The Great Wait… For Orders

It’s that time. Time to start thinking about deployments and care packages and how I’m going to adjust to solo parenting without any communication with my husband for months at a time.

Yup… we are in the window for our orders (and yes, OUR orders because as a MilSpouse, I’m included on those orders). Huzzy will be detaching his current command in November and should have to report sometime in December.

Besides a three year tour recruiting in Michigan (which was kinda his choice), he has been stationed here in Washington state ever since he completed his training. That’s more than 10 years here, total. There are only two places he can be stationed (besides recruiting), and that’s here and Kings Bay, Georgia. KB is the armpit of Georgia… it’s 40 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, so it’s definitely southern Georgia. It’s located on a built-up swamp and is a pretty isolated area.

It’s always been easy to stay in Washington because, for some reason, many people would prefer to go to Georgia (maybe because they like the heat or closer to family, etc), and 60% of the submarines are stationed in Washington. Never been an issue.

Until now.

Huzzy’s ability to look/shop for orders was supposed to open on the 1st, but now it’s been pushed back to the evening of the 13th. However, he talked to the detailer and was already asked if he’d go to KB… and to the least desirable boat type as well. He’d be miserable. Absolutely miserable.

We do not, under any circumstances, want to go to KB. Besides the fact that we love it here in Washington and absolutely hate weather in the south, we have a house here, my mom is considering moving here to help me with Skipper once she’s born (and she will not move to Georgia as she hates the heat as much as I do), and it’ll be financially detrimental to us. I have been planning on starting my own communication consulting business after she’s born, which I wouldn’t be able to do if we moved until after we moved and got really settled and THEN had to start fresh with no contacts. We also have a house that, due to the current market, would cost us several hundred a month even if we were able to rent it out… on top of the rent in KB that we’d have to do. I’ve looked at rentals there and, like here, the BAH is several hundred dollars shy of what we’d need to rent a house. So we’d be out probably at least $500 a month between the two… and BAH is more than $200 lower there. So that’s approaching $1,000 less in the budget. Not do-able.

I could get an additional job, of course (on top of Jamberry and my Navy Reserve stuff)… but the closest city where that would be possible is 45 minutes away with no traffic. Commuter traffic would probably make it in the hour one-way commute. Plus, then there’d be daycare expenses as well that would eat into it.

And really, I realize that this is something all military spouses go through, but when you have been told (and have 10+ years of personal experience behind it) that you’d never have to leave… it’s a rough transition of thought. On top of that, I’m, of course, just about two weeks away from full term and five weeks from my due date. I have enough to worry about without this unexpected stress.

I just hope Huzzy can grab orders to something here. Even if it is the least desirable boat.

 

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Thursday Thirteen #8: Random Thoughts

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
~Winnie the Pooh

It’s time for the Thursday Thirteen again. If you have a Thursday Thirteen of your own, leave your website in the comments section and I’ll try my darndest to visit it 🙂

13 Random Thoughts

  1. I suddenly looked down the other day and noticed that our 17 month old Great Pyrenees puppy is no longer a puppy.  He’s filled out and is totally boxy now instead of lean and lanky. It happened pretty much overnight
    Skah at only 11 months... he had lots more growing to do!

    Skah at only 11 months... he had lots more growing to do!

    (which is probably why he’s limping… they do that when they have huge growth spurts).  My puppy is gone!  But at least he’s replaced by a majestic, regal dog.

  2. Why do people insist on being stupid? Ignorant I can deal with but stupid is a whole ‘nother ball game.
  3. I hope I get gained by my Navy Reserve command in the next few weeks. I’d love to start drilling soon.
  4. My commissioning ceremony is Saturday. Holy Moley, it’s turned into something huge! Apparently the CO of the recruiting district has made it mandatory for all recruiters in this zone. Probably has something to do with the good connections both my place of work and myself have with him.
  5. I’m terrified that I’m going to show how new I am that day. I had to ask the local Chief with help on how my combo cover is supposed to fit.  And I just finally figured out today a good way to do my hair the way I’m supposed to.
  6. I was about to cut off said hair to my chin just so I didn’t have to deal with putting it up the “proper” way, which I couldn’t figure out until today.
  7. This past weekend marked 3 months that Huzzy and I have been married.
  8. By the time I see him, we’ll have been apart 11 out of 18 weeks of our marriage. Most will say that it’s the Navy life, but he’s not on deployment.  That will happen sometime this fall.
  9. I need to make a page on OPSEC (Operational Security) so people know why I can’t be more specific than “this fall.”  I got the idea of doing a page like this from To the Nth. I hope she doesn’t mind me copying her idea.
  10. I am really craving some Olive Garden Soup, Salad and Breadsticks lunch. Huzzy and I need to save as much as we can since we are supporting two households (and I am working two jobs to do that). But he went out with friends to see Transformers last night and I think I should get something, too. Besides, that lunch won’t cost as much as the movie did.
  11. I really need to get my house finished and on the market. I’m glad my mom and brother are coming over this weekend to help. Too bad I have to work on Sunday, too.
  12. My mom is bringing over a twin mattress. WOO-HOO!!!! No more sleeping on couch cushions on the floor (though they are infinintely better than sleeping on an air mattress that can’t hold its air)!
  13. I need to start doing these things days in advance so they are already up and I don’t have to scramble around every Thursday morning to get my morning stuff done AND my TT.

