Sometimes lunch is just lunch

A friend of mine invited me to lunch the other day, out of the blue.

It about triggered a panic attack.

This whole mess with MacGyver has really balled me up and I hadn't really realized it until my friend issued his lunch invitation. I know it's affected me in many ways...I just hadn't realized just how deeply. I hold my breath when I answer the phone. The first words out of my mouth when MacGyver gets home from work (after I scrutinize the way he exits his car, the way he walks up the walkway, the look on his face as he comes in the door) are "You ok?" or "What's up?". Not "Hi, honey!" or "I love you." I am constantly analyzing the looks on his face, the sounds he makes when reading an email or a text message. I eavesdrop on his end of the phone conversations - mainly to listen to the tone in his voice...in case it's more bad news.

I don't go in a certain gate on post because it takes me right past CID and I hyperventilate driving past. Lately, I've avoided going on post at all because it makes me tense up.

When a car pulls up in front of my house that I don't recognize, I panic. It takes every ounce of self-control to not slam the front door shut and draw the blinds.

The other day, I received a form in the mail from an agency conducting a background check on a friend. I started to hyperventilate until I opened it and realized it had nothing to do with MacGyver. It took me hours to relax.

And then my friend goes and invites me to lunch - rather spontaneously. And I questioned his motives...for no reason. He's military and my first thought was that this had something to do with MacGyver - even though they don't work together and have never actually met. A ridiculous thought but I thought it. And my stomach tightened up and my respiratory rate went through the roof.

I am a mess.

But sometimes, lunch is just lunch. And this WAS just lunch. And a good one at that. I'm hoping we can do it again sometime soon. And next time I can skip the panic attack.


- hfs


The bay called the day

Last year, we had the opportunity to witness a pretty rare event around here - the Eddie Aikau Quiksilver Surf Competition up at Waimea Bay. This week, we had another swell come through that looked to be Eddie-worthy. So I rousted the kids at 0330 and we made our way up to the North Shore. We arrived much earlier than we did last year and I was surprised at how easy it was to find parking and make our way on to the beach.

Sadly, the waves were not quite what everyone had hoped and the competition did not take place. But I was able to snag MacGyver's Nikon and get some decent shots. The window for this competition runs through 28FEB so the hope is that another swell will come through that IS Eddie-worthy.

The waves today were in the 15-18' range with the occasional set of 20'+. In order to run the Eddie, the organizers want 20'+ consistently. That didn't happen today. However, just the fact that they set up for this event - the second in two years - is impressive. In the past 25 years, the Eddie has only taken place eight times. For it to possibly happen two years in a row is news-worthy.

I'm working on identifying some of the surfers in the pictures below. If anyone knows their names (I'm assuming they are well-known surfers since rookies don't normally go out and surf 15-25 foot waves at Waimea Bay), please let me know in the comments. Thanks!


- hfs


Call me when this is over

Seriously. Can someone just call me when all of this is over and done with? I am tired. I am tired of waiting. I am tired of worrying. I am tired of speculating, planning, and wondering. It has been 19+ months since this mess began and it is still dragging on. Today, we found out that Fort Bragg is no longer an option at this point in time (sorry, Mom). The command here informed us that our welcome has been worn out and that, no matter the outcome of the administrative dealings, we will PCS as soon as it is over and done with.

Whenever THAT might be.

We were hoping that the command would let MacGyver stick around to complete the F-model transition but that isn't going to happen. Which means he will remain (for the time-being) a D-model Maintenance Test Pilot (assuming they allow him to remain in the Army). Which narrows our choices of future assignment down to: Korea, Alaska, Germany, Fort Riley (KS), and Savannah (GA). All of which are perfectly acceptable to me (Beggars cannot be choosers!). But nothing can happen until we find out how the administrative side of things is going to play out. So more waiting.

I am so tired of trying to explain to people that we don't know where we are going, or when. It's not that I'm tired of people, I'm just tired of the situation. I'm tired of not knowing. I'm just tired.

I am doing my best to focus on the bright side. And there is a lot that is bright. Even if the Army decides to thank him for his service but show him the door, there are possibilities within the National Guard. So that opens up a variety of new options. And there's always the civilian/contractor/mercenary side of life to consider. And ALL of this is bright compared to the possible outcomes that we were facing just 6 months ago. So, for that, I am thankful. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads, food on the table, our health, etc.

