|This is the house we lived in, on Ashe Street in |
Southern Pines, NC, while we waited
to join my dad in Pakistan.
We had Christmas without him that year. I remember we had a little dog named Peanuts, a dachshund, and he would go under the tree and grab presents and drag them under beds, tables, etc. We never knew where we would find the missing gifts. My dad had sent a ring back for my mom and that seemed to be Peanuts favorite gift to hide. It is still amazing that we found all his hidden treasures.
My mom was very crafty and loved to make things by hand. During that Christmas season she and my Aunt Gladys took on the project of making homemade candies for our teachers, family and friends. One of the most creative things they made were suckers shaped like Santas. They made little aluminum foil forms that looked like Santa, put the hard candy and a stick in them and decorated with white frosting. They also made little marzipan veggies and fruits that looked so real. We saw some in a storefront in Italy that brought back great memories of what they looked like. (See the picture below.) Then they would make their own boxes out of cardboard, cover them with aluminum foil and even covered pieces of cardboard for the layers. The teachers enjoyed their presents that had been made with lots of love. Family and friends tried very hard to make it a great Christmas for us, despite the absence of dad. Although we missed him terribly, they succeeded in making it a good one.
The big day arrived when we were to start our trip to Pakistan. This would be a big journey because it would take days with lots of stops in different countries. We were to fly out of the base in Charleston, South Carolina, and would stop in Madrid, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Karachi, Pakistan before arriving at the base in Peshawar. Our uncle drove us down to Charleston and got us safely to our airport destination. Picture this...here was my mother, by herself, with three children, 8, 7 and 2, heading to a country over 7,000 miles away from North Carolina. Little did she know, what was in store for her on this trip.