday and re-unite with my Dear in Orlando, Florida for a conference he is attending and then finally be back home later in May.

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Day one on the road. We stopped in Spokane Valley for lunch with my son and his girl friend and then carried on.

P1050070Day one we drove across Washington and Idaho and into Montana!

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Day two started with snow in Bozeman, Montana. Retreating was not an option so we returned to the road hoping for good traction and no sliding on the road.

SeaJack #2 009Day two ended in Rapid City, South Dakota. We drove across Montana, down into Wyoming and across to South Dakota. Three states a day became our road trip theme. The other theme we did not want to repeat was snow but when we woke up in Rapid City to start our third day on the road snow was whipping side ways in some extreme wind conditions. Again retreat was not an option.

P1050082We learned to rely on Rest areas in many states across the U.S.A. They appeared just when we needed them most and they were all clean and well maintained. This is how the snow was sticking because of the severe winds in and around Rapid City.

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Many times along the roads that were unknown to us our minds recalled the reassuring verses in the New Testament from Matthew that read…

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

I also would sing in my head…His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

P1050086Day three ended in Nebraska which means we traveled across South Dakota, into Iowa, and finished in Nebraska.

P1050111Day four we left Nebraska, entered Iowa again, and headed to Kansas City Missouri to meet up with a bloggy friend for RIBS!

Collages7After a great lunch and meeting Pam face to face along with her daughter we continued on to our stop for the night which would be just outside St. Louis, Missouri in the state of Illinois.  Day four ended up being a four state day!

P1050182On Day five our goal was to reach Hendersonville, Tennessee. We traveled along some rock lined highways and other areas full of green trees from Illinois into Kentucky and then down to Tennessee.

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On day Six we would only travel in two states Tennessee and North Carolina. Our goal was to take a scenic road to Asheville, North Carolina nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a two day retreat and rest before we traveled the final five hours to Jacksonville, North Carolina (Camp Lejeune Marine Base).

SeaJack #6 010Our scenic route took us through some towns that surprised us with their weird attractions not so much rural charm.

SeaJack #6 019Finally after passing a few attractions like these in Pigeon Forge we entered some refreshing views like these.

SeaJack #6 027We were rewarded after our sixth day of travel with dinner at the Omni Grove in Asheville, North Carolina with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

SeaJack #6 126 If you’d like to see more photos from this grand Inn click here.

Biltmore 066Our seventh day was spent at the Biltmore Estate and Gardens. The azaleas at the Biltmore were in their glory. I will be posting more about our day at the Biltmore in the future.

P1050206On day eight of our travels we reached our final destination in Jacksonville, North Carolina, home of MCCS Camp Lejeune. We checked into our hotel and started the planning lists for securing an apartment asap and setting up a temporary home for Katie and Andrew upon Andrew’s return and homecoming from Afghanistan. I’m happy to report that I’m preparing this post from that apartment with wifi and all the bare essentials are in place for Katie and Andrew to live comfortably for the next few months. I might have even lost a pound or two carrying boxes up the three flights of stairs to their third floor apartment. (no elevators)

Road trip mission accomplished. Semper Fi!

Relief and Rejoicing upon Andrew’s Return soon to commence!

 

The Here and Now!

Katie and I have been very busy in Jacksonville these last few days. We arrived here Sunday night and checked into our hotel and had dinner at O’Charley’s. On Monday we hit the ground running…

ApartmentFirst order of business was to find an apartment for Katie and Andrew. The second complex we visited had a one bedroom apartment available to rent on the 3rd floor with immediate occupancy subject to credit and background checks. Katie filled out all the forms and by 4:00 on Monday she had the keys to the new apartment.

Apartment1The one bedroom is 824 square feet and has nice high ceilings. It is 100 square feet larger than Dear and my condo that we had in California.

Apartment2There are some nice closets and the washer/dryer and all kitchen appliances are included.

Apartment3Of course upon close inspection we found some flaws but this is the nature of the beast with apartment living. One big thing is that the complex is pet friendly.

Apartment5Even though the apartment was supposedly cleaned and carpets washed after the last tenant left we still found an amazing amount of cat hair from just a once over in the living room with the vacuum. Disgusting! I’m thinking the apartment cleaners need to upgrade their vacuums!

On the bright side, the views from the windows are of a lovely green space between this apartment complex and the next one over.

Apartment4It was not easy for Katie and me to trudge up and down the 3 floors of stairs with the minimal belongings that they are setting up home with. We had to break down some of the boxes of kitchen items that Katie had packed so well and that were stored here in Jacksonville for the last eight and a half months because they were just too heavy for us to get up the stairs.

Tuesday was the big long move the boxes and possessions in day. We worked for many hours and shopped for some needed items in between. At 9:30 PM we finally made it back to the hotel pretty much in a delirious state of mind.

