Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Globe Trotting or Space A, Take 2

After our amazingly crazy adventure last summer flying Space A, you would think I might wise up and not try that again. Not so, my friend, not so. First and foremost, I like free. Free is good. Free is worth putting up with little inconveniences. Free is not $10,000, which is what it would have cost us to fly home otherwise. Secondly, I miss my big girls and all my family. Therefore, we watched the flight lists, packed our bags, and waited for our chance. We did not have to wait long at all. Tony's leave started at 12:01am Saturday morning. There was a flight to Charleston whose call time was 3:15am. I was very realistic and did not plan on catching that first flight, but that is exactly what happened! And Charleston! That meant we were only a couple of hours from the cemetery in Georgia where Ben is buried. So, after a brief frustration with the car rental place, we headed to Hinesville to have dinner with Jack's godparents, who happen to be amazing people. The next morning was Sunday and we went to Mass on Ft. Stewart, where I was a member of the choir. They were playing all the songs we used to sing and it was so nostalgic and wonderful.

We then drove to my parent's house, where we spent the majority of our time. All three sisters were able to come in and spend time with us. I feel so very blessed. Our time passed quickly but pleasantly, and all too soon, we found ourselves watching those Space A lists again, trying to catch a ride back to Germany. It looked most likely that we could fly from either Delaware or New Jersey, so we headed that way and stopped in to see some of Tony's siblings. We showed up in New Jersey to a very packed passenger terminal. I was so sure we would not get on the flight that I made a bet with Tony.

While we were waiting, I started chatting with another mom with several kids. Over the course of the conversation, we discovered we were both Catholic. She asked if I home schooled, because she said I reminded her of her sister-in-law who does. She kept telling me how amazing her SIL was and how wonderful her children were. At one point, they called Tony over the loudspeaker, and completely messed up our last name. She laughed, saying that always happens to her too. Then she spelled her last name. I stopped short. I already knew the answer to the question I was about to ask. Her SIL happened to be a good friend from Virginia. I taught her girls piano lessons. Anna had a sleepover at their house. And she was right, her SIL is an amazing woman! I love what a small world it really is!

Well, we made that flight too. That gave us a chance to rest up before we started school this week. Two days in and so far, things are going well.

It had been two years since we were able to visit Ben

No ladder means this is the only way we can get up there. We each took a turn on Tony's shoulders.

There is a new carousel in Kingsport. The music it played was great. Father and daughter taking a spin.

He decided about 5 seconds into the ride that it was most definitely not fun.

They liked it.

So did we! My grandmother is 103. We found an animal low enough for her to sit on, but it was stationary. When I explained that to her, she looked at me and quipped, "We got gypped!"

Having fun at the Narnia park with Grandma.

My mom.

They seem to have developed a close relationship which makes my heart so happy.

A nice spot to sit and ponder the world.

He is always on the go! Most pictures of him are fuzzy, just like this one.

One of the rare moments where he stopped running.

It was much easier getting on the wobbly log in the middle of the creek than getting back to shore.

This mama and her babies were in my parent's yard most every morning.

These next set of pictures are from our bike ride on the Creeper Trail in Virginia. If you ever have a chance to go, don't pass it up. It is simply breathtaking.

along the trail

my little ham

lunch with sisters

He was fascinated by this book of black and white photographs of old trains.

inside the old train station

outside the old train station

All my babies!!

we stopped to take a break here. Three out of four little ones fell in and got completely soaked, but no one cared. Well, maybe Anna cared.

 Our last night in the states, with Tony's siblings. We had such fun!

Everyone loves playing "Make Jack into a pretzel"!

We miss them already!


  1. So glad you got to visit Ben.I teared up when I saw the picture of you on your husband's shoulders touching Ben's vault. Tender time. Looks like this trip was wonderful and a huge improvement over the first one! Thanks God!

  2. What a great trip! I am so glad you got to visit Ben's burial site, and both girls! How awesome. And your mom is gorgeous. You gals have great genes! And your grandma -- wow 103 and mad that she didn't get a moving animal! haha! I bet you felt so rejuvenated when you got home. Like you took a vitamin to hold you over for a while. I'm so happy for you.