Jordan & Elysia are finally almost to their wedding day (Saturday)! We’ve been awaiting this for months now.
Before heading to West Point for the big event, Jason and I flew into Harrisburg, PA on Tuesday night and spent a couple days with his Uncle John and Aunt Bonnie.
While there Jason wanted to make sure to take me to Hershey’s Chocolate World, one of his favorite places to go as a kid. The best part was the tour of how they make chocolate, complete with dancing cows wearing pink feather boas.
We also went and visited his Grandma Katherine who lives in a nursing home. She is not always in her right mind, but she did recognize Jason and remembered that we had recently gotten married. She talked a lot about Jesus and how she can’t wait to go to heaven and see Him. We were able to pray for her. This was, for me, was one of the best parts of our trip so far.
We also spent time driving through Lancaster County, the heart of Amish Country, and spent lots of time talking to John and Bonnie about Jason’s family history–what his grandparents were like, his dad and aunts and uncles growing up. And we finished our time there having dinner with Jason’s cousin Amy, her husband BJ, and their two kids, Kathleen and Emily.
Today we made it to West Point. Being here on a military base for the first time is really interesting for me. Before Jason I didn’t really know anything about the military. To be honest, I didn’t really want to know anything about it. But since Jason has told me about it, my respect and interest has grown.
Part of this learning has come through Christian’s death. I am starting to wrap my brain around how much of a lifestyle it is, how much people sacrifice to be involved in it, and how important things like honor and tradition are in the army.
An example–today when we walked out of a building on base at 5pm everyone all the sudden stopped and stood at attention (even civilians) and stared at the flag going down. I kept walking and turned around to say something to Jason and noticed what was going on. I stopped and did what they were doing but felt like an idiot. Later Jason told me that’s what they always do when the flag goes up in the morning and down in the evening, as a sign of respect.
These sort of traditions are important in the military and important to Jason for that reason. It really fascinates me. Even though Jason has never been to West Point before, he tells me all the bases are set up in pretty much the same way. He knows how to get himself around. And I am fascinated. This is a part of Jason’s life that I never knew because by the time I met him he was on inactive duty. Today I have really enjoyed getting a glimpse into something that was such a huge part of his life for so long.
Another thing I am learning about are my new friends, Jordan & Elysia and their families. They are all very outgoing and social people. They talk a lot, use dramatic gestures, laugh loudly and are very friendly. It’s all great fun but very different for a polite, anti-social Seattleite like myself. Add into that equation that I come from a long line of the more stoic German type (okay, we have a little bit of fun!) and you can imagine I get a bit overwhelmed at times by all the commotion.
But I think they’re rubbing off on me. I think I laughed and made more friends this evening over several glasses of wine than I normally would back home 🙂