Last swim meet

Who knew that six weeks ago, when I posted about the fact that I was coaching again, it would all be coming to an end much sooner than I expected? I sure didn't. As frustrating as this season has been it has been equally rewarding, if not more so, and I was  really looking forward to taking the team even further. There is talk about the high school reinstating their swim team now that the move to the new high school is complete and I was looking forward to being involved in that possibly.

Today was my last swim meet as the coach.

I tried not to think about it much while standing on deck but it was difficult not to. Watching our swimmer J. swim a 50 of each stroke when, at the beginning of the season, he could barely make it from one end of the pool to the other was tough. Knowing how far he came in such a short amount of time makes me so proud of him. Watching several of our swimmers who have struggled both with starts and turns really start to improve on them and be willing to try them during a race made my heart swell. And being able to hang out on a hot pool deck and just chit chat with them all (while trying to take splits for 4 kids in the same race) was the best way I could think of to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Oh, how I missed this. And oh, how I will miss it again.

I despise goodbyes and I was hoping that our exit from military life would allow me to at least cut back on them. Apparently not. 

We pack out in less than two weeks and fly a few days thereafter. To say this has been a whirlwind would be an understatement. I'm still trying to process it all. The upside is that everyone's tour here is short so maybe our early goodbye will spare me having to say goodbye to friends over and over and over as they leave (if we were to stay).

But I am still sad. I love the kids on my team and I love what they've built and the one silver lining is that the team is in excellent hands with the woman who has been coaching alongside me. We've had someone else come along and express interest in helping out so my hope is that the two of them can continue to build the program. I can't wait to see where it goes.

Our fundraiser for the pups is going well and we are already over $2,000 in funds raised. I am humbled by the response. You can check out the donation site HERE

I am going to go lick my wounds a bit and then get my act together for our end-of-the-season party. I think they expect me to give a speech or something...


- hfs


Life changes (again) and a bleg

People often ask us how long we're here. Most military families are here for 1-2 years. My answer has always been, "Until God tells us to leave or another job opens up stateside." We were anticipating being here 2-3 years. Last week, MacGyver found out that his position was being defunded.

God is definitely telling us to leave. 

Not what we anticipated and we are scrambling. 

Flight time has been difficult to come by - a battle at times. There are a variety of factors at play, some of which include the fact that the F-model is like a new car (compared to the D-model 'beater' it replaced) and therefore doesn't break down as frequently and the fact that the brigade has a full complement of maintenance test pilots at the moment. MacGyver's flight hours never really materialized and the position is now being defunded. From a bottom-line perspective, it makes sense. No sense in paying a guy not to fly. From my perspective, it sucks. 

August is the hottest month here. We adopted 2 rescue pups, not realizing that civilian contractors do not have anything that resembles 'orders' upon their exit. Orders of some kind would have exempted us from the cargo fees necessary to ship animals during the summer months. And this is on top of the fact that MacGyver racked up only single digit flight time in his year here (not including simulator time, which he racked up copious amounts of time). Needless to say, this year has been somewhat of a bust. He did manage to complete the F-model training which makes up for a lot of the other frustrations with the situation but he's not yet really been able to fly in it because, like a new car, they rarely break. 

So we are headed back to the states in just a short while. I am disappointed and glad to get out of here at the same time. Leaving my swim team just as I was getting into a groove and making some headway in terms of securing more lanes and more practice time for my swimmers is frustrating to say the least. However, the other person I have working with me is awesome and I have no doubt that she will take the team to a higher level. Also, last week, another person showed up on deck and expressed interest in helping to coach - she also brings with her extensive swimming experience so I am excited to see her come on board and I hope the team continues to grow. We have one more meet and then our end-of-the-season party. It will be so hard to say goodbye to these kids. 

There are a lot of other things I will miss about this place and many things I will NOT miss. But that's another blog post for another time. Trust me, it's coming.

For now, I have a bleg. Getting the pups off the peninsula in light of a non-existent paycheck just as we were getting our financial feet back under us after months of unemployment is proving difficult. That being said, at the urging of many of my friends and family, I created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for their shipping. You can find it HERE. Anything raised beyond the amount necessary to cover shipping costs will be donated to Homeward Bound which is an animal shelter designed to help find foster and permanent homes for pets of servicemembers that cannot be kept. They do good work up there. 

Help us get home! http://www.gofundme.com/cokoyw

So, if you have a moment to go check out Ginger and Mishka's fundraising page and either donate or share it, I'd really appreciate it.

Time to go pack some boxes. Again. Didn't I *just* do this?!? On to the next adventure!


- hfs


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