Friends

Total Chaos

I don’t even know where to start! So much has happened over the last month.

I have photos of the drive from Louisiana to Washington… (sneak peak)…which which Don and I haven’t even LOOKED at yet. LOL Seriously. Life is such total chaos right now.

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He drove the U-Haul and towed our van (Rosie) and I followed behind in our little truck (parked behind the van). We have since traded the truck for a larger, used truck and a Subaru. So many freaking changes, lol!

We’ve been out riding our dirt bikes a few times with friends.

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He’s got a new bike that doesn’t match mine anymore. 😦 It’s got more power and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

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The weather has been amazing since we’ve been back. We’ve been trying to take full advantage before it changes.

We’ve been out sailing with new co-workers.

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I haven’t been writing.
I haven’t been reading.
We haven’t been watching much TV or movies – although we did watch the entire Season 2 of Orange is the New Black. OMGosh. Now we have to wait SO LONG for the next season, I’m sure. LOL

So, just letting you all know we’re still here. I’m still hoping to be making more frequent appearances and getting back to our normal routine. It just seems like getting back to ‘normal’ sure takes a L O N G time. I hope you all hang in there with me. 🙂 I hope to make sense of it all soon and be back more regularly.

Cheers!

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
~ Alan Watts

Mardi Gras 2014

Our last Mardi Gras in Lake Charles was a blast! I joined some fellow Coastie families for the Kid’s Parade on Sunday and then we both enjoyed good eats and great times with friends yesterday.

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The only shot I got of someone actually catching beads.
Definitely wasn’t the easiest thing to photograph.

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Tim almost got those ones.

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I just thought the Geico lizard costume was super cute.

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Tuesday’s Day of Debauchery

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Thanks for the good times everyone!

“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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New Adventures Ahead

It’s that time again – transfer season. Our time with Station Lake Charles is nearing its end and we will soon be moving and starting fresh somewhere new. If only we knew where! We’ve been waiting for the official news for over a month. The suspense is dreadful. Are we going to go back to the NW? To the East Coast? Will we stay in the Gulf Coast Region? Maybe today will be the day. (This has been our mantra, every day for the last couple of weeks.)

We’ve had some good times in Lake Charles but we are ready to make the transition to the next adventure. Four years in one place has been hard for our rambling spirits that look forward to the variety and opportunity that comes with moving every few years. This was the longest stretch we had in one place and our feet are itchy to get moving again.

We are on pins and needles to hear where the next landing point will be so that we can start making plans. We’ve discussed so many possibilities over the last month that our heads are spinning with ideas from living in military housing (which would be a first for us), to renting a small apartment for one year to save money and to give us time to search the area to buy a house for the first time, to building our own house even. (Don likes to dream BIG.)

Despite our eagerness to make a change, we will be saying goodbye to many good friends and to many experiences and opportunities that this area has offered. For me, I will always remember Lake Charles as the place where I learned how to ride a motorcycle! I’ve been intimidated by motorcycles my whole life. I loved being a passenger with others: my dad, boyfriends growing up, and with Don over the years. But I never imagined I’d have the courage to ride alone. Our frequent trail riding trips have been a blast and I hope that wherever we move we will still have nearby options for riding off-road. Living ten minutes from a local gun range has also afforded us ample opportunity to go out for a day of target shooting, skeet shooting, or pistol practice. Hardly a week goes by without a trip to the range. It is something I know we will miss. I dearly hope we live near a range again or live near forest land or wilderness that is open to outdoor shooting. Don has been privileged to join some great hunting trips and we’ve enjoyed trips together to New Orleans and southwestern Texas. We’ve even done some fun things with the local community like the Beast Feast and the Color Run. Lots of great memories.

As for the people…so many of you have opened your homes and hearts to us, given us opportunities, and shared your Cajun culture with us during our time here. You’ve stamped our lives with the blessing of your friendship and we will carry the memories and experiences with us always. (Sorry to sound so sappy; we aren’t leaving yet!) I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and that we have enjoyed our time with you in this corner of the world. We’ll make a few more memories before we go. 😉

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
~ Leo Buscaglia

Colorful Charity Event – Color Vibe

Yesterday, we participated with some friends in a fun run 5K called the Color Vibe, benefiting the local Relay for Life organization. Don and I volunteered to help staff the run, which really meant we got to stand around and cheer for the runners and throw color on them. The rest of our group participated in the run. There were over 2,000 runners; it was a bit crazy but lots of fun! Check out the news clip from our local station, KPLC, to see some of it in action. We left our phones in the truck, not wanting them to be damaged by the “paint” but after we saw how easily it came off, we took some pictures after the race.

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The paint, which is colored cornstarch and looks a bit like chalk, wipes off, and washes out easily, but it was tricky getting out of our clothes and getting them into the wash without getting it everywhere.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
~ William James
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Swamp Views Via Airboat

This last weekend I toured the Blue Elbow Swamp and Sabine River, in Orange, Texas (just west of the Louisiana border), via airboat, courtesy of two very special ladies. (Thanks again for the good times!)

It may come as a surprise that as someone whose husband has spent countless hours on the water in the Navy and the Coast Guard, I do not have a lot of experience with boats. Especially not high-powered boats. I like the quiet, slow movement of sailboats, row boats, and trolling motors on small fishing boats. Power boats? My very few experiences with power boats in the last 3 years have simply reinforced my preference for little or no power.

Happily, I can report, that while I was totally freaked out by our first sharp turn after speeding down the waterway, and skidding across the water, it wasn’t horrible. Once I got over the freak factor, it was quite enjoyable. Almost like a roller coaster but without the stomach flop. I still gripped the back of my seat when speeding around, just in case, probably more than anyone else on the boat, but I’m ok with that. There was lots of slow going as well so we could stop and see the scenery, take pictures, and scout for gators. Which we saw a few.

I didn’t bring my dSLR so most of the pictures I have to share are courtesy of Janet. I brought my Olympus point and shoot which worked out fine because it spent most of its time in my pocket anyway while I held on to the boat. 🙂

This little guy was hanging out by the dock. We got to enjoy his company while we waited for the tour. He was maybe 3 feet long. Still pretty young.

We saw this guy (the biggest one we saw) just as we were starting out. The captain threw him a fish. He looked to be about 5 feet – which means about 5 years old. Did you know they grow a foot a year and then they grow wider once they’ve reached their full length?

Photo courtesy of Janet

I took this one, during one of the few times that I wasn’t having to hold on for dear life.
(It really wasn’t all that crazy, I was just not focused on taking pictures for once.)

Photo courtesy of Janet. – Yvette and me.

Photo courtesy of Janet

The smallest (and last) gator we saw – only maybe a year old. Photo courtesy of Janet.

Photo courtesy of Janet

Photo courtesy of Janet

Photo courtesy of Janet

Front row, left to right – me, Yvette, Janet. Back row – strangers. 🙂
Next to the captain’s spot, Patrick. Photo courtesy of the captain – with Janet’s camera. 🙂

The best thing to do is just leave them alone. Alligators want to be away from you just as much as you want to be away from them.
~ Jack Hannah