It has been a long time since I have made an entry here. I cannot promise I will be posting more frequently in the future, but I think it is about time I let you know what has been going on. A lot has happened since I wrote last.
Alex turned eighteen on May 16th and we had a nice outing. He graduated on May 27th. That was a relief because he had had some trouble with his math. As he had planned he entered the Marine Corps on June 4th. I did not cry when he left which was good. He did not pass the initial strength test so he had to go in special training company for a week which changed his graduation date. Then he caught double pneumonia and was again in special training company. That lasted about a month and changed his graduation date again. He became quite depressed, but he never wanted to quit. His paternal grandfather died on August 1st but he chose not to come home because he had just returned to regular training. I went to the memorial service and sent him the program from it.
Sunday, September 17th Mom and I went to church and then went to Wal-Mart to shop. As we parked the truck we saw some people selling Shih Tzu puppies. We went over to them and looked at the puppies. We decided to go in and do our shopping and I would think about getting the puppy. When we came out I had basically decided that a puppy would be too much expense for me to afford. Mom asked me if I wanted to get the puppy and I told her I did not think so. She said, "Well if you want her we better go over there and get her." I broke down and said yes I wanted to get her. Mom got them to come off their asking price by $150.00. As we rode home we were trying to come up with a name. Mom suggested Hope because we could only hope that my brother James would not make me get rid of her. She became Hope. She is a cute little brown and white fluff ball.
Alex graduation date was finally set at Friday, October 13th. Mom and I planned to go to Parris Island for the ceremony, but on October 4th Mom broke her ankle. I almost gave up on being able to have her go, but my niece offered to drive us up there and help with the wheelchair. We went with her three kids along. On Thursday the morning of family day we went to watch the motivational run, but we did not see Alex. All the guys looked alike. We later watched the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor ceremony and we were able to find Alex in his company. We all got misty eyed seeing Alex for the first time in months. After the ceremony was over we were able to spend the rest of the afternoon with Alex. He was so happy to see us as we were to see him. It was so good walking arm in arm with him. He finally had made it through boot camp and we were all thrilled. It was wonderful spending time with him and we were all sad that the day had to end. Friday morning he graduated. We took him to the hotel and he got the first long shower he had had in months and he dressed in civilian clothes. He was ecstatic. We drove home with Alex. He told stories of boot camp along the way. It was so good just hearing him talk. He had ten days leave.
Alex had forgotten the password to his computer while he was gone. He decided to get a new laptop. We went to Best Buy and he got an awesome HP machine.
Richard, Alex’s father, cancelled the insurance on Alex’s car while he was in boot camp so Alex was not able to drive his car while he was on leave. On Monday I took Alex to the interment of his grandfather. That ceremony was heart rending. His grandmother invited me to go to dinner with the rest of the family and we had a very nice meal. Afterward I was invited to Alex’s grandmother’s condominium to spend some time with them. While I was there Richard and I went for a walk and talked a lot. The family was going to the Atlanta Aquarium the next day and they invited me to spend the night and go with them. I called my Mom and asked her if it would be okay because she was watching my puppy. She reluctantly said yes. The visit to the aquarium was enjoyable. Alex and I returned home late in the afternoon.
Alex spent a good bit of time with his friends while he was on leave. Mom and I were a little disappointed that he did not spend more time with us. The ten days flew by. We took him to the Greyhound station to catch the bus to Marine Combat Training. We did not hear from Alex for weeks. He finally called us and said he had been in the field all the time without the chance to write. He would be going from MCT to Virginia Beach for training in intelligence. He would call with his address when he got there because he wanted me to ship his laptop and some other things to him. He was very happy when he got to Virginia Beach. Everything was to his liking. It was a week before he got the address, but he called a couple of times before then. I shipped him his package overnight and it arrived Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was 33 pounds and cost $97.75 to ship. He was very happy to get it. Unfortunately Alex was not allowed to come home for Thanksgiving. He did get to go home with a buddy whose family lived nearby and so had a nice dinner.
My cousin Martha and her husband Steve came and had Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and I. Mom prepared a wonderful meal. We are still polishing off the leftovers.
Hope is a very frisky puppy so I decided to enroll her in obedience class. The instructor allowed Mom to bring Penny along to class for free. The training is going well, but Hope is still a little character.
My computer went crazy while Alex was here on leave and I thought I was going to have to reload all its programming. Thankfully I reinstalled the updates that had not installed because I shut the computer down in the middle of the process and it has been working fine since.
I am hoping that Alex will get to come home for Christmas. He thinks his first duty station will be Iraq so any time we can spend together is very precious. I am hoping he does not have to go to Iraq, but he is doing what he wants to do with his life. Even though I am very worried I am happy that he is enjoying his life.
Mom is in a lot of pain with her back which has been bothering her for over a year. It has gotten so bad it is debilitating. She will have a nerve block on December 20th, but I wish there were something they could do for the pain before then.
I lost twelve pounds, but unfortunately over the last couple of weeks I gained five of it back. It is so hard to maintain a consistent loss.
I have read fifty-three books so far this year. I was hoping to read more, but seems like I stay too busy to read as much as I would like.
I hope all my friends here in blogland are doing well. I just have not felt like writing anything so my space has suffered.
I hope all of you have Happy Holidays.