A story of Gregg and Denise from the early navy days.Well here we are right in the very beginning. Gregg and I were invited out for the afternoon by a friend whose cousin had a small boat. We spent a lovely afternoon on the Potomac. You can see the Kennedy Center to the right and a sliver of the Watergate Building to the left. I don't remember what Gregg had just said to me but right after this photo I burst out laughing and it's been like that all during our married life. Gregg has the most wonderful corny sense of humor that has kept me laughing for 34 years. Sometimes it's so corny I don't even get it, I'll look at him with a quizzical "huh" kind of look and just burst out laughing anyhow.
A couple of years later we moved to California (San Diego). Gregg joined his ship - USS Sterett - and set sail shortly after our move. It was then that I found that I was pregnant. I stayed with a friend whose husband was on the same ship as Gregg. This was in the days of Polaroids and much waited for mail that would sometimes take a couple of months to arrive, depending on where the ship was at the time.
and I sent to him.....
and he sent to me.
Well, you get the idea. Receiving one of those photos was better than any gift we could have given each other, each one a celebration as it popped into the mailbox.
I was so happy in these photos but not long after and only a short while before the ship was due home, we found that its return date had been delayed for another two months. The tears didn't stop for a very long time. My friend and I went into separate rooms with a box of tissues and cried buckets and buckets, and by the time we came out we looked a couple of sights and started crying all over again.
But at long last we were at the pier and patiently waited to see that ship on the horizon. Have you ever seen a woman in her eighth month of pregnancy jumping up and down, waving her arms like a loon? Well, that was me when I first spotted Gregg walking along the deck looking for me. He is the sailor second from the right. "Hello Sailor!"
We were overjoyed, tired but overjoyed. I look at this photo and I smile because we both looked like we hadn't had a wink of sleep the night before, which was the truth, for several nights probably.
Gregg often had the duty but wives were allowed to go on board to spend a little of that time with our husbands and have an occasional meal with them in the wardroom. I'm on the Bridge here .....
It was about a month after Gregg's return that Brad arrived. In the meantime the ship had gone into overhaul in Long Beach, and we found a home for a short spell in Los Alamitos.
and this last one was taken when we moved back to Virginia Beach (Virginia). Brad who was about four by this time was left with Nana and Papa while his Mum and Dad went to a Navy Ball. I remember not liking this dress after I bought it but now all these years later I think it's quite nice, and if it was still in my wardrobe I would be wishing I could get into it!!!!
As I was at the end of this post Gregg's phone rang. An amazing coincidence, as here I am writing about our navy days and the message was from an old friend off Gregg's Royal Navy ship, HMS Ariadne, who is now living in Arizona. This is the first time we have had any contact since he left that ship 34 years ago. Ariadne is the British ship that Gregg did a two-year exchange tour on with the Royal Navy, and we actually met on that ship which you can read about here and here.