It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again, we are able to reconnect with folks that we were stationed with during our careers which is always a good time. We have all grown in so many ways and it is always interesting to catch up on life after the service since many of us have moved in very different directions but a few of us have moved in very similar directions.
As we were planning our westward adventure, we learned that our god daughter would be getting married about the time we would be rolling through Texas. The timing was perfect and we had not seen her or her brother in person in over 10 years. Sure, we have stayed in touch via Facebook, but we had not had any quality time together since we all retired and left Maine in 2006. It didn’t take long to decide to take a detour from our original route and go see our Navy family. Her parents we had seen just a few years ago to celebrate our 40th birthday, since we did, after all, share a birthday. This family is also full time RVers, who have been traveling just about a year longer than we have. They got on the road with the kids still at home, so their experiences have been a little different than ours has been. But now, with both of their children grown, married and having families of their own, they too will hit the road again to explore the country.
It was obvious from the moment we pulled in that neither time and distance did not distract from the bonds we formed while in the service. It was as though it had been just a short time ago that we were all together with our children still in grade school. We picked up right where we left off, filling in some blanks in conversation and discussing future plans for reuniting on the road. When the our children were little, the 3 of them spent a great deal of time together. With all of us in the service, we frequently helped each other out covering deployments, duty weekends and even the occasion holiday.
It is hard to believe that our children are now all grown with children of their own. The bride has two children and her brother has one. We missed his wedding since it happened earlier in the year while we were still in Florida, but we were so very blessed to have made it for her wedding which was absolutely gorgeous. It was a simple country themed wedding with family and military family from all over. It was so nice to see everyone again and spend time with those we hold so close and dear to our hearts.
Our visit also gave us the opportunity to meet new friends, some of whom live fairly close to where we will be spending the summer. The nice thing about being in the military, is that everyone you meet from the military usually become instant friends. We all share a bond that few understand and it usually makes us friends for life. It doesn’t mean we will talk regularly or see each other regularly but we always know that if we come into town, there is a place to stay, food and camaraderie.
Life is short, and sometimes it is necessary to deviate from the playbook and go on an adventure. This whole journey was something we had envisioned when we got on the road in 2012, which we did until the fall of 2014, when life put us in a holding pattern and kept us in Florida much longer than we intended. We didn’t know it at the time, but looking back we now know there were many reasons for the delay. Now it’s time to focus more an us as a couple and adventure. And the truth is, that it has been worth the wait.