Monday, November 10, 2008


This morning, I said good-bye. Mike asked, months ago, that I not cry. I told him I'd try not to, that at the very least, I'd try not to cry in front of him. I broke my promise.

I've never been much good at promises. And I've never been good at not crying.

For awhile, I was fine. Talking to people. Talking to soldiers. Talking to soldier's wives, girlfriends, parents, sisters and friends.

Then, I talked to a friend who was crying incessantly. She told me, through her tears, that she'd been crying for the last two days. I don't doubt it. If I wasn't just home from vacation... in any case, her husband, when I announced my departure, again trying not to cry, told me to take care of myself. "You take care of yourself."

"I have McClure to take care of that."

I smiled, and I felt it falter. "Take care of him, too."

He nodded and returned the smile, perhaps realizing the mention of my boyfriend wasn't the most beneficial thing he could have done, and I turned away, quickly.

Not long after that, less than 30 minutes later, I stood outside with Mike, his dad, his great uncle, his stepmother, his grandmother and his sister, watching as they left.

I've never seen my boyfriend cry before. The first tear, he brushed off as the cold. Later, he couldn't do that anymore. Later, I knew he was crying for the same reasons as I. Later, when the tears wouldn't stop.

His tears were my undoing.

But the thing that sticks with me the most strongly is not my story, but someone else's.

Earlier this morning, Mike introduced me to another soldier in his unit, one he always talks about, but that I'd not had the opportunity to meet. Matthews, in turn, introduced me to his girlfriend (and future wife).

While we were waiting for the buses to leave, standing, shivering in the cold, one of her friends, or one of his friends, scooped her up onto his shoulders and ran with her to the bus. He held her close enough that she could touch the windows, and she did. She pounded, with her fists, "I love you!" She screamed, again, louder, hysterically, "I love you!"

She touched the window, the heat from her palm leaving a print. It stayed as the buses drove away.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Special Interruption

Repeat after me "Robin, you are an amazing, wonderful, incredibly stupid. Now, tell, me how you do that."

I don't know.

NEVER leave your wallet with your credit cards, debit card and new gifts in a taxi. It's bad news.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cruise Update: Key West, Florida

So far, the cruise has been amazing. Everything on board is expensive, yes, but still amazing. Melody and I took a nice, long tour of the ship and I think we saw almost everything possible that there is to see.

The cruise has several lounges, several bars, a casino, two formal dining areas and one less-formal dining area, a pizzeria, a cafe and an ice cream place, a main pool with two hot tubs and an adult (over 21) lounge area, called Serenity that also features two hot tubs. Mel and I went there to watch the ship leave Miami yesterday and then chilled there last night.

Now, we're enjoying Key West at "Bad Ass Coffee Company" and just... relaxing.

Our room is surprisingly nice. Cramped, but only a little smaller than a dorm room. We have a nice large window by Melody's bed. Wasted, since she seems to dislike the window. Evidently, sunshine is bad.

Miami was interesting. The hotel we'd originally planned on staying at was quite a ways from the airport and they don't have a shuttle service. Evidently, in Miami, 8-10 miles isn't worthy of a shuttle. However, it was probably for the best. We saved money and were able to escape with a minimal amount of damage.

Pictures will come later. Have waaaaaay to many of them.

Soooooo nice to not be in Indiana!