Friday, May 27, 2011


This new mid shift thing is killing me. I go to work. I go to sleep. I wake up and go back to work. I'm all mixed up with days and nights and don't know what day it is without looking. I haven't spent time with Bryan all week, except for an hour of trying to cuddle with him before I fall asleep and he takes the dog out.

But on a good note, I do like the mid shift. The flight line is really peaceful at night. The planes are still. The airfield has a pretty glow. And our end of the flight line is surrounded by bullfrogs. I love listening to them at night. They remind me of summer nights at home.

I've been missing home a lot lately.

I miss the corn fields. Lunch in the hay fields. Late afternoon naps on Aunt Emma's front porch swing. Bullfrog lullabies and cool breezes that smell of hydrangeas and lilacs. Real sweet tea. Driving down back roads with the windows down and the radio up and not another soul on the road for miles. Fishing trips that turn into road trips. Friendly hugs from everyone I know. Dinners out just because it's Tuesday and it's raining. Baby cousins running over things with their bikes and Big Wheels....or getting all prettied up in frilly dresses just to dive into the first mud puddle they find. Dad's garage. Mom's cooking. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss always having someone around with a shoulder to lean on, a good laugh to share, and always ready to get into mischief with me.

When I was pregnant with Brake, I wanted to get out of the military and go home. I wanted my baby to grow up with my family and friends. But now that he's gone, the idea of getting out and going home just doesn't feel right. So I try to hold my head up and push on, knowing that he wouldn't want me to give up.

I joined the Navy because I was bored. I wanted an adventure.

My adventures started here. The USS Constitution. This was my first duty station.

Yes, that's a real Navy ship. It doesn't leave the confines of the Boston Harbor, but it does still sail. Quite well, might I add.

My elementary school History teacher was ecstatic about my job there. The history books have a picture of this ship in there. Back during the Barbary Wars and War of 1812, which most people don't remember ever hearing about. His students like to tell him he's old. He likes to tell them that he's so old one of his students actually worked on that ship.


I met amazing people there. I did some amazing things there.

Climbing in the rigging is still at the top of my list of favorite things to do. Scary as hell, but oh so fun!

I met Vice President Cheney. His wife was a huge history buff and fan of our ship, so they joined us for a turnaround cruise on July 4.

These guys are from VP-26. I joined them for a week in my first taste of working on P-3s...and my instant love-at-first-sight of Maine.

I had my first pub crawl for my friend's birthday. An amazing night with amazing people. I got in my first bar fight that night, and I was sober. (I can't stand creepy people..especially when they are preying on inebriated girls that are defenseless.) Haha. I just noticed what Steph's shirt says!

That's a horrible, dark picture. But it's taken inside a Cesna that I flew over Cape Cod. I almost pissed myself. It was both incredibly terrifying and absolutely breathakingly amazing.

I went sailing on this ship. The Coast Guard's Bargue Eagle. We sailed from CT to Panama. It was amazing.

That's what the ocean looks like from 100+ feet in the air. See that white spot of canvas at the very tip of that yellow thing? That yellow thing is called a spar. It's what holds the sail canvas. I was standing at that spot, but on the mast behind it, when I took that picture.

That's the sun setting in Colon. In South America. Just outside the Panama Canal. I had this photo enlarged to a 20x60 print and hung it in my living room. It's quite the conversation piece. That was the most amazing sunset I've ever seen, and no photo can ever do it justice.

 Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Tenika Fugate, assigned to USS Constitution, steadies an inflating hot air balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta during Albuquerque Navy Week.

I lauched a hot air balloon in at the Hot Air Balloon Festival in NM. I wanted to ride in one, but it didn't work out that way. This was probably more fun anyway.

Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Tenika Fugate, assigned to USS Constitution, raises a cutlass during a color guard detail in Old Town during Albuquerque Navy Week.

That picture was published Navy wide. I've had several of them published from various color guards and events. It's exciting to call home and tell my parents that I made it into print for something. I've also been on tv a handful of times.

That was just at my first station, in my first two years.

There have been plenty more adventures since then, both good and bad.

This is one of my favorites. Bryan has never been around horses, so he gets nervous. I met Bryan when I first moved to Pensacola. I had been divorced for several months, was in a brand new place, didn't have any friends, and my horse had just died. He wanted to cheer me up, so he booked a hotel at the beach in Port St. Joe and we spent the weekend there, riding horses on the beach. This was our first "real" date. :-)

Losing our babies was definitely a bad thing, but learning to live after them is still an adventure all it's own. As painful as the journey is, my babies are also my favorite adventures.

There are plenty more adventures to come. I got what I signed up for, and then some. I'm looking forward to more new adventures. I'm learning to be strong enough to embrace the bad ones.

(Most of these pictures were taken from my hard drive or my photography portfolio. A few of them were public images from the Navy's website. )


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