[gardeners] Friends

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 30 Oct 2000 07:34:01 -0600

Our friends from Washington State are continuing their journey today having
spent 3.5 days with us. We will be sad to see them go but they may stop by on
their way back from Key West. They came from WA to visit us and a few other
friends along the way and to go to Key West to see a sunset. We're all sort of
sunset freaks and we went to a nearby saltwater bay yesterday to watch the sun

We were together constantly in the Middle East and have been friends since about
1981 or 1982, none of can remember (senior moments here). They are good people
who have had to retire a little early because of his declining health (he's
three years younger than me) and she took early retirement when her employer
decided to "right size" the business.

We enjoyed looking at all the gardens and plants locally and spent lots of time
in our gardens. She is leaving with a bag full of various seed that may or may
not make it in Washington State's arid eastern area. Also taking with them jars
and bottles of homemade "stuff" from the pantry and bags of dried herbs.

We went out last night to our favorite restaurant, about a 30 minute drive
one-way, and over ate on grilled and broiled seafood. The ladies, both quite
healthy thank you, shared a large chunk of cheese cake that looked scrumptious
but also looked like it would drive my blood sugar straight up. On the way home
we stopped by a local historical district and looked at the Victorian homes,
mostly restored, and the relaxing atmosphere there.

Yesterday afternoon we went to my old home town, Orange, Texas, and visited a US
Navy destroyer that had been brought in from its last duty in Turkey. The USS
Orleck, DD886, is the same class tin can as those I served on in the fifties and
that my friend Wendell, carrier sailor that he was, had in company with the task
force he was in in Vietnam. We enjoyed a visit to the decks but couldn't enter
the interior as the EPA hasn't cleared it yet. I will probably be inside it this
weekend though as I am now a member of the USS Orleck society and one of their
volunteers. We will be setting up a web site soon and I will publish the URL
when we do. There are only two ships of her class left in the world so we're
trying to preserve her as a living memorial to the men who went in harm's way.
The ship is 55 years old and served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm
(Turkish Navy there). Quite the old girl that one is.

Enough maudlin memories, we had a great time and will miss our friends for a
while but we hope to take a trip next year and go out to the PNW to visit them
and other friends and relatives. If we're lucky we'll get to go, if not we'll
still have the friends and relatives.

Life is good.