Volume 7

New Beginnings

by Gordon Buttars

         Volume 7 – New Beginnings takes place between September 1945 and August 1947. With the war over, Sheffield was coming home. En route, he began considering his future and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. But first he had to get his carrier division to New York City, via Pearl Harbor and the Panama Canal. While in Hawaii, he had some unexpected company. Their arrival in New York City was timed to coincide with the week long Navy Day Victory Celebration. After a year long voyage around the world, he and Ramona were reunited and spent the week in the Big Apple.
         Sheffield's next assignment took him back to Washington D.C. with the responsibility of documenting the nighttime carrier operations he had helped pioneer. While assigned to Washington, he considered his options. Weary from the war, retiring after twenty five years in the Navy and having a new beginning appealed to him. As he looked to the future, some enticing possibilities presented themselves. Uncertain which way to go, he made it a matter of prayer. His answer came forcefully and he knew without a doubt what he was to do. What surprised him was that it was the one thing he dismissed without considering.
         They both retired from the Navy and settled in Roanoke and their lives took a direction they could never have conceived. While Sheffield settled into his new career, Ramona struggled with what to do with herself. All she wanted to do was to use her nursing background to teach aspiring nursing students or help others. Like Sheffield, she too was looking in the wrong direction. To fill her time she becomes the caretaker for a dieing friend.
         When she received a sizable and unexpected inheritance, the stage is set for her new career and something miraculous. Through a tragic chain of events, they found themselves with something he never thought he would have again and something she could never have had; a ready made family of three children; something they would have missed out on had he gone a different direction.
         To have a place for their family, they buy forty acres in the country along the Roanoke River, build a house, and have a small herd of cattle and a couple of horses. To adjust to their new circumstances, they go on a month long family honeymoon adventure in the Islands where they come together as a family. To satisfy Sheffield's longing to be in the air again, he buys a surplus airplane. With new careers, a new family, and a new home, it was a time of new beginnings and they settled into a new chapter in their lives. Life couldn't get any better. Or could it?
Chapter I Rendezvous in Hawaii September 5, 1945 – September 22, 1945 Page 1
Chapter II Coming Home September 22, 1945 – October 19, 1945 Page 15
Chapter III Navy Day October 19 – 27, 1945 Page 25
Chapter IV Last Assignment October 28, 1945 – February 28, 1946 Page 43
Chapter V Choices March 12 – April 8, 1946 Page 55
Chapter VI New Beginnings April 8 – July 15, 1946 Page 71
Chapter VII Inheritance July 22 – September 3, 1946 Page 85
Chapter VIII Tragedy and Decision September 4 – October 4, 1946 Page 97
Chapter IX House Plans October 5 – December 7, 1946 Page 109
Chapter X Ready-Made Family December 13, 1946 – February 22, 1947 Page 121
Chapter XI Two Star Ranch February 23 – May 30, 1947 Page 137
Chapter XII Family Honeymoon Part I May 31 – June 13, 1947 Page 149
Chapter XIII Family Honeymoon Part II June 14 – July 1, 1947 Page 163
Chapter XIV Staggerwing July 1 – August 4, 1947 Page 177

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