Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Comets, Road Trips and Re-Purposed Furniture

Well, here we are, approaching the close of another month of leave.  This period at home has been a little longer than usual due the MLK holiday just past; I'd have reported for duty yesterday otherwise.  Instead I'll be checking in to the Pool next Monday to begin the process of updating paperwork, attending some mandatory training and getting a full physical before I'll be eligible for new orders.  I expect that I'll be wading in that Pool for a month or so before I know which ship I'll be heading to next...but you never know!

Being home for the trinity of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year was a treat. Many years I tend to miss most or all of these holidays; the timing was just right this time around as Big Horn returned from her nine-month deployment in mid-November and I finally paid-off on 23 December, exactly one year after reporting aboard T-AO 198.  As noted, nice timing...of course the icing on the cake would be if I am still Stateside when 23 February rolls around--how cool would it be to be home for Lucy's and my 28th Anniversary!?

Better not get my hopes up too high on that one, however.

It's been a quiet month in Newport News, my hometown...sorry, Garrison!  Actually things have been rocking since XMas, with Lucy and I driving to New York to visit her father in the first week of the New Year, four very nice Star Parties at the Virginia Living Museum (VLM) and with my own association of amateur astronomers, the VPAS, and a second Road Trip for me with cousins Beth, Wes, Janie and Laura to explore our family's roots in the southern Virginia town of South Boston and the surrounding county of Halifax (my first visit to the ancestral lands). 

Add to these activities a laundry-list of projects in and about the house--including a stint playing lumberjack with my new electric chainsaw--plus the thrill of observing the beautiful Comet Lovejoy from the backyard at every clear night-sky opportunity, the fun of volunteering at the VLM  when time and weather conditions allowed, and the challenge of building new telescope supports out of thrift-shop furniture "finds", and you may wonder HOW Lucy and I have been able to find the time to pursue our "Fringe" binge--watching all five seasons of J.J. Abrams' terrific TV series!

Yes, it's been a busy month, but a good one.