Monday, December 3, 2012

I failed NaBloPoMo...but Mom is cool.

Mathematically speaking, I failed NaBloPoMo. I made 11 posts in the month of November. When you divide 11 by the amount of days in November, which is 30, you get 0.3666 repeated. 36% is a horrible F.

Well, to redeem myself, I'll post a paper which I had to write for my class. I was to interview someone in my family about their "migration history." I figured I'd call home and interview whoever answered whether it be Mom or Dad. Or a robber if he/she was robbing the place at the time.

(I tried to make it cheesy/corny/humorous because I figured the 45 girls and 4 other guys in my class would be dry writers.And, yes, there are about 45 girls and 5 guys [including me] in my class.)

My Mother’s Migration

Leaves fell and summer started to wind down as that very first day of August 1960 brought new life into this world and my mother was placed into my grandmother’s arms. They decided to keep her and named her Patricia. Patricia Brimhall. Little did she, or my grandparents, know the adventures that lay ahead of her and the impact they would have on her.

The town was South Weber, UT. My grandfather was a working man who, for as long as I can remember, always had a love for tinkering and building things. They lived there in South Weber for about six years until they moved in the summer of ’66. During those six years between my mother’s birth and her family moving, my grandfather had built a house in Clinton, UT. That is to where they moved. My grandfather and my grandmother had a big family and they needed more room in order to expand.

Life was quaint and comfortable until yet again, it was decided that more room was needed and more land was needed as well. This took them to West Point, UT in the summer of 1971. Both my mother and father come from big families and it was always a joke of my parents that they had so many of us kids so that they could put us to work in the yard and around the home.

Now, having mentioned my father, this is where he comes into my mother’s life. How they met, dated, fell in love, and got married is a tale that would send this two-page-maximum paper over its limit. To summarize, my mother and father were both attending Weber State University in Ogden, UT. They decided they liked each other a whole bunch and so they got married October 16, 1980. Since they were attending university, they figured it’d be easier to simply move to Ogden. Little did my mother know that marrying my father would bring on many moves and changes. My father joined the Air Force after college and went to officer school. It was a pretty sweet deal because he kept going to college all over the place and it was all paid for by Uncle Sam.

The first place that my parents moved to (this is now May/June 1983) after my father graduated from Weber State with a degree in mathematics was Auburn, AL where my father attended Auburn University and got a second undergraduate degree, this one in electrical engineering. He could have gone to any school of his choosing but they finally decided Auburn as it had the best engineering program (obviously, BYU-Idaho wasn’t around yet at this point in time). He got this second degree in record time and went into Air Force service working on engineering projects. The first assignment sent my mother and father to Las Vegas, NV in December 1984. They spent about three years here while my father worked. My mother explained to me that she never really loved moving around especially as they started having children. By this time they had three of them.

The summer of 1987 brought on yet another move as my father had to complete a “hardship” tour. Now, he had a choice. He would have to spend one year overseas in an area that his family wouldn’t be able to join him. But, there was one “hardship” location where he could serve for two years and his family would be able to join him. That location was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. So, in the summer of 1987, my mother and father packed up their three kids and belongings and moved to the Middle East.

Leaving behind American comforts of home and the familiar American way of life, my mother traveled overseas to a land of hijabs, camels, and military compound housing. At least she was with my father.
Two years went by and my mother realized that a glorious fourth addition would be joining the family shortly. So, still under the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam, my mother and father and their 3.7 children moved back to the good ole’ USA to Mesa, AZ in the summer of 1989. Once again, my father got his education paid for while getting a graduate degree in electrical engineering at Arizona State University. Mesa was a good place for my mother to move to as two of her sisters were now living in the Phoenix area. On December 16, 1989 the most miraculous gift from God was given to my parents in the form of a brand new son named Nathaniel Keith Lewis. My mother was so overjoyed at this new arrival that she decided that in December 1990, Albuquerque, NM should get the opportunity to revel in Nathaniel’s presence. Also, the Air Force wanted my father there. Luckily, another one of my mother’s sisters was living in Albuquerque at the time so that made the move and transition easier.

After two years in Albuquerque, my father’s commitment to the United States Air Force came to an end and he took a job in El Centro, CA working for an electrical engineering firm. My parents packed up their bags and now five children and moved to Mexico El Centro. It suffices to say that after about a year they felt their time in El Centro was about 9-10 months overstayed. My father took a new job and in December 1993, my family drove across the United States to Reston, VA where it is pretty much as far away from El Centro as you can get.

Life was good and happy in Reston but something that my father had always wanted to do was to live and work in Germany. Before he had met my mother, he had served a mission in southern Germany and had learned the language. Interestingly enough, an opportunity arose within his company and they were looking for someone that they could send to Berlin, Germany to work on some projects. My father saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and took it. Now, mind you, by this time, there were now six kids in my family ranging from about 17 to about 2 years of age. And my father wasn’t in the military anymore meaning that we wouldn’t live in military housing with other Americans immediately nearby. And my mother didn’t speak any German (or Arabic when they were in Riyadh). These were trying times for my mother. But, with her eyes straight ahead and a heart full of faith, my parents made the move. This was August 1997.

Six years. Six years went by in Germany. This was the longest time that my parents had lived anywhere together. Fortunately, my mother learned German. In fact, all of us children learned German too. My mother met other American women in our ward and mothers of other American children with whom we went to school. The food was fine and the neighboring countries provided from some amazing family vacations. My mother survived.

One last job transfer has brought my family back to the USA. My parents liked the east coast so much that in August 2003 they moved back to Virginia, this time to Ashburn which is where I tell people I’m from. They are now empty nesters and one-by-one, all the children have left to live their own lives and become first-class world travelers like their mother.

Who better to take an example from than mom?


alison said...

I like your story.

Patricia said...

Wow! What a tale you tell!
Nice work, Nathan.

Bryan Lewis said...

that was pretty funny.

Bryan Lewis said...

i also like that El Centro was in Mexico

Greg Lewis said...

mom is a saint. no question. love-dad