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Mississippi: It's Like Coming Home

By Brian J on Nov 08, 2006

Brian J and Rowena get married in June 2006 and are expecting a baby in June 2007

- - - Yet, its still NOT home! - - -

The BIG NEWS is Ro and I are expecting a baby in June!
[actually, BJ buried that little item in his update, but being webmaster has its (editing) privileges]

Thank you to everyone who came and was involved in our wedding. It went off smoothly and was very nice. After Ro's mom added 52 people a week before the wedding, the Cases were outnumbered five-to-one. As with most weddings, ours was no different in long nights and quite a bit of emergency planning. Kudos to my wife who did a lot of the arranging in the two months leading up to the wedding. Even though we were engaged the previous August, Rowena had to do most of it on her own as the Navy kept me in the North Pacific.

We originally planned for the wedding to take place in December. But you may have heard of a small storm called Katrina. Not only did New Orleans get flooded, but.the entire South Gulf Coast was wiped away. Since my weather forecasting class is in Biloxi, my orders and our wedding plans were on hiatus until the Navy could reschedule and make arrangements for both Ro and me to relocate to Mississippi. Needless to say, I told them I wanted to go there when I returned from proposing, and was expecting the orders in November before I went home for Christmas. They finally showed up Apr 1st...I immediately called Ro and said GO! GO! GO!

We married in June and went on our long awaited honeymoon to western Illinois', Galena. We had a blast riding a hot-air balloon (and crashing landing), fishing, seeing a 110lb blue catfish in the Mississippi River aquarium, shopping for antiques, and above all relaxing together.

After our honeymoon, we had four days to pack and the movers showed up for our stuff right on time. We arrived in Biloxi at the end of June, and I was astonished by the devastation that still remained. There was a house that looked like a hand reached in through the front door and pulled out everything in the middle - - - it only had three outer walls. Most of the things I remember from being there 3 years ago were very gone. Even the palm trees still eerily tilt 10-15 degrees inland. The base fared very well, except for the base housing that was on the water (or is it vice-versa now). Regardless, the housing situation was in no better condition. Ro and I spent three days apartment-hunting and after being told no vacancy enough times, we grabbed whatever had room. We found a nice place and things are okay.

Southern Mississippians can keep their coast. For example, we have 3 Walmarts within 5 miles of each other and that is the only shopping we have for 30 minutes in any direction. The nearest Target store is an hour away in Mobile, Alabama. The part that I got a kick out of (notice only me) was that I've found a Citibank in South Korea, the Middle East, and Singapore among other places...the closest one to Mississippi is Shreveport,LA (9hrs) and Atlanta(6hrs). So, just like on the ship, my banking remains an online venture. The traffic is a trip too. Never have we seen truckers in the left lane barrelling along at 90, with a military veteran (who are all over this area) going 55 in the center lane.

Ro's brother, Noel, joined us for Labor Day weekend and we showed him the perks of the coast. We picked him up in New Orleans and saw the Dome which isn't looking too bad. Took him on the "Scenic Route" along the coast, and finished the weekend in Pensacola, FL...which is only an hour and a half from us and the beaches were great.

We frequently socialize with my classmates and their families to pass the time. We have found a decent church that is doing great recovering from the hurricane. I am doing well in school, 2nd in class, and am up for orders this month. I will be trying to get orders to Dallas, San Diego, or whatever is open (hence, why they call 'em orders). Regardless, we both hope for the best, so our little one can be born someplace real nice.

That's all from the Deep South. God Bless everyone, and I'll be in Chicago for Thanksgiving and the Holidays.

- BJ -


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