from Fraser Firs, Palm Trees & Spanish Moss anthology
One of Arlene Benden Eno’s stories
Joyous Christmas 1966
I could not be happier! We were driving away from New London. I never wanted to see this place again. It was so cold! Everyone there was cold and uncaring. At least that was how I felt while I lived there. We were on our way to a new life, starting over without interference from a mother-in-law who I did not like me and never would.
Dave was now back in the Navy he dearly loved! He was assigned to a ship at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach. We found a summer cottage to rent at Chick’s Beach. The summer was over, and rent was extremely reasonable. We could stay there while we waited to get into Navy housing.
I believe this was one of my happiest times of my life. I felt free! No more criticism and ridicule! I could raise our 2 boys David and Scott, the way I wanted without unwanted, unwarranted advice.
We settled in to this little, warm home. It was one bedroom, a small living room, tiny kitchen and one bath. There was a huge walk-in closet where we put a cot for the boys to sleep in. We even managed to cook Thanksgiving dinner in our efficiency kitchen. I was loving life.
How we managed to put up a Christmas tree was beyond me, but we did! Christmas day was a duty day for Dave, and he had to stay on the ship. We had Christmas dinner on the ship with him and celebrated our own little Christmas the next day.
We decided the boys needed a dog and we found one at the SPCA and named him Skipper. Scott was only fourteen months old at the time and could not pronounce the puppy’s name and called him Bickey! Hence his name became Bickey.
I so loved my little family but had a wild desire to have my little girl and you guessed it, I became pregnant again. There was never a doubt in my mind it was a girl.
Little did I know that little girl would someday become my best friend in the world.