Sunday, November 22, 2009

Be Like The Bird...

Gregg was taking a walk down memory lane when I spotted a Scrub Jay. Thankfully he had settled on a sturdy branch of the tree unlike in the poem, and was quietly watching us as we made our way along the path. When I grabbed my camera for this photo he looked away but I took no offence. He could have flown off and he didn't. I was able to get several good shots and he will be appearing again at a later date.

In the early 80s, as I have mentioned before in previous posts, we lived in Monterey. Gregg was attending the Navy Postgraduate School and it was one of our first stops as we found ourselves driving by it on our way into the town. The gates were open and we drove inside, parked the car and made a quick tour. At first it was difficult for Gregg to figure out where his old buildings were as many others had sprung up all over the place since our last visit, totally changing the layout. It wasn't long before he got his bearings, the good navigator that he is, and he pointed out various places which brought back those old memories. I didn't remember any of it as the wives never encroached on their husbands' territory back then. This was their place of 'work' and it just wasn't done. I remember coming here for his graduation and that was it.

I wasn't actually sitting home twiddling my thumbs as Brad was three and he kept me running. Also there was a great network of wives, friends I had made in our neighborhood and beyond. Brad had a whole passel of kids to play with and so did his mum, with the mums of those kids who also had teenage daughters only too willing to earn some extra pocket money babysitting and Brad never lacked for company. There were craft shows, Tuppeware parties, lingerie parties, jewelry parties, coffee get-togethers, bowling, the list went on.

Other extra curricular activities included an early morning walk in the hour before sunrise. I met up with three close friends and we would chatter away while marching through navy housing. One morning imagine our surprise when the security car rolled up and a guard got out with a very serious and stern demeanor. A hand on each hip he gave us a lecture about how noisy we were, that many people had complained about us on our route and were so annoyed at being jolted awake that they ratted us out. He asked if we could please keep our voices down in the future as we had been waking people up all along our walk. Certain parties were not too happy with us and we were duly chastised and hung our heads in shame, being quite shocked that we had disturbed goodness knows how many. I don't blame them for being annoyed really, putting myself in their shoes. I don't think I would have called the armed guard out though, maybe waited on a street corner for our approach, and politely explaining that we were causing a raucous and asking nicely if we could zippeth our mouths until we had passed their bedroom windows. However, the shock effect worked and we tried to be a little quieter after that, making a slight change in our route that took us more through the woods, giggling like naughty little school children when we hit the trees where those zips came off and we broke loose with our mouths. I don't think the sound of our voices were heard in navy housing again, at least if they were no one else complained.

Yes I was having all this fun while Gregg was hard at work studying for two years, but he will be the first to admit that he had a good time too. He is very lucky to have a wonderfully retentive memory and didn't have to study at great lengths before everything sunk in. We were able to enjoy a lot of time together the three of us, which was precious. When he graduated he went back to sea for six, sometimes eight-month deployments on several ships for many years before he retired from the navy. So here we were walking around the school, chatting about this and that, and remembering our time there with great fondness.


  1. Isn't that just one of the best things about growing old, we amass a plethora of memories to dig up when we visit old haunts. It must have been quite an emotional visit.
    Our duaghter and partner hit the headlines today in a magazine. We are chuffed. See here:

    Bill's Ponderings

  2. Love to know more about you!God Bless!

  3. This is so wonderful, Denise. What beautiful memories you have. It's such a blessing to have such great friends to disturb the peace with.

  4. Women in groups making a lot of noise, surely not Denise.? {:) Its mostly nice to revisit old haunts though.

  5. Your walk down memory lane reminded me of when Bob and I went to the city in which he attended college, some 30 years ago. Bob showed me where he lived while he attended college. All I saw was a parking lot. The house in which he lived was no longer there. That house and another house were torn down and replaced by the parking lot. Bob saw in his mind's eye, though, the house. He stood in the spot where the house would have been and had me snap his picture. Bob said that the neighborhood in which he lived while in college was a rough neighborhood. I guess it is still a rough neighborhood. A policeman pulled into the parking lot within a minute of our arrival and stayed parked there until we left.

  6. I was an army wife and your post reminded me of the social world of service families.I was reprimanded by the CO's wife (top dog) of army wives because i would not go to the whist drive or bridge nights.I expressed my dislike of card games to her but she sent a staff car to pick me up,with orders not to return without me !!
    Love reading about your memories.

  7. Memories are even better than photographs.