Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Memories

We sandwiched our much-anticipated trip to England between visits to New York. The girls were great travelers. And Estelle was smiles most of the time. The exception has to do with me, Esra and Estelle huddled in the corner of an international terminal and a room full of Europeans staring at me. We were glad to be on our way home, that is for sure.

This meant time with family and celebrating Esra's new found freedom, and embracing that golden, dappled with time with Grandma and Pop. We were so glad to get back to Sam's parents house, after our life changing week in England plus a long day of flying back to the States. And encountering a grumpy US Customs official who wouldn't let us bring the Snappie across the border made the day feel even longer. Thankfully, his enlightened and friendly coworkers overcame his bad attitude and we were on our way to sunshine, sand and sleep!

And this is after the American Airlines ground crew told us they did not have the Snappie or our stroller in the cargo bay of the plane. Once we reached the 30 minute mark of waiting inside the gate ramp with two preschoolers, I began to wonder if we had lost the Snappie. At the 45 minute mark though it was all sorted out. The London crew had not informed the JFK crew that all of the Snappie's seven disconnected components (batteries, etc.) and our Phil and Ted Stroller had been neatly crated! In fact, all ten families on board with children were told there were no strollers on that flight when there most assuredly were. We were not crazy but the ground crew thought we were.

We found our wheelchair-accessible rental van, and headed east. Driving further and further away from the airport got us closer and closer to much-needed rest. We floated away in the waves of Fresh Pond. Minnows, jellies and crabs jetted passed our feet. There were sailboats tacking. The girls were so curious to see those little vessels tip over. Then they would witness the student-occupants jump out and right everything and then begin into the wind again. And it was just heavenly there.

We are always so happy to arrive in this magical, back-in-time place. Its a quaint hamlet on the Eastern End of Long Island. Cedar shingles and hydrangeas abound. Over-priced vegetables and seafood are overlooked since they are grown or caught by hands at home. History, heritage and grilled peach s'mores are remembered fondly.

Here in our summer memories, one can find homemade fudge in the fridge and love freely given, freedom-loving lawn signs and bumper stickers, refridgerator wisdom, prayers, blessings and late-night conversations. We are so grateful for this place that we will never forget.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Holding Pattern

Our loyal iMac G4 finally gave up the ghost a few weeks ago after seven years of faithful service. We have visited the Apple store and drooled on the new Macbooks, but we haven't taken the plunge in buying anything yet.

We first need to find out if Sam will be promoted to Lieutenant Commander next week. We have been waiting on pins and needles for months. There are two potential outcomes: one, he gets promoted and a substantial raise. We will stay with the Coast Guard at least another ten years until retirement. (I am really trying to be excited about another ten years of socialized medicine. I really am.) The second outcome is he gets passed over and we separate from the Coast Guard next May or June with a hefty severance check. (I actually think I might miss TRICARE at that point.)

So, bare with us as we wait out this uncertain moment. One thing is certain, the Trust exists and is working for Esra, especially where we or the Military Insurance and Medicaid cannot help her. Unfortunately, the Arizona Medicaid system wants to have a say in how we run the trust, so we have not received any services from the state. We bristle at any consideration of using government entitlements, but TRICARE has yet to cover our needs for respite and, of course, customized equipment. The state funds would really help. But we will not sacrifice the Trust to the bureaucrats in Phoenix.

Thus, we wait....Wait for our attorney to weigh in on the Trust and waiting for news about Sam's future in the Coast Guard.