I'm the other mother - or Momma Deb. Our family is pretty much like every other family in suburbia. The girls go to school, one mom is on the PTA boards of elementary and middle school. The other mom goes to work, paints, writes, and tries to just have a good time raising kids with her partner. This is my third attempt at blogging...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have I Figured this Life Out Yet? ...Part One

I was an Air Force Brat. I thought I was the younger of 2 kids (well, really 4 kids, total (I think), but I'll save that story for later in this series of posts).

Me? I had the good fortune to be born in 1954 in San Francisco, at Letterman General Army Hospital in the Precidio. My Mom and Dad were fresh back from being stationed in Okinawa, where they had been quartered in a Quonset Hut. They were stationed on Hamilton AFB, probably living in luxury by comparison. My Pop was a pilot - he had been a fighter pilot in WWII, instructor, helicopter pilot, rescue helicopter pilot in Korea, and a transport pilot in the late 50's and early 60's.

When I was 2 years old my Pop got a transfer to McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington. I have memories of growing up on Woodbine Lane, friends, family. Rain, snow, kindergarten where I learned to shake hands and be polite. Up until I was 5 years old, I thought I only had one brother, my brother Jack was 10 years older than me. When my Pop again got transfer orders, it was to Hickam AFB in Honolulu. That was when I learned I had a half-brother, who was a year older than Jack. He knew he had a brother, but no one had thought to tell me, just a dumb little 5 year old. That is, until it was time to go to Hawaii - and my parents thought maybe they should tell me since they were going to bring him up from Arizona and then be with us in Hawaii.

At first I remember being incredulous. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the concept of another brother, and one who was older than Jack. I don't recall how my mom and dad told me, I just remember being quite excited. I recall loading into the Caddy and going for a ride to the Tacoma Bus Station - It was probably Greyhound or something. This was 1959, I think. I remember one of the first things Ron ever said to me was, "How ya doing, Bean Pole?" And that was his nickname for me since forever. He's since transferred it to my daughters, a name I willingly allow them to use.

He is my mother's son, from a previous marriage. Mom won't talk much about that time to this day. Ron still tries to draw information out of her about his origins... That's another story as well.

We had a yellow MG convertible at the time. I remember the running boards on it, and the wonderful leather seats. Pop sold it before we left for Oahu. I wish I could really remember that car better. The "family car" was a powder blue 1956 Caddy. That was some comfy car. We would take holidays and drive down to Santa Barbara on old Highway 99 and 101, to visit old family friends, the Bettencourts. I would stretch out across the seat with my bed pillows. No seat belts in those days. I remember stopping at a motel where each room, or suite, was just a very tall, A-framed, pine log cabin. Reminded me of tee-pees. I slept in a bed in the loft. Sweet! On one of those trips, at 4 years old, I caught my first fish off the Santa Barbara pier. Somewhere in a dusty box there's a small black and white picture of me proudly holding up and displaying my 4" fishy. How cute can you get? Ha!

It was nearly my 6th birthday when we packed up our bags, our home, ourselves, and drove one last time down to California - destination Travis AFB. From there my own Pop would be piloting the C-118 passenger turbo prop plane to our new home in Honolulu, Hawaii - Oahu. The next four years would be my formative growing years. They would imprint me for the rest of my life.