Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's Tailhook time

I'm back in Reno at Tailhook.  Last year, at this same time, I wrote about how much I LOVE Tailhook.  To be completely honest, last year I had a tough time really enjoying my time at Tailhook.  I was still quite overwhelmed by the devastation we had experienced at our home by Hurricane Irene.  This year, I'm feeling much better about this trip and this experience.

I'm thinking about so many things this year.  There is something about having an annual event, like this trip to Reno, to give me an opportunity to reflect on where I am in my life.  I've been coming to Tailhook since 2005.  So this is the eighth year, in a row, I've been here.  In this city.  In this hotel.  On this exact weekend.  So much can change in eight years.

When I think back to 2005 I remember being invited to attend and work with the artist, Hank Caruso.  (if you click on the link you'll see Hank and my friend Amy, Hank's wife)  My friends were very encouraging of me getting out and developing a persona all of my own.  At this time in my life I was working part-time and mothering a high school student.  I had just returned to the work force four years earlier, but in a very part-time manner.  I still considered myself, first and foremost, a mother.  My friends knew I needed to look at myself a different way.  I needed to see who I was and what I thought about myself.  I had always had a love of Naval Aviation.  (Heck Yeah!  I was married to a career aviator.)  I had never been to 'Hook and they believed this would be a great opportunity for me to spread my wings and spend some time with myself.  Needless to say, after this first weekend away and on my own (and, my husband's deployments and business travel, not withstanding, I hadn't been "on my own" since my son was born) I had more confidence in myself and in my abilities.  I have to admit, I'm one "well cared for" woman.  When I travel with my husband, he purchases the airline tickets, he reserves the rental car, he drives to the airport, he tips the airport shuttle driver, he picks up the rental car or hails the taxi, he pays the driver and tips the hotel valet, he takes care of everything.  It's not that I can't do these things.  It's just that he does them because he's a gentleman and he believes he should take care of me.  When I traveled, on my own, to my first Tailhook those eight years ago, I had to do all those things for myself.  I not only gained more appreciation for my own abilities, but I gained appreciation for my husband's thoughtfulness.  It was a win-win.

I had a wonderful time on this weekend.  I worked.  I played.  And, I lived to tell the tale.

In fact, I told the tale so well, the next year my husband wanted to accompany me to hook in 2006. 

In 2006, attending 'Hook brought its own set of joys, as well as challenges.  This year my husband accompanied me.  This was not his first 'Hook.  He could attend this event on his own merits.  My husband is a "Tailhooker."  He has over 200 carrier landings (all successful) under his belt.  But, this year I had to find someone to keep an eye on my son.  Since I don't live near family, I had to impose on a friend.  I didn't feel as comfortable being this far from home, this time.  Even though we were only gone for four days, I didn't feel as relaxed and comfortable being away from home.  I guess I still had too much of that "mothering" stuff going on inside of me.  Even now, as I think about it, maybe I had too much need to control my son and make sure he got on the bus for school and didn't have wild parties in my home, while I was away.  No matter which it was, it was there, and it was part of my experience of 'Hook that year.  The benefit of having my husband with me was that I was well taken care of.  Besides all the benefits I've mentioned before, he brings me coffee in the morning.  I just love that about him.

I had a wonderful time.  I worked.  I played.  And, my husband took care to insure I lived to tell the tale.  (and he filled in any parts I may have not remembered due to a little adult beverage overindulgence

Thanks for joining me on my little reminiscent of Tailhooks past.  I'm looking forward to this year's celebration of 100 years of Marine Corp Aviation.  OohRah!

by Hank Caruso


  1. nice...sounds like a good time...and glad you have a little less on your mind and can enjoy this year a little more...

  2. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  3. That is so neat how you get to re-live this time away.  Have a great time, friend.  :)

  4. Glad that you had a good time.  


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