A few weekends ago my parents came to Virginia to visit their new grandson/my nephew, Reed Tyus Bartholow, so Dave and I drove up one day while they were here to hang out with them. It was a real treat to see my parents in my state - since they moved they've only been back a few times!
Speaking of Reed Tyus Bartholow, the cutest baby boy on the planet - his name blows me away. Remember in "Where the Heart is," when Novalee tells Moses Whitecotton she might name her baby Wendy-with-an-i and he scolds her and tells her to give her baby a name that means something? Amey and Eric certainly did that - Reed is my brother's middle name, Tyus is Amey's, and together they make this bold, sophisticated, meaningful combination that sounds so strong and powerful - I love it!
I mean, really, how cute is he?
But back to my parents' visit: we had lunch at Mimi's (Yum!) and then my dad suggested we take a road trip, for which I am always ready and willing! He wanted to drive down to Dahlgren, where he and my mom got married, lived for a while, and worked for many, many years...
On the way, they pointed out some buildings that once housed restaurants they frequented, most of which had closed. We noticed there was a mini-explosion of chain fast-food restaurants in their place. We saw the place where some coworkers hosted my dad's retirement party, and then we headed over to the base. They both spent most of their adult working years at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, after my dad's stint in the Air Force and my mom's years of teaching math. This place was their home away from home for 30+ years so I'm sure it was nostalgic to go back and see what had changed. Unfortunately we couldn't get past the gate :(
My mom said there used to be both restricted and unrestricted sections of the base, and that the chapel where they got married was in the unrestricted section - but since they no longer work there we weren't allowed on base...
So we went to the post office parking lot adjacent to the front gate and looked through the fence (electrified and thicker than any wire cutters I've ever seen) at the buildings where they worked...then we drove away from base a bit and they showed me where they lived after they got married:
It was cool to see where my parents met, fell in love, and started their marriage...we took the scenic route home - that's a joke because it's all scenic between Fredericksburg and Dahlgren. :)
I drove them by the house they bought after they lived in the Dahlgren apartment and it looks exactly the same...sure, the new owners have made some tweaks, but it still looked like home. Minus the awesome pink mini-blinds I had in my old room :)