When Ed and I Got Together – England (IV)

I got to England before Ed and quickly set up housekeeping in a great 17th century semi-detached cottage (two story row house that is only attached to other houses on one side).  The house was made out of flint and my landlady had maintained it in its original condition.  Ed and John came to England a couple of months later. We were close enough that we could spend weekends together but far enough away that we didn’t see each other during the week.  Ed’s boss had an arrangement with some British Naval officers working in London to rent their apartment from Friday evening to Monday morning which he made available to Ed when it wasn’t being used.   This gave us a third option for weekends; my place, Ed’s place or the apartment in London.  . For those of you that may know London, the apartment overlooked Marble Arch. In today’s London real estate market, this would not be possible.  It was a truly wonderful time in England and I have great memories.  Toward the end of our time in England, Ed and and his wife got a divorce.  John missed his mother after three years in England and wanted to get back to her in the states.  Unfortunately for John, this meant being uprooted again.  After living in England for three years, we knew it was tough decision time.  I had been in the Air Force for eight years and had maintained a relationship with Ed for six years.  We both knew it was time to consider returning to the US where it would be unlikely we could be assigned to the same geographic area.  I decided I was totally committed to spending the rest of my live with Ed.  What that meant to me was to give up my career to follow Ed.  Ed felt the same but had 14 years in the USAF and would eligible to retire with benefits in six years.  He decided he would try to get an assignment in Texas where John was now living with his mother.  While I put in my separation papers, Ed requested a reassignment to anywhere in Texas (which had the most USAF bases in the country).  Shortly after I left the Air Force and moved to Dallas, Ed was offered assignments to Massachusetts or California.  Ed told the assignment folks he needed to be near his son and, as a result, would be requesting separation.  The assignment folks thought Ed was making idle threats and reaffirmed his choices.  Ed put in his separation papers and, when they got to the personnel center, he received a call asking if he was serious about separation.  He said he was quite serious because he needed to be near his son.  They offered him a job in Dallas at a recruit processing station if he would withdraw his separation papers.  He quickly accepted the offer. A friend I made from England, Jim Hicks, was currently in this position and was Ed’s sponsor.  Again, everything worked out and, once the orders came down, Ed joined me in our new home in Dallas.