Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jacksonville, NC

Before I get too busy and forget, I wanted to tell you I'll be gone over the weekend, so I won't be posting on my blogs until after my return. Robert and I are heading south to Jacksonville, North Carolina, to visit my youngest daughter and her family. It's been fourteen long months and I'm so homesick for them I can't stand it.

I've written about this little gal on here before. Her husband is a Marine forced recon sniper, and he's now on the downhill side of having 20-years in. He's routinely away, three tours already in both Iraq and Afghanistan, training missions, floats, etc., and out of necessity, she's become quite adept at raising three children, paying the bills and running the household in his absence. Her two oldest, both boys, are autistic, which makes things even harder for her.

If ever there was such a thing as 'the perfect military wife', my daughter is one. She's a petite, outgoing, witty, take-charge (even pushy, if she has to be) sort of lady, who swears like a longshoreman, which at times makes me cringe, but hey, she spends her time shopping at Camp LeJeune, is married to a Marine, and she's continually battling with the military for whatever help she can get for her two autistic sons, so I cut her some slack in that department.

Funny thing is, she's always been that way, inwardly driven, even as a child. I remember one summer when we lived in Indiana and our yard butted up to the 8th hole of a golf course. We had made plans to take the three girls to Disneyland for a week during summer vacation. My ex, a banker, told them they had to work and save up to have spending money to take with them. The two older girls babysat and did various yard jobs around the neighborhood to earn money.

Not quite old enough to babysit yet, my youngest daughter decided to go the entrepreneur route and sell cans of soda from her red wagon right at the 8th hole on the golf course. Keep in mind, this was almost thirty years ago, during safer times. Anyway, she withdrew some money from her savings and we headed to the grocery store. She bought two cases of soda at a cost of twenty cents a can and then sold them for fifty cents each to grateful golfers as they arrived at the 8th hole. (Of course, I watched her like a hawk from my picture window). When she ran out of soda, we repeated our trip to the grocery. She made over $200 that summer, selling soda to the golfers.

I remember we had a great time at Disneyworld, and all three girls learned something valuable that summer. The value of hard work has followed them through their lives -- and my youngest still has a good head for business, except what the military pays doesn't really give her much chance to put those skills to good use ... I know I can't wait to get there. I'll be sure and give them all a big hug from you, too.

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Gabby said...

What a lovely story CJ! What a gal! Have fun with your daughter. My brother in law, in the Air Force based in Cheyenne, is almost at 20 yrs. He was just in Afghanistan and had to be flown back 2 months early because my sister in law was very ill and needed surgery. For now, he's staying because she's still recovering. So, unexpectedly, he'll be here for Thanksgiving, which we always spend with them. I just saw my sister in law when she was in the hospital but we haven't seen him since he left in June.

CJ Heck said...

Thank you, Gabby! I know I'll have a great time with all of them. Her husband is home now for awhile, so it will be good to see him, too. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!
Many hugs,