The letter came in the mail. It was official looking. It was during the summer of 1972. Far Guys Mom began to cry. Drafted, it really sucked to have a low number. So Far Guy enlisted in the Air Force. He might be able to pick his specialty if he enlisted. He could pick his date to leave, he picked the first week in January of 1973. He left on the bus, we took him to the bus stop.
I was all alone, well I did have a small child and a dog, but I still felt that the best part of me was gone. Six weeks, it seemed to loom before me like a storm, something that you must get through, but you don’t know how you are going to do it.
Communication was limited. I could not even write to him until I got his address in the mail. One day it came, a post card. a fill in the blank form from the Air Force, that began Dear Wife, my address is..no smiley face, no I love you, just Dear Wife.. I still have this bit of communication, I saved it to remind me that The Air Force does not care about wives or children or dogs. After being a military wife for 26 years ..my opinion has not changed one bit either.
I wrote Far Guy ridiculously long letters, telling him about every minute of every day. About all the new things that our daughter Trica was doing, since she was just nine months old, she was doing lots of new things everyday. One of her new things was playing in Snuffers water dish and eating dog food. Far Guy’s Mom would just go ballistic when she saw her beautiful granddaughter crunching on dry dog food. Of course Trica wasn’t really eating it, just crunching it up and spitting it out. She would also go through the antics of trying to lap up water from the dog dish before splashing it all over herself and everything in the vicinity. Snuffer did not mind sharing her food or water. Trica would often hand feed Snuffer, we taught her early on that all good things come from a child’s hands.
It was a long six weeks. I would never have made it through if the weather that January had not been sunny and warm by Minnesota standards. Two very special people made my life a whole lot easier that January. We had a wonderful Mail Man, his name was Tom. He was a Veteran. If I had a letter from Far Guy he would honk his horn twice. Letters were so important back then. The only other way we could communicate was through collect phone calls that were very expensive. Far Guy did call collect a few times, it was so good to hear his voice. The other very special person was Far Guys Grandma H. She was a pillar of strength for me. She was alone too. She would call me nearly everyday. She made luncheon dates for us with her friends, several times a week she would pick us up in her baby blue Ford and off we would go, gallivanting around the neighborhood. She told me " Call me anytime day or night." A Mailman and a Grandma and warm January weather all memories from the early part of 1973:)