What a great eclectic group! All over the world, so many different and interesting backgrounds, brought together by our common love of our furbabies. Thanks for bringing this thread back to life. We are relative newbies and had not stumbled upon it earlier.
My husband Jim and I are retired on a beach in Texas with our darlings, Miss Kitty and Samwise. Miss Kitty is a feral who adopted us several years ago when Jim was working in Houston, and Samwise is a Grand Champion Turkish Van who joined our family just last month -- and quite a handful he is. I am a dedicated quilter and I can be found almost all day in my sewing room with my furbabies "helping me."
I met Jim a couple of years after he had graduated from one of our military academies, and in June of this year (2004) we will have been married 45 interesting, exciting and happy years. We have raised three sons, all have gone through grad school -- two lawyers and one wildlife manager -- all have charming wives, and they have given us five grandchildren. They all live here in Texas, close enough for me to see our lovely grandchildren often, but not so close that I am a full-time "granny nanny."
After 20 years in uniform Jim retired from the military in 1977. He was away from home so very much -- he was home only eight weeks of our first two years of marriage. His first son was six months old when he first met his father. We moved around a real bunch. My eldest had attended more schools than he had grades by the time he entered high school, but my sons received an education in life and people which few do. On the other hand, when Jim was able to be home for a while we always had another honeymoon!
I have been a homemaker and housewife all my life, and I had to do a lot of it all by myself. No regrets -- never a dull moment -- I was a "service brat" myself, so I knew what I was getting into. While I was born in California when my father was "passing through" on a tour of duty there I have lived literally all over the country.
Jim attended law school while in the military and was admitted to the bar after graduating at the top of his law class at the George Washington University in the District of Columbia. The family was very proud. When he retired from the military I had this vision of his being home every day, only for him to be invited to join the U. S. Foreign Service, which he did, and off he went around the world again, and I seldom was able to accompany him. He had spent the last portion of his military service seconded over to the NSC and the State Department, so his job remained much the same.
Through all of this we have always had kitties -- as many as three at a time. Of course they were all experienced travelers, but they gave me so much comfort and joy when occasionally I would begin to feel sorry for myself -- all by myself with three squalling babies.
Then one day I met an exhausted husband at the airport as he returned from a long overseas assignment, to be told "I am not going to work tomorrow; where do you want to go from here?" He had burned out. He retired again from government service and we moved down to Texas and Jim began yet another career as a trial lawyer. Three years ago he burned out again, he finally (I think) retired, and we moved into our last (I hope) home -- a beach house on a lovely Texas beach. It is heaven! And Jim and I are together every day and every night.
As I mentioned, I am a quilter. Jim's hobbies have always been vintage automobiles and vintage aircraft. Before we moved to the beach, when he was home long enough he raced his 1948 roadster in a vintage sports car series and flew his WWII-vintage (1941) aircraft with the Confederate Air Force -- in both activities he and other "mature" fellows pretended they were 40 years younger -- but I think it made them younger.
I have taken up too much cyberspace, but this has been a nice nostalgia trip. I could have gone on and on and on, but I will force myself to stop, pet my furbabies and get back to the sewing machine.
You are a great group, and I look forward to learning more about y'all (I have had to learn Texas-talk).
All the best,
Ann, with Jim, Samwise
and Miss Kitty,
on a Texas beach