Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A few lessons learned during my trip up North with Gary....Lesson number one, I learned that all the cool kids say P'cola (sounds like picola) and don't bother with the rest of it.  Second, I learned that there really is a place called "Florabama" which holds a church service on Sundays complete with bloody marys and picnic tables.   Now that's my kind of place.  It is literally located in both Florida and Alabama.  Kinda cool.  And lastly, I was reassured that there is no beach quite like Ft Myers Beach.  Never has been, never will be any that compare.  Don't get me wrong, the sand and public beaches were nice and well kept in Perdido Key,Orange Beach and even Pensacola Beach. However,  I wasn't all that impressed with much else.  Not many shops or restaurants or cool little bars like "The Cottage" or "Beached Whale".  Perhaps it will just take time to get to know the area a little better.  So for now, I'll keep an open mind.

Gary and I were successful in finding him an apartment (yay!) although it took up the majority of our time while we were there.  His new place is right by the base where he'll be working and I made sure there was a WalMart nearby (hey, WalMart is important, people!) Not to mention, his nephew lives just a mile or two away and he'll be able to visit them often.  The apartment will come furnished with everything he'll need.  All he'll have to bring is clothes and food, so that is a big relief.  He won't have to mess with moving any furniture or buying any linens or dishes or things like that.  They're going to put bunk beds in the extra bedroom so the kids will have a cool place to sleep when we go to visit this spring and summer.  And there's a pool and playground at the complex to keep them entertained.   We both think he'll be happy there, and it's a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders.

When we weren't apartment hunting, Gary and I truly enjoyed being together.  I think that so often when you are married with young kids, you forget how to be husband and wife and can only identify as "mommy" or "daddy".  We haven't spent 4 whole days together by ourselves since before we had McKenna.  Almost seven years ago!  It was good for us to re-connect and remember why we're here in the first place.   We had a two hour dinner one night at a restaurant.  That never happens.  Another day we just got in the car and took off driving down the beach, listening to music WE WANTED to listen to and not "Toy Story 3" on the kids' dvd player in the back seat.  We stopped to put our feet in the sand and take pictures.   He also took me to meet the guys he'll be working with and see the buiding he'll be renovating.  I feel better knowing them and being able to picture now where he is when I'm talking to him.  There's a "comfort" in familiarity and it eases my mind a little bit.

Most importantly, we laughed.  We had fun.  We let go of most the stress that's been hovering over us for the past month or two.  We put it aside and took the time to just "be".   We trust in God that He will get us to where we need to be, even if this isn't what we had necessarily planned.  This morning, I said goodbye to him, and hugged him tight and felt happy for the first time in a long time.

Half in Florida, Half in Alabama.  There were about 300 people at the church service.

Watched the sunset in downtown P'cola

He searched for just the right shells to take home to Mac.  Such a good daddy.

The beach at Perdido Key

At Quietwater Beach

Look close on the right, there were tons of fish surfing each wave, very neat!

See you soon Pensacola.  Take care of him for me : )


Jackie Ryan said...

Ahh, just what you both needed. That makes me smile.

Jennifer R said...

We used to drive to "PCola when stationed in Pascagoula just to get away for the weekend. There are some really GREAT restaurants and fun things too. I'll talk to Preston and try to remember all the names.

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