The very first thing I have to say about homecoming... is "Praise be to our Heavenly Father, who answered our prayers and kept Nate and his unit safe!!!! I am so very grateful!!!!!" And I am well aware, as we were welcoming everyone home, there are many families have not had the same happy reunions, and I will continue to keep them --- and the ones still there, and the ones still leaving --- in my daily prayers. I encourage all of you to do the same, for it is very easy to "forget" when we are here at home and life is running on it's "normal" course.
We were told that the bus should arrive sometime around 3:00, Kassy had us at the base by noontime, because she wanted to help decorate and finish off the "welcome home" bags that the wives had been working on. The day was bright and sunny, but cold!!!! (yes you heard that word from me!!!) There was a sharp wind that blew all day long, and it whistled across that parking area and between the barracks. We spent most of the waiting time talking with other families, and sitting the in car warming up enough to go back out and talk some more. Finally, around 4:00 the bus pulled in and marines climbed out!!! What fun it is to watch and be a part of such a happy reunion!!! Everyone looked great and were more than happy to be home once again.
Charlie had to be the funniest of all. He definitely knew that something was up, and I wouldn't be surprised if he knew exactly what was up, because he was at the last homecoming. He didn't like Kassy being one step away from him, and kept a very careful eye on her whenever she was. It didn't take him anytime to "find" Nate and when he did, he didn't quite know what to do with himself--- Jump all over him, or Kassy. One thing for certain though, once the two of them were together, he wouldn't let either one away from him!!!!! and got very upset when Nate had to step away for a moment to retrieve his sea bags.
Nate loved his "new" truck, the one that Kas had bought over the summertime!!! It wasn't a surprised (she couldn't keep it quiet that long) but Nate was pretty excited when he finally got to see it in "real life". After he had the chance to say "goodbye" to his pals, we headed for home. Deb, Dave, Ed and I went onto the hotel, to check in and give Kas and Nate a little time together. Then we met later for dinner and to hear some stories from Nate. It's hard for me to picture exactly what life was like in Iraq, but I am very certain, it would not be my choice as a place to live... even without a war brewing there. I just can't imagine a place with hardly any trees or green grass.
These past few days have just been days of fun. Kas and Nate have taken us to different parts of Jacksonville, we toured up to New Bern today and went thru some historical buildings, and have just enjoyed being all together. The dogs have had great fun together, Ed and I brought Moxie down with us, and Deb and Dave brought Hallie with them. They have had runs thru the park, long walks, and "hours" of waiting the cars while we toured around.
But it's time to think about heading home, I am missing the rest of the four footeds and even think I am ready to get back onto schedule again. There has been some work going on with the new barn while we have been away, and I want to check that out. I have a pile of wood to get inside, and Thanksgiving to think about.... so, it's time......