Hmm. A three-month hiatus. That’s probably the longest I’ve been away from here.
I admit it’s been a difficult winter. Kurt left just before Halloween to join his new ship in the Mediterranean. He was worried about leaving me with the girls all winter long, but he’s had some awesome experiences out there. He was able to visit Israel, Greece, and Turkey — places I couldn’t dream of seeing. Yes, yes, I know. I need a passport. Maybe I’ll do that once I get back to Virginia so that my mom can keep the kids while I go swanning about Europe with my husband.
I like this plan!
Fortunately, I’ve had the support of a few amazing friends here in Rhode Island. There’s one in particular I could not have done without. We met almost a year ago, but never exchanged information until I happened to run into her at a store this fall. We went out to lunch, and have been very close ever since. Not a day goes by that we don’t at least text each other to check in. And what’s nice is that my kids love her as much as I do. In fact, one night last week, ME started fussing, and when I asked her what she wanted, she started crying for my friend. Good thing she loves kids! One night a few weeks ago, I had had a rough night with the girls. Grace wasn’t listening, she was racing around the house after I told her to settle down, and all of a sudden, I hear a huge crash from the playroom. She came running back into the living room, scared and crying, because she’d broken the lamp.
Come to find out, she hadn’t just broken the lamp. She had shattered both of the lightbulbs (it was a floor lamp with a reading lamp attached to it), one of which was a CFL bulb. And the lamp itself was broken beyond repair. That didn’t really bother me; it was on its last legs anyhow. It was just how it had happened after such a difficult night with the kids. I called up my friend and asked if she could possibly come sit with them so I could go to Walmart by myself to replace the lamp and get a breather. She was there within minutes, and I was able to get out of the house and cool down for a bit.
Unfortunately, I will be saying goodbye to these folks soon. In about two weeks, I will be headed back to southern Virginia, not far from where this blog started in the first place, almost eleven years ago. Kurt’s ship is homeported out of Norfolk, you see, and where he goes, I go too. I admit I am a little disappointed to return to my roots. I was born there, you see, and spent most of my childhood shuttling between wherever my father was stationed and Norfolk, where my biological mother was living. It’s very familiar to me, and I figure I’d rather go someplace new if the Navy’s going to pay for it. I mean, how else did I end up here in Rhode Island, of all places?!
I have really enjoyed my time here. Rhode Island is a very distinctive state, moreso than anywhere else I’ve lived. Rhodies have their own accent, their own slang, their own food, their own stores. Where else can you get coffee milk at any locally own cafe? I am pretty sure it’s the state drink, and it was even offered for a time at Grace’s school in the cafeteria. Rhodies even have their own clam chowder, a delicious version that’s based around a clear broth. I’m a fan of the New England style myself (tomatoes do not belong in clam chowder, sorry), but the Rhode Island version is quite tasty. I also love that I can traverse the entire state in just an hour or so. Nowhere is far away when you live in the tiniest state in the Union.
Also my kids are getting the services they need here. Mary Ellen is receiving three hours of speech therapy a week, and Grace is in a kindergarten/first grade mixed class. Once we move, ME will most likely lose all her speech therapy services, and the elementary school in Norfolk only offers half-day kindergarten, which would be a huge step back for Grace. I’m sure it will all work out for the best, but it’s nice to have all of these options here.
But there are also benefits to moving to Norfolk. For one thing, there are MANY commissaries scattered around the area, and they’re open seven days a week, instead of being closed every Monday like the one here. Plus I bet I could buy chicken any time I want to, instead of being forced to shop on a Tuesday just to be guaranteed the products I want. There are Trader Joe’s all over the area, and I’ll finally be in the same state as a World Market. I’ll also be much closer to my parents, so I’ll be able to head up there on the weekends if I wish. And I already have friends there, folks we’ve been stationed with before, and people from this area are moving south too.
Maybe one day we’ll find ourselves in Rhode Island again! I can only hope.