It was almost 2 AM when we slid under the covers in Marcy’s bed. Either Ching Lee or Jenny was snoring lightly as we snuck past their room so we wouldn’t awaken them. After the sexual workout and a hot shower, sleep came easily. I was snuggled tightly to Marcy’s back with my arms around her.
I heard giggling at the door as I opened my eyes to full sunlight coming through the window. The giggling woke both Marcy and me. Ching Lee, Lorrie, Vicky and Jenny started singing some kind wake up tune from an old radio show, before they broke up in laughter and more giggles.
“Wake up you two sleepy heads; that must have been some wild night you guys had without us last night. Breakfast is on the table. Hurry up or it is going to be cold,” Jenny said after plastering both of us with a kiss.
I was amazed that the rich coffee aroma had not awakened me, since that was what I used as a wakeup call every morning. A few minutes later, still in shorts and tee shirts, we were all at the table quietly eating. There were last minute things to do for tonight’s party. We were calling it a pre- Christmas package opening. At 5, family and friends were coming over under the cover of opening presents early.
What was really happening was a surprise baby shower for Jenny. Lisa was stopping by at 4 under the ruse of needing Jenny to help with last minute shopping and to load presents. Joey and Jason were going to be late to do a last minute shopping spree.
Because so many people were coming it was decided that that the best place for the baby shower was in the garage. Just like we did the summer parties in bad weather, it would be perfect for what we had planned. The tables and chairs were going to be set up while Jenny was gone with Lisa. To top off the room we were going to decorate in baby boy blue.
However this morning was another matter. All of us were going to Morton Field to park planes in the hangar. Those planes had returned last night after dark. Lorrie had told the Carson and Sabrina to have the pilots to park the planes on the tarmac in front of the terminal or the JBG hangars last night.
Even though we had great lighting, Lorrie had restricted planes being pushed into the hanger after dark by only one person. A three person team was the standing order, one on the tug and the other two watching the tail and wing tips. The slightest mishap could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and put a plane out of commission for months or worse.
Jack had made all of us push and pull planes with the tug many times under his supervision and to the mechanics delight. I think they just wanted to see a comedy of errors. Much to their dismay, we learned very quickly. The instructor in him never quit.
It took us three hours to put all the planes away. Of course, we had to take a look at the terminal and speak to Carson and Sabrina while they were both there.
While Lorrie was in the terminal building she reviewed the flights scheduled for the planes for the next 30 days. There were a lot just for the scheduled customer flights. There were a few I need for the M&M colleges, it was to inspect our newest assets. But none of the flights for the embassy were added as of yet, and there were going to be a lot of them. That was a discussion I needed to have with Lorrie after Christmas, first thing Monday morning.
We went over and looked at the progress that was made yesterday on the armory by Bob’s Construction. There were plenty of concrete blocks stacked outside the building and one heck of a pile of plate steel in big sheets. It looked like the kind of stuff they made navy ships out of.
There was a hole cut through the pilots and mechanics lounge into the parts room, covered with several sheets of plywood. Jake insisted that Lorrie pick the spot to cut the hole between the two side Hangars. The hole was where the vault door was going to be.
I needed to talk to Jake about a modification that came to me in the middle of the night. When Jake, Betty and I were young Dad and Mom and the Smiths carried us on day trips to historic places on the Delmarva. One of those trips was a tour of the original E. I. DuPont black powder factory called the “Brandywine River Powder Mills”. The DuPont’s reportedly supplied black power for both sides in many wars and skirmishes including WW1. For some crazy reason in a dream the other night, one of the safety features he built in his operation came to mind about Jakes project. I was going to do a quick Google search to see if I could find a drawing of it when I talked to Jake.
Charlie called my cell to tell me they were leaving Bamako at 0500 their time, 0100 our time. It was the call I was waiting for. With no problems, they should be on the ground at Morton Field after lunch on Christmas day. I asked if he had verified the in-flight refueling stops with State and the DOD as I had not yet receives any confirming emails.
“Times and schedules confirmed,” he replied to my relief.
Lisa called and came two hours early with the excuse that she wanted Jenny to help her shop for an item to get Jason. The extra time worked out nice for us. We used it to decorate the garage for tonight’s shower. Marcy had one of the local caterers prepare a meal for the party.
I hoped everyone would show up – the meal was first class. The girls had invited men and women, a different tact for a baby shower. It was actually Jason’s idea.
The garage was so big that the men could have a men’s party of their own on one side while us ladies could have the baby shower on the other, with the food tables as a divider it had been Jason’s idea. We moved the big TV screens to the men’s side. Jason thinking a few steps ahead had recorded several fights, football games and hunting shows as entertainment for the boys. This would certainly be a different experience! I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. I had never heard of it being done this way before.
The meal was first class the food was shrimp, pasta, meat balls, sliced turkey, sliced ham, potatoes, green beans with ham and of course pizza slices and salad for the ladies and deserts.
The guests unloaded the gifts and then parked their cars over at the gym’s parking lot so no evidence of the party could be seen from outside. The car lights on the garage door gave away when Lisa and Jenny returned. The surprise worked; the party was on and lasted three hours. It was wonderful more than I hoped for. The baby items were well thought out and the comments from the cards left many of the ladies eyes with tears. Even the men were with the wives and girlfriends watching the events unfold.
I was with Jenny helping move things around and sorting things, keeping cards with the items so proper thank you cards could be sent out. I needed to hide the occasional tear that would appear. Marcy was taking pictures for a picture book of the events. All the other girls were helping in one way or another.
By 6:30 we were finished and cleaning up. We let the guests split up the leftover food; it would come in handy tomorrow for a Christmas day snack. Everyone left quickly – after all, it was Christmas Eve and I was sure there were plenty of things to do latter on.
Dad, Mom, Jason, Jake and Mindy and Lisa helped with the final cleanup. They more or less stayed in the garage stacking of the chairs and tables while the girls and I carried all the baby gifts into the house.
Jake and Mindy were going to spend the first night in their new house. The couple that owned it sold everything but personal items with the house, so there really was little they needed to buy. There had been shopping trips to make it their home.
This was the second time that I had I had all my family together for Christmas. We were all happy with our nontraditional family, deeply in love with each other and the holiday always brought it out and reinforced it even more.
We had two more days to enjoy the spirit and then we would be busy beyond belief.
At two during Christmas afternoon, the agency guys manning the tower called to tell me that the C130 was twenty minutes out. Lorrie and I rode to the airport to welcome the men home.
One of the first things the pilots did after hellos was to give Lorrie back the emergency travel money bags with the receipts for Marcy. No one wanted to take the chance that one would be lost or stolen.
Glen was going to spend the night in the Horsey house. He was then going to decide what he wanted to do until he needed to be back to work after the New Year.
Charlie had sent me a text that Glen had been pumping the crew as to what kind of people we were to work for. He made it quite clear that he was not happy working for Bell with the multiple tier management system and all the cost cutting shenanigans that Bell did every business quarter. With six Bell 407s and the possibility of rebuilding some of those six which were coming back, a Bell specialist might be a plus for JGB.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Joe H.