Remember the other day when I said I was exchanging one mindset for the other? Yeah...it's a good thing I started to make that transition, mentally. My birthday was Friday and for my birthday, my husband informed me that he was giving me an all-expense-paid trip to...
Yep, the Army couldn't let us enjoy our great news about MacGyver's retention too long before dropping a bombshell in our laps. Not only do we get to move to the land of ruby red slippers, cows, and twisters, we get to do it in LESS THAN SIX WEEKS!
You heard right...we fly off this island around the beginning of August. I was right - they are PCSing us off this island so fast it's making my head spin. Five weeks and three days (though, really, it's five weeks flat because you can't get anything done on a Friday, the day you find out you're moving and weekends don't really count).
I suppose the quickness of it all is a blessing. It will be like ripping the bandaid off quickly - hopefully the sting will be short-lived. Personally, I think that's bunk. This one's going to hurt. Thankfully, I will be too insanely busy to really worry about it. You should see my "TO DO" list...it's a monster. And that's not counting the cleaning list (per room) or the lists for where things go:
* give to friends
* post office (mail ahead)
* advance shipment
* main household goods shipment
We are not doing a DITY move (thank the good Lord!!!). The Army has removed a lot of the financial incentive that used to be there for military members to move themselves from an OCONUS location which I think is an unwise move on their part. However, I am grateful (to a certain extent) that they have done so because now I don't have to pack my stuff up myself! But the realization that our packers will be here to pack up my belongings in FOUR WEEKS makes me lightheaded.
Just to give you an idea of what we're looking at, here's just the immediate "TO DO" list (in no particular order...I write things down as they pop into my head...at 3am...):
* levy brief
* TMO (transportation - to schedule the move)
* notify landlord
* set up shut off dates for utilities
* give away cardboard boxes we've been hoarding
* call screen company to come and give estimate on screen repair/replacement
* fix car (needs a few minor repairs before I ship it)
* mail homeschooling materials, BMX bikes and gear, etc.
* burn pictures and important documents to DVD
* burn additional copies for backup
* backup hard drives
* medical records - all
* school records - kids
* copy medical records - all
* new drivers' license (mine's falling apart)
* cash in change
* grass seed for bare patches
* spackle/touch up paint
* weed out STUFF
* family pictures one last time
* finish hiking/beach bucket lists
* diassemble all Lego projects and bag securely
* retain sanity
Holy cats, I'm going to go insane. Add to that list swimming lessons, piano lessons, art class, BMX practice, sign language practice (we perform the last Sunday we are here), and life in general and I think I should start mainlining caffeine and forgoing sleep completely.
Kansas. About as land-locked as I could possibly get. There's a lake. I'll be there often. I'm going to FREEZE to death. We were at the track this evening and it was breezy (yay for trade winds!) and I was in pants and a windbreaker. It was 78*, for goodness sake! And I was COLD.
I'm going to freeze. You'd think I'd never lived in Alaska for 3 years or Colorado for 5.
I'm already plotting on how to get us back here in 3 years. I'm already scoping out SpaceA flights from the surrounding Air Force and Air National Guard bases to Hawaii. I'm already scoping out Pottery Barn's catalogs and planning how to make my house into an island getaway in the middle of farmland.
I'm going to freeze.
I've been trying to come up with the words for this blog post for over 24 hours and I cannot. I am speechless.
We'd been waiting on word from HRC (Human Resources Command) as to the fate of my husband's Army career for many weeks and finally got word back yesterday. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army has opted to RETAIN my husband in the United States Army.
I am speechless. I have no words. This was beyond anything we could have hoped for and I'm still pinching myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. Even his attorney(s) was amazed. If MacGyver were a cat, he'd have used up 8.99 of his 9 lives.
I'd say I'm thrilled - and I'm sure I am somewhere deep inside - but the shock is overwhelming all of that right now. It's sinking in S-L-O-W-L-Y.
And now we get to exchange the "ohmygodwearegettingoutofthearmywhatarewegoingtodo?" mindset for the "ohmygodtheyaregoingtoPCSusoffthisislandsofastitwillmakemyheadspin" mindset. Already the shell game of "where are we going next?" has begun. There are so many variables and options and possibilities at play right now that I need a laminated PowerPoint flow chart to track. So I'm not. MacGyver knows my preferences (stateside and OCONUS) and we'll see where the chips fall.
Tempering my excitement is the realization that I am - in a very small way - kind of disappointed. Because staying in the Army had been such a long shot, I had mentally already checked out of Army life. I had stopped thinking in terms of being a military wife and started thinking in terms of being married to a civilian contractor or possibly a National Guardsman and considering the possibility of actually controlling my choice of location. Ha! Silly girl. With the (wonderful) news that they are keeping him in the Army went my hopes that we would get to head toward the Pacific Northwest to be near (some) family and close friends. And In-N-Out. And Fred Meyer.
So, in that respect, I am disappointed. However, it is completely overshadowed by the gratefulness I feel toward the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army and their mercy as well as toward our family and friends who have stood by us through all of this. I know it wasn't easy and I know the situation was icky and I know it's been a long road (trust me, I KNOW). But we're at a crossroads now and things are looking up.
On the flip side, my heart is breaking. Staying here is not really an option. So our time on this island is finally winding down. Until the age of 18, I lived in the same house on the same street and went to the same schools with the same friends. And then I left for college(s). I hit 4 colleges in 7 years and have moved more than 15 times in 15 years. Aside from the 4.5 years I lived in Colorado, this is the longest I've lived anywhere since I was a child. I miss Colorado desperately but this has become home for me.
And it is going to kill me to leave.
I am already to the point where thinking about it brings me to tears. It will be as hard to say goodbye to this place and our friends here as it was to say goodbye to my good friends when they left earlier this year. I would be content to live here the rest of my life. I know that some people are not cut out to live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And I know that I prefer to be cold as opposed to hot. And I know that it's a pain the okole to be stuck on this rock when many of the things an the people you want most are on the mainland.
But this is home for me now. I don't know what I'm going to do when I have to leave.
So I'm back to being speechless.