Almost 5 years ago now, I started to write about a group of stuffed animals that my wife and kids got me. We decided to call them Truman, Sweet Peach, and Footy. I usually call them the Helmsmen for short.
The idea behind it was that each animal represented the person that had gotten it for me. Wherever the Navy took me, I could take some pictures with them, send them home, and the family felt like they were there (at least a little bit). It also helped me since it put a little bit lighter spin on having to leave my family for months. Whether you’re in a BBQ joint in Amarillo, TX or a Buddhist Temple in South Korea, it’s hard to be sad when you’re a grown man digging stuffed animals out of a backpack and asking someone to take a picture.
It all started with a road trip across the country for a 6 month school that my family wasn’t able to accompany me on. This is when I really started to understand the internet. Up until that moment, my blog posts has primarily been well thought out and less well written stories about our lives. I’d throw up the occasional video or picture, but it was mostly words. The blog never really grew, but I was fine with that…then I started posting random pictures of a stuffed tiger changing a headlight and a toy alligator farting. All of a sudden it clicked.
You know that 800 word story that you put your heart into and spent three hours on? Meh.
A unicorn playing Monopoly? Hell yeah!
I haven’t written about them in a few years because life tends to get away from you sometimes. However, in that time, the Helmsmen have accompanied me on two deployments involving two different ships with stops in eight different countries on two continents. While I haven’t been including them on the blog, I have been taking plenty of pictures and sending them home.
I bring all this up because I have another cross-country road trip on the horizon. This one will be much less upsetting than the last. Whereas the last time, I was leaving for over six months, this time will be much shorter. I’ll only be gone for a couple months and then my family will actually be joining me on the East Coast as I start a couple years of shore duty where I’ll be home every night and weekend. While it’s tough to round up the entire family and move them across the whole country (again), it’ll be nice to actually be together for an extended period of time.
Therefore, it’s time to bring the helmsmen back to life. Until I hit the road, please visit the page I have dedicated towards them where you’ll be able to go through all the old posts. Once the wheels start turning, I’ll start posting regular pictures again. My route will be slightly different than last time so there will be a whole batch of new states for us to get in trouble in. It should be a good time.