First there was the GTMO Pumpkin Patch. We got a flyer several weeks ago about the three-day event. I'll admit that although it's our third Halloween in GTMO---the kids and husband arrived on Halloween 2012---we haven't done the Pumpkin Patch until this year. (Living in a very small community, you have to leave some things until the next year just to keep up the level of excitement. And that's how we roll---we're all about the excitement).
With much anticipation, the youngest and I trekked out to the Youth Center for the Pumpkin Patch. We discussed in detail our pumpkin carving ideas for this year, and then pulled up to the field.
The Pumpkin Patch officially opened at 5:00. We arrived at 5:20. I thought I saw a pumpkin patch, but alas, it was just a mirage.
H says, "Look, Mom, it's the Magnificent Seven!" because yes, there were only seven pumpkins left. At 5:30, this was the GTMO Pumpkin Patch:
|Can you find the Great Pumpkin??|
I was certain that those few pumpkins were just for the first of three days, but I found out when I got home that those few were it.
I can't say I'm surprised. Going on year 3 here, I know better than expect things to be like back in the US. I expect to be Gitmoed---I guess you can say I like to be cautiously optimistic and then keep my expectations low, just so I'm pleasantly surprised now and then.
I know it sounds harsh, but you get what you get---and then you watch the newbies throw a fit.
I really did feel sorry for the year-one GTMO families who had the bad luck of showing up at 5:30 or later. The look of dismay and disappointment on their faces said it all. Those of us who have been here just chuckled, because, really, what else can you do? (I do know of families that are carving watermelons for Halloween because we don't have a shortage of those----yet. Let the word get out that it's a viable alternative, and we'll be out of them, too, within a few hours).
So that was mirage #1---the GTMO Pumpkin Patch.
Then there was other excitement a couple of weeks ago on Marine Hill.
At the end of summer, the base opened a beautiful new fitness facility and started tearing down the old, hideously ugly one at Marine Hill. I once had the misfortune of going in it just to use the restroom, one of the worst I've walked into in my entire life---imagine a truck stop bathroom that smells like a locker room, and you get the picture.
I know it doesn't seem exciting, but the building was a bit of an eyesore, so it's a vast improvement.
As the youngest and I drove up to the Marine Hill Mini Mart of couple of weeks ago, I immediately noticed the barriers were down and marveled at the improvement (plus an even better view of the Bay from the parking lot).
I said, "H, look at that!"
|New green grass patch, looking towards the Marine Hill pool, a base bus stop, and one of our fire stations.|
Considering that with our droughts here, the base golf course tends to be so dry that you need to bring your own patch of artificial turf to tee off of, I understand the confusion.
|Notice the flag to the left of the cone?|
And there you have GTMO mirage #2: our new golf course.
I did get the Brach's Autumn Mix this year at the NEX---a first for us, although my neighbor went back and they were already out of it.
I'm at the bare bottom of the bag---my secret stash---and I can definitely attest they were not a mirage. Although if anyone in the family asks, I will neither deny nor affirm that I hoarded a bag just for myself.