But I swear, this has been the LONGEST GOODBYE KNOWN TO MAN. I feel like I've been saying goodbye to everyone around here for the past 19 months! For someone that detests goodbyes, this is exhausting! No WONDER I'm so stinking tired.

The information we received today (that we've worn out our welcome and will not be sticking around on this rock into the summer like we had hoped) does help to give us a better idea of our time-frame. Which is nice. I can stop saying "if we're here at that point..." because I know that, barring a miracle, we will not be here beyond the spring. So now I get to break that news to our friends here. Fun. Sorry, guys.

In the meantime, I continue to pray. I pray that the people making the decisions about MacGyver's career are just and fair. I pray that they are able to see that he IS still an asset to the Army and they are better off retaining him. I pray that they are able to see the man that he has become through all of this and the paradigm shifts he has experienced as a result of all of this and how that will benefit the Army and this country if they allow him to remain. I pray that they will offer him a second chance.

"There, but for the grace of God, go I."

But can someone just call me when this is all over?


- hfs



Not that there is ever a great time to move but I have to say that shortly after the holidays is a good time to move. All of the stores have sales on containers. And, since it looks like we'll be moving ourselves, I'm buying them in bulk. You should have seen the look on the cashier's face the the other day at Target when I came through with 20 66-gallon plastic bins (they were on sale for $7 each!). I need to get back there this week and pick up some more (even though the sale is over).

The other night when I couldn't sleep (yay, insomnia!), I went through each room and listed all of the main categories of stuff in each room. Once I had that list compiled, I marked them either 'X' or 'O' - 'X' for cardboard box, 'O' for plastic container. Some things are worthy of the plastic container simply because they are rarely used and plastic containers stack up better in a garage (or storage unit) than cardboard boxes. And, around here, cockraoches LOVE cardboard. Ick. So things like linens, shoes, out of season clothing, etc. all go in plastic containers. I've already started packing stuff. I figure it's better to pack a few boxes per day for the next few weeks than get slammed 5 days out and have to pull all-nighters to get it all boxed up. Not that I won't be doing that anyway but at least I'll get a bit of a head start.

We are also on "moving box lookout" mode. Friends of ours that PCSd here at the same time we did in 2005 are now back. They just moved into their new place and I hit them up for their boxes. MacGyver is under strict orders to secure as many boxes as he can get his hands on from work or those that he sees outside of military housing. And another friend of mine works for a copier company downtown and is giving me lots of boxes as well. So the books are currently being packed. Good Lord, do we have a lot of books! I'm weeding through some and getting rid of some however, we STILL have a lot of books! And those things weigh a LOT.

Then there is Craigslist. Thank GOD for Craigslist! That is definitely adding to our savings (and decreasing our overall HHG weight). If we do wind up having to move back to SoCal and put things in storage, it will be nice to not have quite so much stuff to store.

So my house is in a near-constant state of chaos at the moment - piles of things to donate, piles of things to sell, boxes here and there. Plus the normal mess of day to day living (my people are messy. Drives me nuts but I suspect I am fighting a losing battle). I do my best to keep it neat-ish but I often feel like Sisyphus.

Right now, my biggest struggle is with The Boy. He's like Hansel - leaving a trail of toys and "stuff" everywhere he goes. I could leave the house for 48 hours and, upon my return, I could tell you exactly what he did and what he ate based on the messes he leaves everywhere he goes. It frustrates me to no end (neat-freak that I am) and I've found myself at a loss as to how to deal with him and his messes. It's to the point now that I have told him that whatever he leaves out will be thrown away. And, if the item that he leaves out is pricey, he's going to have to work to pay us back. That had an effect but I am not sure as to how long that will last. There are days where I would really like to run away - this is one of them!

MacGyver found himself having to attend a mandatory social event this past weekend. On a Sunday. A Sunday! Who does that? I understand that he's in the Army and that he's pretty much on call 24/7. But a social event? Especially when said social event came with relatively short notice. Quite frustrating and required some juggling, given the fact that he's also the Cub Scout den leader and already had a Cub Scout event planned that afternoon.

It frustrates me because we've spent the past 19 months being treated as though we were invisible but now he's expected to show up to social events. Thankfully it was short and he had a pretty good time. And the kids and I were treated to a tour of the local police station for the Cub Scout event.

