The trip to Texas was looooooong. We joke about taking the scenic route, not realizing how much longer it made our trip. Fortunately, we were able to check in with the ship on Friday, and with housing on Monday, and left to drive back to South Carolina soon afterward.
We spent the next week packing the truck we rented (we were so new, we didn't know the Navy would pay for our move!!), saying our goodbyes, and attending my brother's wedding in Columbia on Saturday, April 21st. That night, on the way back to Edgefield, preparing to leave the next morning for Texas again, we hit a deer. Fortunately, we were driving a nice, sturdy older car which sustained almost no damage, and we were able to leave early the next morning.
We lived in military housing located in Portland, TX, which was the closest military housing to where his ship was at the now-closed base in Ingleside, TX. We were in Texas for 2 1/2 years, during which Leah was born at home, and we moved to a bigger apartment in the same complex. During that time, I homeschooled Frances and Jon, as well as training for and acting as the Ombudsman for the ship, and living through the deployment-from-hell. That deployment was only four months long, but started with a one-week-postpartum me, standing on the pier for 3 hours with 5 children, to end up in bed because of hemorrhaging. During that very short four months, I also dealt with a broken foot (mine), a broken collar bone (Justin, who was 2 years old), a broken windshield on the car, a broken washing machine, a visit with my brother, dad, and sister, and a tire that shredded on the trip from Texas to South Carolina, where we picked Jason up, and delivered my sister back to my parents....and those were just the things that happened to our family...there were other people attached to the ship with their own crazy stories to tell!!
That deployment was over in August, 2002, and by the following July, Jason was in New Orleans, LA, in training for the next duty station, while I prepared for a move, complete with 5 children, and a very pregnant me.