Fred, Cheryl, my mother and I went to Valdosta to visit Scott, who is being deployed to Afghanistan later this month.
We all stayed in his apartment, which has two bedrooms, but his second bedroom is so full of stuff that we could barely get the door open. That meant my mother took Scott's bed, I slept on the floor on a twin air mattress, Fred and Cheryl slept on the floor on a double air mattress, and Scott and Jess were on the sofa. Jessica, who will graduate from the University of Florida later this spring, drove up from Gainesville to see her big brother.
We brought Cheryl's little Chihuahua, Pete. He was very good. Well, he had an accident yesterday morning in Scott's bathroom, but that's because he didn't want to go outside in the rain!
Scott opted not to get cable, but watches his favorite shows on his computer. That drives my mother crazy, because she has to watch the news every evening.
I think that sadly, he's very typical for kids his age. He doesn't get the newspaper, doesn't read any newspaper or news magazine and doesn't watch news on television. I'm not sure he even watches the news online.
We were talking about the airplane crash in the Hudson last Thursday and he looked puzzled. When I explained it, he said, "Oh. I did hear about that."
It's really sad.
Jessica's just a little bit better. And that's probably because she's a poli-sci major and has to read about current events. Kind of like being a beauty pageant contestant, I guess.
Anyway, both kids are doing well.
Now, my sister, Dorothy, is finally in Djibouti after five days. She's sort of settling in. She doesn't whine a lot, but every e-mail we've received is full of Dorothy complaining.
She did call this morning, and when I mentioned it, she said, "At least I'm not as bad as you would be."
Yeah, yeah. I'm not smart enough to become a government contractor. And if I were and I had to go to Djibouti, I'd probably be flipping burgers because I ain't going.
I had to laugh at her accommodations. She's in a single room, but has to share a communal bathroom and shower.
I asked if it was like she was back in school at Georgia Tech. Dorothy's reply: "It's worse."
She's living in a cargo container that's split in two. Well, they've put a divider in the middle to make two rooms.
I asked if it were insulated. She didn't think so. Goodness! Living in a metal container? In the desert?
She said there was a window unit. But sand is everywhere.
No. I couldn't do it.
Dorothy must really want to stay in Charleston. She could be living in Jacksonville, Fla., in a proper house! But nooooo! She's in Djibouti in a metal box.
At least it isn't forever. Well, unless she grows to like it! I'm kind of doubting that because she said there are strange smells in the middle of the night that make her wake up gagging. A friend told her that the Djiboutians burn dead camels and their trash. And if you've ever lived on a military installation, you know they play "Reveille" at the crack of dawn on loudspeakers all over post. Or earlier. Well, in Djibouti, they played the Djiboutian national anthem, and then "The Star-Spangled Banner." Dorothy said the loudspeaker is right outside her metal container box. And then, the French (Djibouti was a French territory until 1977) fighter jets (Dorothy thinks the are called Mirage) fly over her metal container box. At night.
Nah. I don't think she's going to like being in Djibouti.