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The First Goodbye

Parting is such sweet sorrow.
~William Shakespeare’s  “Romeo and Juliet”

I’m sorry but Shakespeare is full of bullroarky.   Parting with your husband while he goes off on a deployment–or in our case, moving to a new duty station alone before deploying–is never “sweet.”  And if it is sweet, I’d have to say that you need to re-evaluate your marriage.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  Saying goodbye was tough.  Really tough. And when Huzzy started tearing up himself, it just made it that much worse.  Not only were my tears for my sadness, but seeing that he was hurting too made me hurt that much more. He also said that having to get in his truck and leave me was much worse than leaving on deployment… because when he’ll deploy, someone else will be driving away–he’ll just be on the vessel that is going. Last night, he was the one who had to put one foot in front of the other and leave.

But we’ll be okay. I know this because our love is strong. And it’s what we have to do. As my mom has always told me when things got tough, “Other people can do it, so you can do it too.”  I have used this as my motto from the time I was young.  Thanks, Mom, for that phrase.

And to help get through the first few weeks of our first separation–what I’ve been told are the worst of the worst–I have a lot of projects left to do.  I still have to nail the back of our kitchen counter on, take all the doors off the cabinets, sand them down, add moulding and stain, paint the outside of my house and paint most of the walls inside the house.  That’ll keep me busy for a while!

What does make it hard is that other than a few people, no one at work knows he’s gone. They can’t know because I want to keep my job. I don’t think they’d fire me, but who knows… my immediate boss does know and she’s pretty close to the top of the food chain. So when people asked, “Did you have a good weekend?” I have to smile, and lie.  What I really want to say is, “No, I didn’t.  My husband of less than two months left me to drive by himself 2,300 miles to a new duty station and I’m stuck here.  I should be making that long drive with him.  Now I’ll have to do it by myself with three dogs and two cats.  No, I’m not fine and my weekend was not good.”

But I won’t. Because I’m a Navy wife and it’s what we do. We don’t let people know when our husbands leave for reasons of OPSEC (mine isn’t deploying just yet so it’s no secret he’s gone–no secret unless you work with me, that is!).

It’s the life of a Navy wife.

~Wifey

PCSing Part 2

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.
~Robert Fulghum

Moving Day #1 was easy. Which should have had me prepared for what happened on Moving Day #2.  But it didn’t.

The truck driver who is driving our stuff out to Washington showed up on time at 8 a.m. The movers (two of the three guys who were here packing the day before) showed up abotu 45 minutes later. But that gave me time.

Time to do what you ask? To find my missing cat. We have several animals, including two cats named Jake and Sadie.  We needed to have all the animals put into two rooms so that there was no risk of anyone getting out while the movers had the doors open. Dogs in one room, cats in the other. Dogs are really easy to get into the room.  You just tell them and they go.

Cats don’t operate that way. Jake is easy to corner into a room because he’s totally food motivated. Sadie was born a

Sadie laying on the couch.

Sadie laying on the couch.

feral cat and if she thinks there is any way that you are going to pick her up or that she is going to be corraled somewhere, she wants no part of it.  So after being locked in a room the first day, Sadie sure as heck wasn’t going to allow me to do the same to her the second day.

I fed the cats in the morning and, of course, my foodie Jake was easy to lock in once he heard the food. Sadie, on the other hand, took off running toward the basement. I followed her because the last thing I wanted was a loose cat in the house when the movers were coming in and out.  She saw me, so headed back up the stairs and I again followed her.

But it was then that I lost track of her. I looked everywhere: behind the furniture, under the furniture, in the fireplace, behind boxes–I even went back to the basement to look for her.  No luck.

So the movers arrived and as I held back tears, I let them know that there was a cat loose. I figured that she’d hide and not move a muscle until whatever she was using as cover was picked up to be put in the moving truck. Then, she’d hightail it somewhere else, but that I’d hopefully catch sight of her. I was hoping that she didn’t try running up or down the basement stairs only to be met with another mover. You see, the only thing that scares Sadie more than the unknown outside world is unknown strangers… and especially male strangers. So I had a feeling that she’d choose to run outside instead of trying to run by a strange man. And if she ever made it outside, there was no way I was going to get her back. She’d be gone for good.

So Huzzy and I manned the doors and would periodically try and look for the missing calico. I had a radio interview that I had to do at work at 10:15 in the morning, so I headed to work for a couple hours, expecting that there would have definitely at least been a sighting of Sadie by the time I returned.  When I got back a couple hours later, Huzzy was manning the side door and all the doors in the house were open.  He said that Sadie had not been found yet.

