I didn't sit there long before one of the other wives came up to the car and invited me out for coffee - a group of them were gathering somewhere off-base. I decided not to go, because I wanted to be alone for a little while. I had plans with some of the other wives a little later on.
I went back to our little apartment. The tiny rooms felt so big and empty, and I felt very alone. I sat in silence and watched the rain. (Incidently, he did six patrols at that command and it rained every time he left for sea.) I finally couldn't stand the quiet and turned on the TV.
Before too long it was time for me to meet up with some of my friends. They were all wives from our boat - all younger and without children. We were carpooling down to Fort Clinch, because from there you can see the subs go out to sea. I left my car behind and rode with three other wives down to the fort, and we parked the car and went out on the beach.
I have to pause my story here to just state how absolutely wonderful these other women were. The entire command was like a family, and when our guys left, we pulled together and took care of each other. There was never a time when I was lonely and didn't have anyone to call, or go visit. It is because of these women that despite all I had to go through, these were some of the best years of my life.
So we sat on blankets on the beach, and ate snacks and chatted. When the sub finally came inching past out in the water it was so exciting! I of course had seen the sub up close several times, and had even been on board (they encourage the families to come down while they are in, so I had been down many times to share meals with Bubblehead when he was on duty.) but this was really something. It moved past slowly, and many of the sailors were top-side and waving to us. The sub blew its whistle at us. (It's called a whistle, but imagine a very deep, loud horn blast.) We stood on the beach and waved and yelled back at them. How strange to think of this huge monster of a machine travelling under water!
When they had past we packed up to leave. It was only then that we discovered that the keys to our car were locked inside. So more waiting for AAA to come rescue us. I came to learn that things like this always happen when the guys were gone.
When I got back home and was alone again, I discovered I had a lovely red (and painful!) sunburn from my day on the beach. What a wonderful way to start my three months of aloneness. More crying, and a phone call to my mommy, and I went to bed. One night down....
To be continued