I should go pack a few more boxes. I have a load of stuff to take to the thrift shop and some more plastic bins to purchase. Fun times!


- hfs



I am dreading the month of February. Usually I try not to worry about what is to come - if anything, the past 19 months have taught me to try to live in today and not worry about what tomorrow will bring. However, the month of February is shaping up to be a rough one. And I'm already dreading it.

I'm not one for "best friends". Even in high school, I had several friends that I would have placed in that category. Different people for different aspects of my life. All wonderful (the people, not the aspects of my life) in their own way. And as I became an adult (when in the world did THAT happen???) that trend continued. I cannot look at one person (beyond MacGyver who truly is my best friend...as he should be) and say that they are my best friend. I've been blessed to remain close friends with many of my friends from childhood. I have many close friends from college. And I've been blessed to make wonderful friends at each of our duty stations (with the exception of Fort Campbell because we weren't there long enough!). And Hawaii is no exception.

I have a friend here who has been with me through thick and thin. She accosted me at our childrens' school one day, asking if I was a military spouse. Apparently, red-headed, fair-skinned people stand out in a school populated mostly by Asian and Pacific Islander children. Who knew? Come to find out, both of our husbands are aviators and both were deployed at the time. Her daughter was in the same grade as my daughter and we quickly became friends. And I couldn't shake her, no matter how hard I tried! We've seen each other at our best and at our worst and now it's time for her to leave.

And I don't think I can handle it. I really, truly do not think I can do this.

I'm horrible at goodbyes to begin with. I don't do them well. Hell, I don't do them at all. And yet, she's leaving. And she's going somewhere that, most likely, we will not go. My daughter and her daughter are close as well and I can see the pain that is coming for both of them and there is no way I can shield my baby girl from that heartache. And I'm not sure what hurts me more - the fact that I am going to have to say goodbye to my friend or the fact that my daughter is going to have to say goodbye to hers.

I'm crying just sitting here typing this. How in the world am I going to be able to say goodbye for real? Life has been kind in providing some distance between the two of us over the past few months. Her husband came home from a deployment. We started homeschooling. She's working on selling their house. All of which limited the amount of time we spend together. Not that I like it but my hope was that it might make things easier when the time came for them to PCS.

But I don't think that's going to help. Not as I sit here, wiping tears off my cheeks as I type this out.

Add to that the possibility that February might be the month in which we find out if MacGyver's Army career continues or ends and it is really shaping up to be a month I'd rather avoid.

I really don't think I can do this. This is going to be one of those cuts that's going to really, really hurt.


- hfs


New Year

*tap tap tap*

Is this thing ON? Hmm...not sure if anyone is still reading, given the fact that it's been almost 2 months since I stopped writing. But that's ok - this blog was never about having other people read. It is just an outlet for me. And having people read it is actually a double-edged sword because I can't just spout off whatever (usually inappropriate) thought crosses my mind. So I had to step back for a bit because most of what was threatening to come out of my mouth was anything but appropriate.

However, a lot of what was frustrating me then has come to pass (doesn't it always?) and I'm in a better frame of mind now. It's that whole "bitter or better...choose a vowel" thing, you know? And I was bordering on choosing the 'i'. And that's really not who I am.

So I'm back. Kind of. We'll see how this goes. I was going to come here and write a big update but really, there isn't much TO update. Limbo is still limbo. Roof is still over our heads. Food is still on the table. Everyone is (for the most part) healthy and happy. Life is good.

I need to pop over to the homeschool blog and update that one too. That one actually WILL have updates - and pictures. Lots of pictures. Amazingly, when I'm not parked in front of computer all hours of the day, there is lots to do! Homeschooling is going well and the kids are thriving. I find myself enjoying it as well (though I also enjoyed our 2 weeks of Christmas break!) so that's good.

That's really about it. Waves are churning on the North Shore so we might be venturing up north to get some shots in the near future. I'm starting to pack my house up in case we have to vacate the island in short order here soon. Just in case. Still praying that the Army sees fit to let us remain an Army family but very much in that "pray for the best and prepare for the worst" mindset. Especially since it looks like we will be doing the move ourselves (a Personally Procured Move, according to the JFTR. Yay.). So there's that.

Saying goodbye to friends as THEY leave the island. Something I am neither good at nor a fan of. Bleh.

Anyway, it feels good to be back. I think.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...