You look good for your age ;) This post should have been posted sooner but it didn't happen. Call me distracted by real life and watching Food Network with my kids after dinner while they pined for the remote. I was in a bit of a coma, from making something salisbury steak like (The Devildog ate it, so it must have been safe) and having wine with my dinner. Shhhhh don't tell Devildog that I actually catnapped on the futon while watching Food Network. This after catnapping in the bed while snuggling with the Devildog before I made dinner. I had hamburger meat thawed, so I gave him the option of the meal. The rule in our house is the Birthday Person gets to choose, within reason and family budget. Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Green beans is what he wanted. Southern? Why, yes, what gave you that idea about him? He's caused me a loss of some yankee tendencies over the years, including being stationed at Camp Lejune, NC, where everyone thought I was from New York. Except that those truly FROM New York knew better. I was too Southern to be a Yankee. But to the Southerners, I was too Yankee to be Southern. I will forgive him and the Corps for that move, because ultimately I did a lot of learning at that duty station, and even had ample amounts of stupidity. At Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, I learned much needed basic office skills, and how to crochet from the ladies in the layette room. It just took another 7 years for me to really get the hang of hook and yarn. I learned to cook some of Devildog's favorite recipes, like Catalina Chicken and Pork Chops & Sour Cream, immense thanks to Jessica Torrence from Tennesee. Hilda Muguerza, mother of Laura Torres, of Round Rock, Texas gave me the recipe for her Enchiladas and her Migas. I still have them tucked into the old Good Housekeeping cookbook longtime family friend Janie gave me when I turned 18. I got Peach Cobbler, Hamburger Casserole, Banana Bread, and the value of vinegar in the laundry when dealing with smelly PT gear, potty training children or forgotten loads of wash from Jana Anderson of Salt Lake City, UT. As much as Devildog didn't care for Ladera (last name and hometown withheld), I learned valuable lessons from her experiences as the daughter of a Marine Major and an elevated Federal staffer. I learned how to act confident, even if I wasn't, and I learned what resources to make use of and ask for myself. In the military, the general unwritten rule is "if you didn't ask for it, you didn't rate it", despite what the manual states. I borrowed books from the other Patricia from Indiana in our little corner, and I found Pam & Peggy in a book that sort of understood me, and years later I found another of their students that I follow.
I didn't intend for this post to wax nostalgic about the handful of years at Camp Lejune and while my husband was in the Marines. However, it's part of the sum of my experiences with the Marine Corps. It helped shape who I am now, much of it out of necessity. I was 500 miles from my family with two children and a lot to learn. I didn't learn it all, but I did learn. So, while I did not enter the gates of Parris Island a poolie recruit and leave a Marine, I did benefit from what the Marines as a whole taught me. I became better, stronger, and more confident for having married a Marine and joining the brotherhood as a Marine's Wife.