Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Been a While

Things are about the same in my personal life. I've meant to post so many times but I always got distracted or questioned whether or not I had anything to write about. Tonight I still have those questions but I'm going to write anyway.

My grandson, Michael, is graduating this weekend from the Air Force Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, TX. His entire family went back for the celebration. All except for me and hubby. We have other responsibilities with the animals and all plus we'd never be able to come up with the necessary funds so it's best that we wish him well from here in California. Ken (my son for those of you who may have forgotten) came over yesterday and rigged up my computer to be able to watch the events through his laptop and the computer cam so we'll get to see parts of it. Of course it's raining buckets in San Antonio tonight and it doesn't look good for the rest of the week or weekend either so I'm not too sure how the graduation will take place. Will they move it indoor or hold it in the rain? Ken and my daughter-in-law and my two granddaughters and one grandson-in-law all made it back this morning. One of the first things they did was go to a supermarket and stock up on junk food since that's what Michael has missed the most it seems. He says they feed them pretty well on the base. He's just tired of not having sweet things to eat. So there is a whole array of sweet things waiting for him and his buddy (whose family couldn't make it to the ceremonies) at the hotel room. The ceremonies go one for 3 days beginning tomorrow. Michael will be allowed to go off base with his family one of those days (or maybe it's Sun. that that happens). I suggested they take in the Alamo and the River Walk. But they're going to leave everything up to Michael.

Michael's flight made B.E.A.S.T. Excellence last week which was B.E.A.S.T. week. (That is where your squadron goes on maneuvers and gets to apply everything they've learned over the previous 6-1/2 weeks. Including eating MREs [meals ready to ear] for a week, crawling 70 yards on their bellies fully weighted down, with an M-16 across your arms, surviving a gas or biological attack, and searching for IEDs [improvised explosive devices]. And a whole lot more. Michael's flight taking Excellence was a huge honor and they were allowed to display their banner or streamer after a short ceremony.

There is so much to the graduation. There's the Airman's run. The parades. The coin ceremony. The ceremony for the honors coin for those who made honors. (I am sure hoping that Michael gets honors. I will be just as proud of him if he doesn't but I'd like to see him get it for his own sense of self-worth.) I'd like to see him walk away with every ribbon possible to earn and there are 3, I believe. We are all so proud of him. He called me from Sacramento before his plane took off for Texas and I felt really privileged to get that call. How many guys call their grandmas before their plane takes off? The first letter we got from his was awful. "I hate it here! This place sucks! I've made the biggest mistake of my life." Essentially that's what he wrote in his first letter. But the last few weeks he's taken on a sense of self-pride and accomplishment. Things began to come as second nature. And you could just hear the pride in his letters. I think now he's pretty sure he hasn't made the biggest mistake of his life. And besides that, he says he looks really hot in his blues! LOL.

There are about 800 trainees that graduate at a time. Once they receive the Airman's Coin they are instantly A1C [Airman First Class]. I sure wish I could be there. But I've done as much as I can to be actively involved with his experience. I've written him at least twice a week since he left (and he's written me 4 times which isn't too shabby considering he's had his parents and siblings to write also). My family has always been very close. Tight, some would say. And Michael has all the support he could possibly have. I can't help but feel for all those young men who don't have anyone to cheer them on. It must be really hard.

I am still knitting although I have slowed down considerably. I have the type of personality that goes full bore into something without surfacing for air and goes 90 miles an hour until the steam runs out. That's where I was heading. Full scale burnout. But I think I stopped myself in time. Like I said, I still knit but I knit when I really feel like it. And I'm going to put all my surplus energies into sewing for awhile. I have a brand new sewing machine sitting in my linen closet that I got for Christmas 3 or 4 years ago that has never been out of its box. I haven't sewn anything for over 23 years and so my best friend, Kathleen, has offered to bring me back up to speed on my new machine. I'm going to make a pot holder or hot pad first just to get the feel of sewing again. Then I'm not sure what I'm going to make but I think it will be some short pants or whatever they are called. (They'll end about 5 inches below the knee.) I never seem to have enough pants to wear and it's really, really hard to buy anything to fit me because I have such an unusual body size/style. I like elastic waists and I simply have to have pockets! But I want to make some in nice spring colors. So I think after the hot pad I will venture into pants. And maybe some tops too. I'll have to see.

Well this has been a short post. And I've barely touched on everything that's been going on since I last posted. But I just felt like I needed to write again. Sorry it is always so long between posts. Until next time... God bless you.