Over the weekend, Mom offered to keep the kids overnight so they could go to a Wake Forest football game with her and Richard.
Robert and I decided to take this opportunity to head back to Ft. Bragg and take a small trip down memory lane.
Robert had not been back to Bragg since he separated from the Army in late 2000. I had only been to Bragg once since then...when Tucker and I hopped a Space A flight from Germany in 2006. Since we were only there for about 12 minutes in the middle of the night, I'm not sure that trip even counts.
It was amazing how much the area had grown since the last time we had driven away from there, Robert's truck and my car loaded down with all his worldly possessions, ready to begin a new era together.
The base looks really different. There is tons of new construction going on. There are also fences and gates all over the place since Ft. Bragg is now a closed base. In this post 9/11 world, it's really strange to remember a time before NY and DC were attacked when we were all a lot more naive about safety and vulnerability (and how much other parts of the world despised us).
What seemed even more odd than gates and new buildings was the air of neglect near the area where Robert used to live and work. The grass was overgrown, there were weeds throughout the landscaped areas, and the constant hum of activity that surrounded his company was absent. Also absent was the barracks building where he used to live. All that's there now is red clay and memories.
Off post, it was like we never left. Skibo Road looks pretty much the same. We even drove by Robert's favorite restaurant in those days...Hello, Luigi's!
Despite the somber tone this post has taken, we really had a good trip. A bit of much needed closure for both of us that we have managed to make pretty good decisions along the way and a bright future ahead...together as our own unit. And, it was nice to have a weekend to refresh our memories of the early days of our relationship.