The clan moved back to the States in 1992, with the Rotchfords going to Kingsville, TX and the Kerricks going to Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Fred was a Professor at Military Science at Texas A&M. Steve taught at the Command General Staff College in the Leadership Department. They were busy with their teaching, the two oldest girls attended college, the younger girls were in high school and junior high and Lupe and I continued our support of the family units. With the girls getting older and the military commitments, it became harder to get together as our clan of eight, so we became a foursome. From my timeline and photos, there are no records of visits until 1994. My memory doesn’t even help with this. I do know that 1994 was our one and only visit to Kingsville. Fred and Lupe might have visited Kansas, they were always so much better …
In February of 1989, Steve got orders back to Germany and the girls and I were not happy. Kristie had wanted to graduate from a high school in the United States. She had been a freshman in Virginia, a sophomore in Kansas and now she would do her Junior and Senior years in Kaiserslautern. Holan’s school days in Germany had been terrible and I was not sure it would be a positive move with her learning disability. But the Rotchfords were heading back to Darmstadt so off we went. We were an hour and twenty minutes apart. Still closer than in the States but with the girl’s school work and activities, the guys work schedules it wasn’t like living in the same city, We got together as much as we could. The Rotchfords came to Kaiserslautern for New Years Eve so the adults went out to the Officer’s Club for …
As we settled into our lives in Virginia Beach and the Rotchfords into El Paso, it was much harder for us to spend time together. The cost of flying for four was too much not to mention the activities of the girls and job requirements for the guys. Now looking back on the years of 1985 to 1991 there isn’t much to recall how often we saw each other. The Rotchfords came to Virginia Beach and we took in the sights of the shipyards at the Naval Base. Once again, we loaded up the van and traveled up the coast to Washington, D.C. Our family traveled to D.C. earlier in the year so we knew exactly what we would do with the Rotchfords. It included all the normal sights and a VIP tour of the White House. We lived on a small lake, so the girls spent time feeding the …
It was the summer of ’82, the guys had been working at CRC Lauda for a year. There were approximately 30 to 35 US Army Officers & Enlisted assigned to the unit. They worked side by side with a German Luftwaffe Tactical Fighter Control Unit which fell under a NATO SOC Command. Their responsible was for the air defense of Central Europe and the Fulda Gap. They went to work in the dark, come home in the dark and worked in “The Bunker” at Bad Mergentheim with no windows. It was time to find a new job and come out of the dark! Steve became the Battery Commander of 10th ADA Group and Fred became an Operation Officer at Headquarters 32nd AADCOM. So the two families packed their stuff and off to Darmstadt we went. Lupe and I were busy with our volunteer work with the schools, church, Officer’s Wives …
We were at Ft. Bliss, TX in 1981 when Steve received orders for Germany. This was our second tour to Germany, the first being to Nürnberg in 1973. Steve traveled to Würzburg in April while the girls and I stayed with Dad and Jean in KY. The girls and I could not travel until Steve found housing for us. Once Steve found an apartment in the little town of Rottendorf, east of Würzburg. we had orders to travel in June. Over the two months, every letter Steve wrote was about this couple he had met. They were the perfect couple, from El Paso, TX, we had so much in common and they had two girls, younger than Kristie but older than Holan. He was so excited about us joining him so we could all be together. As we arrived in Frankfurt, his excitement continued. We were invited to Fred’s promotion, …
Today we went to the World’s Oldest Indoor Rodeo at the Fort Worth Stock Yards. And yes, it was truly our first rodeo. This was the 117th Rodeo and was held at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. This is the last year the event will be held at Will Rogers. A new $450 million arena is being built a short distance away. We got a great parking place in the handicap lot and found our way to the first exhibit hall. The range of vendors was outstanding! Of course, there was the western hats, boots, house decor and clothing for the entire family. The vendors also ranged from mattresses to furniture, fire pit and metal signs and fences to farm equipment, home improvements to home made butter, honey, and salsa. It was a great home show, a beautiful western wear boutique and a wonderful craft show rolled into …
This was a wonderful wood carving in front of the Havana Cigar store. Along the path was a coconut water cart, in case you need a quick drink. The shore line of the island. The sunlight reflecting on the water waves made it sparkle. As we left, we discovered the shopping area was designed as a maze, designed to keep cruise passengers rotating in and out of the shops. There are signs for the exits but they were hard to find. Going back to the ship, you could see the flags flying, the trolley waiting, the ships and people coming and going.
Our 3rd stop on this cruise was Costa Maya. We had breakfast in the dining room, then spent a couple of hours in the hot tubs. Most of the people had gotten off the ship so the tubs were pretty empty. We did have a nice conversation with a couple from Canada, before going to lunch in Savor, one of the main dining rooms. After lunch we made our way off the ship. We had been to Costa Maya before and had not found any excursions we were interested in doing. Seems like the last time we were in Costa Maya we tendered, took a small boat, to shore. This time a brand new and very long pier stretched out along the water. We could walk or be transported via a complimentary shuttle, to a new entrance into the shopping area. We took the shuttle. Once off the shuttle, a friendly …
We arrived at Harvest Caye, Belize and was very surprised to find that we were not on the mainland of Belize. The last time we were in Belize, we had tendered to the port, which was your usual cruise ship experience. There was nothing usual about this beautiful cruise port. It is owned exclusively by Norwegian Cruise Line. It took four years and $50 million to creating this paradise.  The materials used to construct port were sourced locally from Belize. Our ship docked and there was a long canopied pier connecting us from the ship to the port. It was a good 15 minute walk down the pier or there were carts to take passengers to the port entrance. On arriving at the port, we were greeted by the lush greens of Belize’s forests, The paved paths lead to different facilities available on the island, starting with the shopping area …
Local artist were commissioned to create wood carvings featuring Belize wildlife. Carving of a large iguana side by side with a smaller iguana is huge, it’s about 5′ high at the head of the iguana and 10′ long from head to tail of the larger iguana. Iguanas are a common sight throughout the Caribbean. This elaborate carving is one of a series of wood sculptures depicting the wildlife of Belize. We were amazed at all the unusual plants on Harvest Caye. The variety of flowering plants included Hibiscus, Jatropha, Jasmine, Ixora, and Heliconia
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