Well, we are finally back in the Sunshine State - and looking at all the standing water due to rain. After a full day of flying and visiting two of the busiest airports in the USofA, we made it back. It was a sweet sight to see our little boy running to hug us, and our little girl zonked out on the bench. (We got her smiles this morning.) All in all, it was a fun trip, but we are sooo glad to be home. Well, we aren't really home yet. We will be home tomorrow to Orlando - for now.
Right after we get back we have to find a new house. Our current rental is going to be put up for sale in August, so we have to find a new place. A lot went into that decision. We tried to look into buying a house. Even though now is a great time in the market, it is not a great time for us to pull the trigger on that move. Defender has just gotten somewhat financially stable, and I don't want to go too far out on a limb. That means going back to renting - grrrr. But it gives us some freedom to relocate to Seminole County, which will give us better schools for Josiah and a shorter drive to, uh, everything. That search begins immediately upon return to Central Florida. We are praying that we are able to find something fast that will work with us as far as all the stuff you have to pay up front.
July will be pretty much dominated by the move. August will be dominated by Defender events. We have two major ones, and a couple of others possibly floating around. School will start at the end of August, and then our new arrival will show up the end of September or first of October. It will certainly be busy in the Staples' world. But for now, we get to enjoy Independence Day.
Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about our military. My dad was a Marine in the Korean War, earning a Purple Heart. It is the thing about him I am the most proud of. I still am drawn to books about that war. I also was a History Ed major in college, so I love history - especially military history. I am a Reagan junkie. I love the patriotic holidays, because they allow our country to stop bickering about political junk long enough to actually show an ounce of gratitude to the people who secured the freedoms that EVERYONE enjoys. I have made it a point of explaining Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and July 4 to my kids - and Josiah will tell you why we celebrate today. Every time we pass a soldier I point it out, so Josiah will recognize that the person deserves respect.
Out in California, we saw a lot of military presence. We passed Fort Pendleton three times - the Marine's Pacific training and launching grounds. It got me a little bit, since that was where my dad launched from. We also saw the huge Naval center in San Diego, and drove through their base to get to the lighthouse. We also passed the old and new Naval hospitals there and I couldn't help wondering if my dad went through there on his return. In Irvine, we went by an enormous National Guard facility with gigantic hangers. When we landed in San Diego, there were Marines everywhere - boarding planes and arriving. Plus there were some active duty soldiers going on leave on our flight to Atlanta and Jax.
I personally want to say that I don't want a day to go by that I do not thank God for those men and women - and to pray for their safety. We all have different opinions about Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere else. But those people sacrifice their lives to defend us and others - even when that puts them into a politically volatile environment back home. We need to remember them and thank God for them. Do little things to show you care. Give some money to a veteran's group, volunteer at a VA hospital, walk up to a soldier and thank them. Do something. They are. And if you know someone personally serving, do not EVER forget to lift them up with your words and prayers. Stephen Orf. Buddy Joca. Matthew Creviston. Thanks.