40 years ago hubby went into the navy. He left the day after Thanksgiving in 1973. I got up at 4:30 a.m. to ride down with hubby and his father to the recruiting office where a bus met them to drive them to Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh he got on his first plane and flew to Florida. His father dropped me off at home and then I went to work early so that I wouldn’t think of him leaving.
We had dated through high school and our plan was to date until he went into the Navy. We didn’t think much more after that. We wrote letters back and forth for the next few weeks. He was able to come home for leave for a couple of weeks over Christmas. I thought it was kind that he was able to come home. Thinking back on it, I am certain the staff wanted some holiday routine and not have to babysit all the kids who were going through boot camp at the time. I knew it was a big deal to have him home.
He left with a full head of hair, and when he arrived at my doorstep three days before Christmas that year, I was shocked when I saw his shaved head. He was in his uniform, swept me up into his arms and in a fluid motion took off his cover (hat). I remember being put down on my feet and staring at his head. I had never seen him with no hair. I really hope I never do again. He has a really lumpy head that does not look good bald. Anyhow, I digress.
Our letters had talked about marriage. We approached the subject the way children do. We thought we were old and mature, but, we were babies. Since the subject had been brought into the open, I was excited for my Christmas present. I was hoping that it would be small and very sparkly.
Christmas eve was when we would exchange our gifts. I can’t remember what I got him. But, I will always remember what I received. I got a bracelet from him. It was beautiful, silver and little hearts all around it. It was not a bangle or a charm, just a simple row of hearts that clasped together with a safety chain on it. It will always be my favorite piece of jewelry, although, in our travels, it disappeared along the way.
Hubby actually proposed after Christmas, which was on a Tuesday that year. That Friday we went downtown and snuck into a jewelry store. Everyone went to town on Friday nights, so we tried to hide ourselves in the store while we looked for rings. We picked a set out, got our fingers measured and walked out of the store knowing the rings would be ready in a couple of days.
The following morning I went to work and hubby talked to my Dad. We got permission to marry, as long as we waited for at least six months. We waited thirteen months to get married.
It seems like a century ago, and I know it is close to being a half century ago that this all happened. But, there is a part of me that remembers everything so clearly. The smell of the air, what I wore, his smile, my smile and the sparkly bracelet that covered my wrist. What was one of your favorite gifts?
Have a wonderful day today, thanks for stopping by. DAF