'Hail and Bail' aka 'Hail and Farewell' aka 3 hours of one's life you'll never get back. It's one of those wonderful events that, when handled at the unit level, can be a lot of fun but, when handled at the Battalion level, is never really the same. MacGyver's been a part of this unit for a whole week and came home in those first few days with a calendar.
Keep in mind the fact that, during my last 2 years in Paradise, I was so far off the FRG's and battalion's radar that I never heard word one about upcoming events. SO I was a little surprised when he brought home a calendar in the first few days that laid out not only social events but training events as well. It's going to take me some time to get back into the swing of this whole "Army wife" thing. Heh.
Anyway, because this was MacGyver's 'hail', we HAD to go. Thankfully, children were welcome because I don't have a babysitter yet. I have to admit, I was really not looking forward to it. At all. Call me a coward. Call me a wuss. I don't care. After the last two years or so, the last place I really want to be is surrounded by a bunch of battalion-level staffers and their spouses. I'm a little gun-shy. It's that whole 'once bitten, twice shy' thing. But I plastered a smile on my face and got dressed.
And I'm glad I did. There weren't too many people from MacGyver's unit there but the few people I did meet were nice. His platoon leader was there and he and his wife seemed quite friendly. And - small world that Army aviation is - we ran into a woman who wrote a letter of of recommendation for MacGyver back when he was applying to flight school. She's retired Army herself and married to the SGM of the battalion. I thought I recognized her when I first saw her but couldn't place her. After the festivities were over, she came up and introduced herself and said hi. Small world! The company commander also introduced himself and made the anticipated pitch about getting involved in the FRG.
I politely declined.
Don't get me wrong - I will go to the meetings, meet the spouses in the unit, attend some events as warranted. But that's as far as it will go. There's some serious scar tissue there.
In more exciting news, after 28 months of being out of the cockpit, MacGyver has flown again! He texted me after he landed with some of the best words I've heard in a while: "I are a pilot!". Alongside from "charges dismissed" and "retained in the United States Army", they brought a smile to my face. Looking back, neither of us thought he'd EVER see the inside of a cockpit again. This was most definitely a sweet, sweet moment. And now, hopefully he'll be flying his proverbial okole off. His future in the Army is very much up in the air so the more hours he can get under his belt, the better off we'll be if he needs to start looking for civilian employment. In the meantime, he's planning to fly as much as possible. And, given the fact that the unit and the battalion are short on MTPs, that shouldn't be a problem!
The settling in process continues to move along. The house is kind of stalled - all of the other rooms are good to go but the living room is still unfinished. We finally ordered living room furniture this weekend but it's going to take about a month to get here. That was the biggest furniture purchase MacGyver and I have made in our entire relationship - made me feel like a grown-up. Ick.
School is going well. The kids are settling in well and have plenty to keep them busy, including friends. That is a huge blessing - it broke my heart to see my daughter so sad and homesick and lonely. My homesickness continues but I can handle it. I pipe Hawaiian music through my phone into my car stereo and I listen to my pastor's sermons online. So denial is a great place! It's getting cooler here but the weather is still quite beautiful! It's just about fall and I can't wait to break out the fall-scented candles and warm sweaters. Oh, wait, I don't have many warm sweaters. I've been shopping Goodwill and the Salvation Army and all of the sales on line in the hopes that I can find a few deals. Most of my warm-weather clothing is at my mom's house so I need to figure out how to get it here. Might be a roadtrip coming up soon!
In the meantime, we are enjoying our time here and reminding ourselves to be thankful that MacGyver is still in the Army and still flying. It doesn't get any better than that!