I looked around the house at the absence of furniture and boxes knowing that she should have been sighted by then. The worry and frustration of a missing cat and the sadness of the upcoming separation of Huzzy welled to the surface and spilled over my cheeks. Through the tears, I told Huzzy that the movers were not going to be allowed to leave until the cat was found. The last thing I wanted to do was unpack a dead cat months later.

I knew that if she had been mistakenly taken into the moving semi that she’d be terrified and would probably be meowing in the truck. I could go in alone and in the quiet and start talking to her and she’d finally talk back.

I decided to take one last look around the house and re-checked everything. Including the fireplace. Which is where I found her. Sadie had managed to wedge her self into the corner of the fireplace and was camoflaged because only her calico parts were showing… which blended perfectly with the bricks. I picked her up (one of her most hated things in life) and took her to the room where the other cat was being held. She clawed me and meowed pitifully the whole way but there was no way I was going to let her go. She actually tried to jump down into the room in joy… since that room hadn’t been touched by the movers and was familiar.

That should have been enough stress and strain for the day… but it wasn’t. After going to hug Huzzy in relief, I asked him if the dogs had been let out since breakfast (they go out when we get up and then again after breakfast… then they are set for the day until the evening two or three let outs). He said they hadn’t, so I started with the youngest dog, our deaf Great Pyrenees puppy, Skah, who is 15 months old.

Skah at 1 year old... and 10 pounds lighter than he is now at 15 months!

Skah at 1 year old... and 10 pounds lighter than he is now at 15 months!

I took him by the collar and, after checking to make sure the fence was still intact and closed, let him go outside to potty. I called him inside (okay, yeah he’s deaf, so I guess it would be better to say that I “signed to him” to come inside). He took a great big run up the ramp and after noticing that I had missed my grab for his collar, promptly took off for the wide open side door.

I hightailed it after him screaming for Huzzy to come and help. Knowing that he was not only a puppy who was enjoying “freedom” but also a deaf dog who couldn’t hear us calling him or hear cars coming, I started panicking. I didn’t run behind him because I didn’t want him to think that I was chasing him. So I ran in the street parallel to him while he ran across lawns and down sidewalks. I told Huzzy to get the truck because I wasn’t sure I could keep up with him for long (he was running really quickly). He started slowing down to check out things at the neighbors, but was still moving quickly.

Then I got lucky.

Skah decided to try to check out a backyard that had a dog in it. He went to the side of the house and went up to the chain link fence. But there was the house blocking one side and a stockade fence blocking the other. I knew that he had a lot of space to try and dart around me (it was about 10 feet of space) but I was ready to jump on top of him and tackle him.

But I didn’t need to do that. He saw that I had him pretty much cornered and gave me a look of, “Oh crap. Jig’s up.  I give up.”  And he walked right to me to let me grab his collar.

I walked him home as I panted the entire way (I really need to start running again, or I won’t make it through DCOIC when I do the reserve Navy officer mini-boot camp later this year). I pretty much collapsed after that.

I was done. PCSing had nearly killed me that day. And I haven’t even told you about our resident ghost showing up. That’s for another saga in the PCSing story. It’s a funny one, so wait for it!

-Wifey

Friday Fill-ins: 1st Edition

It’s time for…  Friday Fill-ins!

  1. Join me in welcoming the beautiful season of Spring… it’s going to be 70 today!
  2. Put a little laughter and fun in your day.
  3. Happiness is accepting your life and who you are… and being grateful for your blessings.
  4. This PCS move and learning the Navy life has me frustrated and confused.
  5. I’m waiting for my house to sell and/or for me to get a job so I can quickly join my husband in Washington.
  6. A box of Girl Scout cookies is hard to resist.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending time with Huzzy, tomorrow my plans include getting things ready for the movers and then working at a special event at work from 3:30-10 p.m. and Sunday, I want to finish getting things ready for the movers so I’m not stressed on Monday when the arrive!

-Wifey

Change… It’s a Navy life!

Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.
~Robert C. Gallagher

And except for the Navy.

We’ve had another change with our orders.  Par for the course, I know, but this is still my first PCS.  Even though I’m not the one PCSing for the time being.

Huzzy went to check out of his command and found out the the boat he was assigned to when he got his orders has been changed.  Surprise, surprise.  At least he is still on the same type of submarine that he wanted. He just changed boats and even what crew he was going to be on.

Not sure what the schedule for the new boat will be. Not that I can tell anyone anyway. I knew of the previous boat’s schedule a bit and knew what to plan for. Can’t plan on approximately when he’s going to be on a mission and when he’ll be on land yet.  And that’s murderous for a Type A planner like me.

I have a feeling the Navy will slowly but surely change me into a… what would you call the opposite of Type A? Type B? Type Z?  Anyway, I’m sure by the time Huzzy is done in 10 years I’ll not be a Type A planner anymore.

Go Navy!

-Wifey