It has been said that it is not so much the BIG things in life that really bring about the intimacy and memories in our relationships as it is the SMALL things. Those moments that are sandwiched in-between the everyday realities of what we live out every 24 hours.
This past Saturday Kurt and I had the pleasure of sharing in one of those moments with our son Justin. He is a Marine training at Camp Geiger out in Jacksonville.
It is a 4.5 hour drive out there and then again back home. But the sweet time we get to spend with him is worth every minute, mile, and penny we use to do it.
Last Saturday Kurt and Kameron got to be with Justin. This time, I got to go.
We got away about 5:45 Saturday morning. As we travelled we began to see the sun peeking over the horizon and the treetops.
We got to see WALLS of corn...sometimes on both sides of the road. I felt like we were in a maze a few times.
Don Williams provided some background atmosphere during the trip.
For many miles the sun was shining on the blacktop causing multitudes of little pieces of material in the asphalt mix to reflect shiny sparkling little dots.
I told Kurt it reminded me of fairy dust or the Pixie dust of Tinkerbell she shook all over everyone to enable them to fly in Peter Pan. I felt like we were "flying" to a Happy place where we would get to see Justin again. (If you click on the photo, you can see them a little better.)
We also got to see many patches of colorful wildflowers that the NC DOT has planted along the highways.
About halfway there we got a phone call from Justin telling us his liberty was being cut short for the day, and instead of all day liberty, he would have to be back on base at 3:30. That would give us about 5 hours. We took what we could get.
Here is my "superfly" chauffer driving me out to see my Marine. Big heart, Big smile, Big glasses.... Happy Dad...That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Can't really post pics of Camp Geiger once inside the Gate, but here is where we stop to check in and register (outside) every time we go to visit Justin.
Our itinerary for the day was hoped to be a trip to the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, eat some fish, take in a movie, and let Justin do anything else he needed to do. With the shortened liberty, we decided to head for the Aquarium first.
Just outside there were four men working hard on a sand sculpture. Here is what they had started. Wish I could have seen the finished product!
Here are some photos for my e-scrapbook as a memory of this Saturday end-of-June trip.
Gator-wrestling. Justin won!
The Ray tank had beautiful varieties of small rays in it.
No...I am not going to touch one of the Rays...
Here is a shot I couldn't resist. Justin is getting video on his phone of the Shark tank. This shot shows what Justin calls his Neopolitan look. Note the Strawberry/ Vanilla/Chocolate Hairstyle. :-) Also mom loves the dimple in the back of his head that matches the two on his face when he smiles. :-)
Here, Justin and I stand by a HUGE alligator turtle. Justin liked it!
After the aquarium, we took off for a Fish restaurant. Found One!
This is most of the damage he did... hungry soldier!
After eating, we were getting short on time, so we headed back towards the base. Justin was getting V-E-R-Y sleepy. His head started nodding. Tired Marine...
We stopped off at the MCX store for Justin to get a quick haircut and purchase a few supplies. Mom snuck in with her camera, and got a nod and a smile from the cheerful barber to grab a photo!
It was almost 3:30, so we got Justin back to his building, got some big hugs and said a quick goodbye. He grabbed his PowerBars we had brought, his backpack, and once again we had to leave him behind. Bittersweet, but not so bad, as we knew he would be getting a 96 hour leave for 4th of July and will get to come home this week. YES!
As we drove away, I snapped a photo of this sign where you turn to approach the gate of Camp Geiger. It is also the entrance of the USMC air strip.(click if you want to enlarge and read.) It says: PARDON OUR NOISE...IT'S THE SOUND OF FREEDOM!
It was a glorious day, albeit short, but oh so sweet. We look forward to having him here with the whole family next weekend as we celebrate our country's birthday of freedom. Seems 10 times more meaningful now that our son is going to fight and protect that said freedom.
Hope to share about that. I'll close with this little gift Justin had to give us when we arrived to pick him up for the day. :-) :-) :-)
Those smart people out there know how to get a soldier to spend his money!
Mom and Dad will wear them with love and pride.
Hoping you are making some precious moments in your life,