Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Flashback Friday - Aunt Annie & Uncle David

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is in front of our house during Aunt Annie and Uncle David's visit to San Diego back in 2001.  At the time, I was a flight instructor with VS-41 at Naval Air Station Coronado.  CJ was three years old.  You couldn't ask for better family than Aunt Annie and Uncle David.  They broke the mold on these two.  Just really great people.

This past weekend, Aunt Annie and Uncle David celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  As a nice keepsake, they were given a compilation of memories.  Family and friends wrote down their favorite memories of the lovable couple.  Here's what the Cruzers submitted:

Dear Aunt Annie and Uncle David,

We wish we could be there with you at the Anniversary Party.  You are both so special to us.  Below we have each shared some favorite “Aunt Annie and Uncle David Memories.”  Happy 50th Anniversary!!  You two are a shining example to us.


Carol, Chris, CJ and Jake 

Jake:  I love making strawberry milk at Aunt Annie’s house.  It’s really speciaI because I don’t get to drink it at home.  I like playing with Aunt Annie’s toys and she has the cuddliest blankets.  I like sitting with Uncle David in his big chair and watching Sponge Bob.  I like it when Aunt Annie hugs me.
CJ:  I like how Aunt Annie is always so nice to everyone.  She knows how much I love Golden Flakes and always has a bag waiting for me when I come to her house.  I think it’s awesome that Uncle David is so cool with all the kids.  I love watching iCarly with him.  When I was little, I loved playing on your big deck out back, and I loved playing with all the other kids.  I feel like I’m at home every time I’m at your house.  Thank you so much for all the wonderful memories that you’ve given us over the years.

Chris:  I first met Aunt Annie and Uncle David in 1992 as a young spy with the Philippine Intelligence Agency on assignment in Alabama to infiltrate the deep south in order to procure secrets on country living and SEC football.  Just kidding.  It was with the Chinese Intelligence Agency.

From that very first 4th of July celebration, you’ve both always been so kind and full of love towards me – even though I was, you know…Navy.  I remember an apron-clad Uncle David behind the smoky grill and the American flag, armed with a spatula and tongs - and not smelling one bit like a Bud Light.

Your wonderful home has always been a place of comfort.  Full of laughs, love and good eating.  The only challenge with the food was carefully navigating through the Walker refrigerator and not knocking everything over.  As CJ once said, it’s like Jenga in there!

Some of you might’ve seen the recent commercial about the Alabama work force and how a lot of the core workers are retiring.  The young folks need to step up and take their place.  Well, Uncle David, because of the strong man that you are and how hard you work for your family, they’ll need 3 or 4 guys to take your place.  I have so much respect for you and your work ethic.  You’re still working harder in retirement than some people that are still on the work force.

We were so happy to have you guys come all the way out to California to visit us.  I know that was challenging for you, what with all the liberals out there and all.  I’m also glad you got to meet my brother Beanie during that trip.  He still gets tickled because you thought of him on his birthday and sent him a card with $10 in it so he could get a hamburger.  He was in the Army doing some tough duty in Haiti at the time.  You definitely lifted that soldier’s spirit.  But that’s one of your specialties isn’t it – lifting people’s spirits?

You’ve always been there for us.  When Carol’s father passed, you were there.  When Carol got hit by the van in Pensacola, you were there.  When Carol walked down the aisle to marry a studmuffin of a man, you were there. 

You were there when CJ was born.  You even cooked up a massive amount of chicken and rice soup to hold us over.  We loved it but dang, you cooked up enough to feed the entire Navy Fleet.  We still have some in our freezer.

And Aunt Annie, you are always prepared.  Who can forget that one time when we were driving and the car accidentally flew off the overpass into a deep ravine and we were trapped by our seatbelts upside down with water closing in to drown us?  If it wasn’t for those needle-nose pliers and the sawz-all that you had in your purse, we never would’ve made it.  If I had to guess, your middle name is McGyver.

There are many more memories to add but I’ll stop there.  I’ll simply close by saying that you two are some of the best people on this entire planet.  Happy 50th Anniversary.  We love you!
Carol:  Oh my, so many wonderful memories!  Where do I begin?  For as long as I can remember, Aunt Annie & Uncle David’s house has been one of my favorite places in the world.  As a kid, I couldn’t wait to walk and meet Angela half way at the church and head over to your house.  It was entertaining, fun and always loving under your roof.  You two probably thought you had 6 kids instead of 3 with all of the time that the 3 youngest Harmons spent at your house. 

Aunt Annie, it was always so much fun going places with the Walkers.  You would pile all of us kids in the back of the car and head to town.  There would always be a wet washcloth in a Ziploc bag just in case we needed it and inevitably you would have to yell “DUCK!!” at some point in the car ride so you could see out the back window.  We were well trained and when we heard the urgency in your voice, we all hit the deck.  From our speed reading classes at the University to trips to Zayre’s, it was always fun, and I have to admit that I thought it was pretty cool when I was mistaken for one of your kids.  Maybe the brown hair had a little something to do with it.  : )  And how could I not mention how much I LOVED your wieners and potatoes for dinner.  One of my all time favorites!  I was so happy when I saw that recipe in the family cookbook.  Here’s an oldie for you… When you guys were still living in the old house I loved standing in the closet with the heater next to the kitchen.  That was a happy place on a cold day!  Aunt Annie, I can remember you leaned against one wall and I would lean against the other.  Both of us just listening to the hum of the heater and soaking up the warmth.

Uncle David, you should be listed in the “Best Dad/Uncle Hall of Fame” for taking Angela and I to all of those concerts!  From Sting in Birmingham to Bruce Springsteen at the Omni in Atlanta, they were certainly memorable.  I still laugh at how you tricked Angela and I into thinking we were half deaf after one of our concerts.  You were kind enough to stop on the way home to get us something to eat.   We were at Krystal if I remember correctly.   Little did we know that you were whispering when you spoke to us.  Our ears were ringing like crazy and we couldn’t hear a word you were saying.  Thankfully you didn’t keep us fooled for long.  It was quite a relief when we heard your big laugh come rolling out.  And how could I forget sliding off the back seat of that burgundy Ford LTD.  You are a man that knows how to keep a car clean!  Those back seats were so polished with Armor All, it was hard not to come sliding out.  And you can drive in reverse faster that anyone else on earth!  I was so amazed by that when I was a kid.  Don’t go trying to break your record with the school bus now. 

From spending countless days with you two as a kid, to Uncle David giving me away when Chris and I got married, and Aunt Annie coming to be with me when CJ was born, you’ve both been a rock in my life.  When I think back, there are more memories than I could ever put on paper.  Thank you for sharing yourselves and your love with me.  You both have made me a better person.  I love you with all my heart!


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