On Wednesday we checked out of our hotel and headed to the apartment for the mattress delivery. We vacuumed some more, washed floors and put away all the kitchen items. We also started loads of laundry. The mattress delivery was made and we made up the bed. Katie called the cable company to set up internet and minimum cable and the technician said he was working 2 days out but he’d put Katie on his ASAP list and if anything opened up he’d give us a call. Well…by 4:00 today the internet was hooked up. We headed out to Wal-Mart again and bought a wireless modem. Katie with some difficulty figured out how to hook everything up and we are now connected to the W.W.W.!

Apartment6Sunrise to Sunset has been the theme the last few days. Tomorrow we are taking it slower and returning some items we bought and doing our grocery shopping. We need all the staples (flour, sugar, spices, salt) and extras.

Let’s talk about my hair and humidity. My hair takes on a life of it’s own here in the southeast! It gets some added curl and twists and turns when I’m working hard in the humidity. I think the humidity tires me out faster, too.

Some of Andrew’s company that are good friends of him and Katie will be arriving home sooner than Andrew in the Advon party and we plan to put them to work bribing them with food and company. We need some strong young men to help us get a T.V. into the apartment.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a nice strong cup of french press coffee here at K & A’s apartment. What are you looking forward to?

Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree

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“Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree”

Don’t sit under the apple tree
With anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
No no no

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Don’t sit under the apple tree
With anyone else but me
’til I come marching home
Don’t go walking down lovers lane
With anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
Anyone else but me
No no no

Its lyrics are the words of two young lovers who pledge their fidelity while one of them is away serving in the war. Made popular by Glen Miller and the Andrew’s Sisters during World War II. Just yesterday as I walked under our apple tree and commented on the beauty of the blossoms, Dear called out “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me”.

Seems somewhat appropriate that I post this song and my apple blossom photos as our daughter Katie and I think about packing the car to head to Camp Lejeune for her to be reunited with her beloved who has been serving with the Marines in Afghanistan since September.

No, don’t go walking down lovers’ lane
No, walking down lovers’ lane till you see
When you see me marching home
Then we’ll go arm in arm and
Sit down under the apple tree
Baby, just you and me
When I come marching home

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Happy Friday to you all. Today Katie and I have hair appointments and Dear and I have eye appointments. Am I packed? No. I do have some piles going. Katie has made some good progress. We both have 1 P.M. events tomorrow and then tomorrow evening we’ll pack up the car.

What’s going on in your part of the world?

A Few Things…

Katie has added a few personal touches to her first home. Decorating will be at the minimum for now. She ordered enough to make them comfortable and when Andrew gets home the two of them will add any extra pieces together. There are still bookcases and such at our house for them to bring across the country after the wedding in March in Seattle. For now we are really enjoying the sofa and loveseat and the Keurig. Coffee and a place to sit and enjoy it in the morning…wonderful.

Our round trip to Raleigh went well and the new used car is safe in the garage with a 30 day pass to get it on and off base. We used the washer and dryer last night and they worked well. We are going to lay low today and recuperate. Tomorrow we hope to have a play day at the seashore!

A storm rolled through last night and we got to experience some of the lightning that we hear is pretty common around these parts. Living on a Base it’s hard to figure out whether the booms you hear are thunder or artillery!

We are also learning the best times to go to the Commissary. It’s good to avoid it on payday or the day after. If you go on payday you will experience crowds like you do on Black Friday! And don’t get stuck on base at quitting time.

God has really helped us through little and big things here in North Carolina. We are looking to Him and for Him in the details of each day. We are blessed because of all that God brought to pass 2000 years ago…

It’s Luh-Jern not Lejeune…

For years people have been pronouncing Camp Lejeune like it’s spelled but the family that the Base is named after finally decided to correct everyone and give them the proper pronunciation.

We’re still working on the inside of the house and I’ll post before and after photos later. For now I’ll just show you some of the good food we’ve been eating cuz y’all know for me it’s all about the food! There are several middle of the road restaurants in Jacksonville, lots of fast food joints some having double drive throughs. I’ve never seen double drive throughs. There is one restaurant that has more unique and very well made food and we really enjoyed it.

My lamb was delicious and Katie’s steak was tender and good.

The mussels had a great sauce for dipping. Now that Dear has joined us in North Carolina we’ll be going to this restaurant again. If you ever find yourself in Jacksonville, North Carolina we highly recommend Ducks Grille and Bar.

Cities adjacent to huge military bases draw a multitude of establishments you won’t see in such quantities elsewhere. I couldn’t number the barber shops on my fingers and toes here. There are Tattoo parlors galore. Furniture stores with next day deliveries are in abundance. Tobacco Shops and car accessory shops and video shops. This town probably has one of the highest ratios of 18-22 year old residents because of the military camps here.

Have a great Monday y’all…