by Kristina ~
Any Memory Contest Entry
But—I WAS all grown up!
What is a memory? It is a frozen snapshot of a moment in your life hidden (sometimes deep) in a special file cabinet. The one I feel compelled to share, I think about time to time, because it reminds me of the "Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
I graduated high school in 1967, married in December 1967, and on my way to what I thought was the other side of the world to join my husband in 1968 (he was in the Navy) on Guam Island.
For the first time in my life, by myself, I flew to Salt Lake City to see my folks, then on to San Francisco then on to what I think is the smallest dot in the Ocean, Wake Island. I could see the ocean hitting up against the runway as we approached to land, and I was sure that we would run out of the runway and the pilot was going to make a complete nose dive before that plane would stop. I was shaking when that was over. I don't I had quite stopped shaking when we were approaching the second smallest dot in the ocean—a 10 mile by 10 mile island of Guam.
We secured housing in a small village overlooking the Naval Air Station. There were many young people our age, so made friends easy and fast. Bennie taught me how to cook, the young men always brought us fresh coconuts, I had several girlfriends and their moms took us under their wings. I found them to friendly, warm and genuine. They taught us their culture and we respected it. If you want something really good to eat, take a whole roasted chicken, shred it. Mix it with 1 freshly grated coconut, 1 onion, chopped and salt and fresh lemon juice to taste—GOOD!
Of course, we pulled our teenage pranks: spreading limburger cheese on the Lt. J.G.'s car engine, breaking military curfew and foolish things like that.
I started hanging out at the Naval Hospital and talking to the wounded that had made it that far from Nam. Some were missing limbs and others looked as though they had been put back together with a zig-zag machine. I give this experience credit for me going back to school and becoming a RN.
All Grown Up when I got there? I'd say no. Grown SOME During My One Year- Six Months-Six Hour Stay? I'd say yes.
It isn't often that one can stand in a small place and be able to clearly distinguish "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."