Middle America

I locked myself in my Dad’s office, and completed most of my university assignments for the semester today. I only came out to take a 90-minute run in the late afternoon thru Middle America suburbia. Lots of families were setting up their Halloween decorations. Lots of basketball hoops over garages. Church, school, or political signs in the lawns.

TBT: Julie and Martin in 1999

I’m certain I’ve shared this photo at some point before, but nevertheless, here’s Martin and me taking a selfie while waiting in line at Kings Island amusement park in Ohio during his first visit to the United States in August 1999. We did this with his big SLR camera and had to wait for the film to be developed a few days to see if it turned out okay.

Prince and the Pageant

My sister Jill in the mid-80s wearing her Ohio Miss Teen pageant t-shirt.


Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, my parents were involved with the Ohio Miss Teen pageants. Every year, my sisters and I got backstage access to ALL the drama related to pageants.
One very clear memory is the spectacular meltdown pageant officials threw backstage after one of the girls performed to ‪Prince‬’s “Batdance” as part of the talent competition. Continue reading

TBT: Soda Fund

Today’s #TBT photo is from 1996. I was 15 years old, spending the weekend with my Dad up in Fairborn, Ohio. We were in his office after visiting the local Sam’s Club so Dad (an Air Force civilian and Reservist) could buy the items needed to stock the 445th Airlift Wing’s soda fund, which he ran for decades.

I have no idea why I’m scowling. He had all kinds of stuff for sale, and of course, being his kids, we could pull whatever we wanted, thanks to the family discount. At that time in my life, I usually pulled a Snapple, an ice cream bar, some Pop Tarts, and a Hot Pockets.

It didn’t dawn on me that more than a decade later, I would be standing in that same spot as an Air Force Reserve NCO for the wing’s public affairs office, waiting for my coffee and Pop Tarts to heat up in the toaster, making that same face at my Dad who still worked there, but no longer gave family discounts.

Martin the American

Martin is now an American citizen. 

His naturalization ceremony took place yesterday in Cincinnati, Ohio in the beautiful Union Terminal. About a dozen friends and family attended to show support.

This happened exactly 16 years, 5 months, 28 days after Martin first met me. Whereas I was simply born on Texas soil, Martin’s path to citizenship featured lots of twists and turns, and countless delays or pauses that stretched on over the years, spanning three countries. Continue reading

TBT: Air Force Museum

Today’s #TBT photo was taken in 1988 during a visit to the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

I’m in the center of the group in the yellow sweatshirt, and those are my cousins Holli, Brad, and Matt, and my sisters Jill and Jinger.

Of the whole group, I was the only one to fall for the indoctrination and join the service, although Holli did end up marrying an Air Force officer.