Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Facing the Unknown

When I first joined the Navy in 1968, things were a bit different than they are today. There were almost 5,000 women in the Navy then and we were not always welcomed. I was mistaken for a Cub Scout leader and a flight attendant. My mother was not keen on my joining and worried about me. I was 21 years old, headstrong and ready for adventure.

I made it through boot camp and school and checked into my first duty station on a Sunday. I found myself in a semi-dark, quiet barracks. I was so far from home and there was nobody to talk to that first night. The quiet surrounded me and I felt so alone.

I decided to write it all in a letter to my mother. I wrote as if I was talking to her there in my barracks cubicle. Just putting the words down on paper made me feel better. It was OK that I didn’t get a response immediately. The words were out of me and so was some of the fear and anxiety. I didn’t feel alone anymore. Letter-writing became a sanctuary and one of my only good habits. Years later my mother told me how much she cherished those letters.

I eventually made some friends and got past that initial rough spot. But I never forgot it. I made it my mission to knock on the door (plastic shower curtain over a doorway back then) of every newbie to welcome them. We always grabbed up the newbies for meal time and movie nights. As I grew those first few years in the Navy, I learned that there would always be some bad days and quiet nights and that I would get through them just fine.

I pulled this long ago memory out of the archives for my friend in the Pacific Northwest. We love you, Patty Jo. And when the quiet gets too noisy, you know where you will always find friends happy to see you.

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks