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This winter has been especially snowy for the Philadelphia area. In fact, in 2013 the Philadelphia area averaged 3.90" of snow. In January, 2014 the Philadelphia area had 25.90". That is 22" more inches. And the month of February looks to be an even greater average of snow. Right now I sit in my office while a Nor' Easter blows outdoors. So far, we have about a foot of snow from this storm. The weather forecasters state there will be a 'lull' in the storm, a deep breath if you will by old Man Winter, and will exhale after 5:00 PM, by giving us 4" or more of snow.
Last week we had an ice storm (with a snow mixture) that caused a power outage for about 48 hours in our home. When the power came back on, our heater decided it was just too cold to start up again and called it quits. In 2013 the average temperature in January 2013 in the Philadelphia area was 29.4º. The average temperature in January 2014 was 19.9º. I cannot express how awful it is to brush your teeth at your bathroom sink and see your breath. I have discussions in my head in the middle of the night if it really is necessary for me to get up to use the restroom. 'Surely, you can hang on four hours more before you have to risk frost bite or your bottom'!  
The heating guys were suppose to install our new system today; (it's a two day job). Unfortunately, because of the weather, they cancelled on us. Right now we are on their schedule for early next week.  The heating company we are using was proud to tell us earlier this week that they had never cancelled an install because of the weather. I guess our job ruined their average on service calls. 
My son, Patrick, is now in Phase III of boot camp. He has made it through the worst, Phase I. The average of recruits who do not make it in Phase I is quite high. Inability to physically meet the Marine Corps requirements, severe injury, inability to follow orders are just a few of the reasons why recruits do not make it through Phase I.
The average age of a recruit is 19 years old; Patrick's age. The average wait time for a Poolee to ship out to boot camp is 8 months. (A young man who signs a contract for the delayed entry program and trains weekly with the local recruiting station preparing to enter boot camp is a Poolee). When Patrick signed his contract his initial wait time was to be 10 months. However, a slot opened up in December and he told his recruiter, "Yes Staff Sergeant, I'll go now"; and he did. This brought him to the 8 month average wait time for boot camp. The average of number of Poolee's that succeed and graduate from boot camp is a whopping 87%!
The average amount of letters a parent will receive from their recruits in Phase I is 6 letters; we received 6 letters. the average amount of letters parents receive in Phase II is 2 letters; we received 2 letters (both on the same day). The average amount of letters parents receive in Phase III is zero letters; we have not received a letter - so far.
There are several mantras recruit parents adapt during boot camp.  On average, the most popular mantra is 'I am Gumby'. Gumby is a rubber figurine with a metal skeleton allowing for posing in many flexible positions.  The Semper Gumby figurine states to all, 'I am Gumby - I am flexible!'
On average, I think of Patrick about 6 times every hour. I cry 100% of the time that I watch a patriotic commercial or hear the United States National Anthem. I was a mess after Renee Fleming beautifully started singing in her operatic voice, "Oh, say can you see..." for the 2014 Super Bowl.
These weeks bring to mind my last few weeks of pregnancy with Patrick. I would sit in his nursery thinking on when he would arrive or wonder what day he would be born. I was emotional as all get out. If my DH, Mark even looked at me funny, I would tear up. But during my pregnancy, I didn't have to wait on the postman or even the stork to bring me news of Patrick. I had my obstetrician for that. On average, during my last weeks of pregnancy I saw my OB once a week.  She made certain of giving me good news each time I saw her.
There is one average I will concede: I will be the average mother at boot camp graduation. The mother that bursts out into tears of joy when she first sees her son; who will give him the biggest hug in the history of hugs and who will thank the Good Lord for keeping her son safe and helping him achieve his dream.  That's an average I cannot wait to experience.
For now, I'll continue shadowing my postman, hoping that Patrick will break his streak of keeping to the average statistics of boot camp and will send me a letter! 
Written: 02/13/2014

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