Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Echo Lingers...

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Memory is a funny thing.

Things from yesterday might elude one's grasp, whereas things from ten years ago can be as bright and shiny as if they were happening just now. I'm not exactly clear what triggered this recent trip down memory lane, might have been a dream, might have been a song, might even have been a scent on the north wind. All those will trigger a memory from time to time.

So I was struck by a remembrance of all the times we hopped in the Sargemobile and headed south for to visit the environs of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. First when the Naviguesser was a bright shiny new ensign.

We met his ship, USS Briscoe when she and her crew returned from the war, the war which still rages. It was a wet day. Pouring rain as we stood there on the pier. We were all dressed up in our finery. Our sopping wet finery. But the day was warm enough and we were breathlessly anticipating the return of the heir from his first deployment.

Soon enough, Briscoe hove into view, tugs alongside on that very grey, wet day. We waited for her to be tied up, waited for the brow to go over. It was a long wait in the rain. Soon enough the lad was ashore.

The next time we headed that way was when his second ship, USS Nitze was being commissioned. Yes, another wet day in Norfolk. This time though it was cold. Damned cold. It even snowed briefly that day.

Other times saw us head south to visit the daughters. First The Nuke, when she was assigned to USS McFaul and then USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Later it was her and her sister The WSO, when the youngest was with VFA-106 and then with VFA-32 at Oceana.

So from 2001 to only recently we spent a lot of time in Virginia.

We had a lot of fun down there. Playing Rock Band, (yeah, the Sarge has played that, I ain't as much of a geezer as I pretend to be sometimes) seeing the sights in the area, often just enjoying each other's company.

That opening photo? The first rest area in Virginia after leaving Maryland, not counting a gas station just across the border. I always waited for that one in the photo. Much more picturesque and old school I thought. (One day we found out that the place closes around sundown. Seems I should have stopped at the gas station earlier. Let's just say I made do, and leave it at that. Fortunately it was a dark night and pretty quiet.)

Memories. My mind is flooded with them this weekend. Perhaps it's because of Veterans Day (Armistice Day to me) on Friday, perhaps it's because late Friday it struck me, hard I must say, that it had been 18 years since we lost our first feline family member. Not the first cat I'd lost, but the first I'd lost as patriarch of my own family unit. I took it hard, the kids took it hard. But life goes on.

And, as the Captain said, the echo lingers...

This is the Sarge, lost in his memories, trying to make sense of it all.

Have a blessed Sunday.





H/T to HMS Defiant for the post title. I stole it from a comment he made here.  That old sea dog sees things with an incredible clarity. Honored to count him as a friend.

14 comments:

  1. There are a number of those lingering echoes here.
    Some are like the aftereffects of a rifle shot in a canyon or the sound of thunder.
    Others aremore faint.
    And still, a few more are the echo of the sound a duck makes.

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    1. I get that.

      (I also like the duck reference. A lot.)

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  2. Glad you enjoy my state--er--Commonwealth. Welcome anytime!

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    1. Well, now that The Nuke lives in Alexandria we'll still be down your way quite a bit.

      Love old Virginny!

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  3. I'm at a loss for things that happened yesterday, but like you, have vivid memories of things past. I think our brains catalog events by importance. Yesterday's lunch? Who cares? Coming home from deployment? Watershed moment and preserved well.

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    1. Yup, I think it's the preciousness of the moment. Though sometimes it's the heartbreak of the moment as well.

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  4. Love love love that the family business continues on. Thank you for your service. Thank you for raising younguns to serve.

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    1. Thanks Marcia, we believe in doing our part. Serving is an honor.

      As you and Andy well know!

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  5. The memories do seem to be crowding 'round me, lately, but I blame it on the election season. Watching my grown daughters comport themselves like adults (rare), express mature political opinions (more rare), and vote in last week's election (rare, indeed). Perhaps it's the realization, which I try to ignore most days, that I have rather fewer years ahead than have gone before. I ain't quittin', but darn it, there's so much to do.

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    1. The years ahead are indeed fewer than those in the wake.

      But the ultimate home port calls us all, the Lord's Will be done.

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  6. It's always those little things... A picture, a smell, a flash of memory. We've done 'our' time, now it's the kids turn. We may or may not live vicariously through them, but we're always proud of them.

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  7. Virginia will always be a special place for me.

    I've often been on the ship, but never on the pier. Until your post I never gave a thought to how different the two experiences are. Another level of self-wonderfulness revealed. ;)

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    1. It was a new experience for me in two ways. One, of course, was the whole "being on the pier" thing. But the second thing was really weird. So often it was me going "out there" and then "returning home" and thinking that I didn't recall my parents being so emotional when I was younger.

      Being the one "holding down the home front" was a lot more stressful than I had imagined. Sending one's progeny off to war sucks. Truly sucks.

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