We spent most of June traveling. A total of ten days travel to visit two locations where we spent eight days total, not counting the days we arrived in each city.
Two days to get to Meridian, MS, where I finally got to meet an on-line writer friend, John Floyd, and his lovely wife for dinner. We had a great time.
Two more days to get to Washington, DC, for an annual Vietnam Helicopters Crewmembers reunion. We’ve been going off and on since the late 1990s, so there are a lot of familiar faces. My husband served two terms in Vietnam and retired from the Army. He’s on a “crewmembers net” on-line, and many of the members attend the reunions. It’s great to put faces to names and actually chat with people. Many of the wives show up, and in the beginning, rarely a child or two. Now the children are grown and they love coming with their own children. It seems as if about half the attendees were family, the rest actual veterans. Many stories are swapped, much food and drink consumed, and lots of fun and laughter. It was great to see old friends and make a few new ones. We arrived on a Tuesday and left on Sunday for Newport, RI.
Because of an enormous amount of traffic, it took longer than we expected to get to Newport.
We both have a lot of history there. My husband grew up in the town and didn’t leave until he joined the Army. My aunt and uncle lived there, so from the time I was thirteen, I visited often, and when eighteen got a summer job there. Then now-husband Chris and I met later that year during Christmas holiday time in the church his family and my aunt and uncle attended. The Young People’s Association was decorating the church for the Christmas celebration, and I went to help. Ended up handing Chris ornaments while he put them on the tallest branches (he’s 6’4”). A couple of parties attended by both of us after that, and he asked me out. We ended up getting married in the same church where we met and have been happy ever since.
So, in Newport we visited Chris’s family (I have none left there, unfortunately). A brother-in-law, two brothers, and one of their wives, an old friend who hosted one of those parties from way back when, a couple who also met each other around the same time Chris and I did—the man went to school with Chris and we’ve gotten together with them every time we’re up there. Plus two women we’ve known, independently, since our teenage years who happened to meet each other in California and ended up living together, for years now. They are both Episcopal priests. I went to high school in New Jersey with one, and Chris attended church camp in northern RI with the other. It’s one of those coincidences that gives you goosebumps. Chris’s friend grew up in Bristol, which is right outside Newport, and the two women are now renting the house she grew up in and are in the process of buying another one.
I got to eat some lobster, Chris got to eat his whole clams, and the weather was glorious. We both love going back, but hate the trip itself.
It took five days to drive back, and again, the traffic in the northeast was horrendous. You wonder why we don’t fly. That’s just as bad, or worse in other ways. Seating is way too small for both of us who are so tall. TSA and cancelled flights are another big issue. Rental car places a huge hike away from the terminals. Difficulty finding anything and everything. Just not worth it.
Now home and rested, I plan to work on my writing some more. As soon as I make that first million, I’ll get a jet card, and we’ll fly up there every summer for a month or so.
It’s good to have dreams. And good to be home, but we’re so glad we went.
May I recommend a short story collection of mine called Warning Signs? I thought I’d suggest it since the cover is kind of on-topic. It’s an ebook available on Amazon (click on the cover). But if you sign up for my newsletter, I’ll send you a print autographed copy for free. Just email me your snail mail address.