Volume II Issue 1 Holiday 1996
Same Place, Old Place, New Job Old Mystic, CT This year finds us in the same place as last year, for once. The Navy has seen fit to keep its word, and when Doug graduated from Submarine Officer Advanced Course (SOAC) last Spring, he became the first Navigator for Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Connecticut, a new Seawolf class fast attack submarine. It is currently being built at Electric Boat (EB) in nearby Groton, CT. (Submarine capitol of the world!) PCU CT is expected to become USS Connecticut -SSN 22- in 1998.
We've spent a harrowing year in our new apartment. Our place is one of four apartments in an old (150+ years!) house.
In February a snowstorm helped some of the trees on the property shed some unwanted (?) pounds...in the form of their LARGE limbs. One fell on the lines coming into our house-ALL of them. We were without electricity, heat and water for about four days, but we had a phone for most of that time. Good thing, or the rest might not have been fixed. Among other problems, the work crews and carpenters had a hard time finding our place. (As does UPS)
All was fine until October, when our neighbor started having problems with our shared water well, and we ended up with no water or brown water for the better part of 2 weeks. Thank goodness none of you decided to visit then!
Last but not least is the haggard old willow tree in our front yard. Every time we get a good gust of wind we lose a few more branches. There have been many a sleepless night as we listen to the wind blow and wait for the tree to come crashing into our bedroom. A battery powered clock and LOTS of bottled water have become some of our most prized possessions.
Traveling with Doug & Kaz
All over the place Although we kept the same address, this year still granted us the opportunity to do some traveling.
In May, Kaz accompanied Doug to Pittsburgh, PA, where he attended a Navy school. Kaz took the chance to explore Pittsburgh once again, as her parents used to live there. She prowled around downtown and visited the Pittsburgh Regional History Center. The PRHC was a recently completed project for a local architecture firm where old RPI buddy Mike Maiese is working. Doug & Kaz got to break bread with Mike and his new wife, Shelley. Catching up sure is fun!
Kaz and Doug also got to show off some of the area sites to other PCU Connecticut sailors. They made a trip to nearby (?) Falling Water, one of Kaz's favorite buildings by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and ate a bridge with new pals Paulette & Will. If you're headed to Pittsburgh, ask us about this bridge!
We returned to Old Mystic around mid-June, and Doug started working in the offices of PCU CT at Electric Boat. However, the Navigator on the USS Trepang was medically unable to go to sea this past summer, and Doug temporarily filled in for him. Doug disappeared shortly after our WONDERFUL July 4th celebration at the Subase, and 'surfaced' again in early September. Kaz managed to secure a copy of the videotape of Trepang and her crew traversing the Panama Canal. The crew took part in the traditional Canal Barbeque and also had a 4 day port call in Port Everglades, FL. (The summer might have been tougher on Kaz!)
While Doug was out to sea, Kaz took the opportunity to visit with her parents and the Buchanan's, who are friends from her hometown in NJ.
Kaz went to Howell, NJ three times, and while there helped her parents to unpack and move into their NEW HOUSE! It's a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood, near the Jersey shore and Six Flags Great Adventure. They enjoyed many an evening walk on the boardwalk, and many a day at Wal-mart. Hee-hee.
Kaz also traveled to Troy, NY for Major Chip Hernandez's Marine retirement ceremony at RPI's ROTC Unit. It was a wonderful ceremony and Doug was very sad that he couldn't be there. Congratulations, Chip. We're proud of you!
While in Troy, Kaz stayed with Jodi & Maarten BEFORE they moved into their NEW home! She then went to Silver Bay, NY to visit with Joan Goddard (Buchanan) and her family. Joan and Bill (& Ethan and Kimberly) moved to Colorado this past February, so EVERYBODY there was happy to see the Goddards 'back East.'
After Doug returned home, he and Kaz did some traveling together. They went to:
Howell, NJ - to see the new house and some NJ relatives
Silver Bay, NY - to help winterize, and to see Mr & Mrs B
Chatham, NY - to visit with Fr. Gary - priest who married them
Madison, NJ - for Julie Ohlweiler's wedding (Kaz's high school friend)
Totowa, NJ - for Hidde Hendrik's wedding (Doug's cousin)
And rounded out the year with another trip for a Navy school to Syracuse, NY.
Maybe it wasn't a year of exotic travel, but they did get around! Next year maybe they'll expand their horizons and get to Washington, which they miss very much, and/or Colorado to visit the Goddards. Happy Trails!
Kaz's adoption search New Jersey
Kaz has spent much of the last year trying to advance her search for her biological family. Thanks to a wonderful on-line group, the Adoptees Internet Mailing List (AIML), she has gotten tons of information and support.
The search is going slowly as Kaz is not ready to plunge into this without thought and preparation. Besides, the littlest bits of information that she is legally entitled to will cost $100 or more. She is trying to track down as much information as she can for free before digging into the bank account.
While examining the information she DID have, Kaz noticed that the copy of her birth certificate that she received in order to get her passport last year had the WRONG birthdate! Phonecalls made to try to find out why led in circles. (Place A: "Call Place B" Place B: "You have to call Place A.") The calls ended with the statement, "You're adopted. All your records are sealed. You can't get any information." Kaz is extremely frustrated that she can't even find out for sure when she was born!
However, she finds this very convenient as she approaches her 30th birthday. "30 today? I don't think so. I'm 30 on the 27th, says so right here on my birth certificate." -then- "What? 30 today? You're a little late, aren't you. I was 30 on the 21st. You know, the birthday I've celebrated for 29 years?" Heh-heh!
There's a silver lining in every DARK cloud! One way of combating this cloud cover, or adoption secrecy, was used on November 16th of this year. That was the day of the Second Annual ISRR RegDay. International Soundex Reunion Registry is a mutual consent registry; if an adoptee and birth mother (father, sister etc) each register with ISRR, they will be reunited.
Kaz set up a site for ISRR RegDay this year and looks forward to doing the same next year. Around the country, over 1300 forms were distributed and/or sent in. That could mean a lot of reunions! Keep your fingers crossed for all involved.
Staying in touch At home; On-line, Stop by! We're almost always up for a game of Taboo (we serve dinner, too!), or catch us on-line for the latest 'funny'. Kaz has a bunch of them archived. Call (omitted) to see us live, or email us for laughs or a more-often-than-annual update from Kaz & Doug. We'll leave it to you to figure out which E-mail address belongs to which of us.
If you're going to spend the night with us, write us and ask for a Black Bear Inn brochure, if you don't already have one.