April 21, 2011

Tragedy Strikes Again.

I would love to write about myself, or my move, or how my kids are adjusting to the thought of living life in a different country, or about how I am going to help my family adjust to a life that is going to be different  from everything I have ever known.

15:00 Saturday April 16:
     "Babe, did you know we're under a tornado watch?" I ask. I always pay attention to the weather.
     "It's supposed to be really bad." Growing up on the north eastern edge of Tornado Ally has me poised for action.
     "Alright." He's watching the baseball game so I put the baby down for a nap, and give our son a snack.

15:30 Saturday April 16:
     The sky is greyish blue. The air is still and stagnant, and the rain is falling intermittently. The neighbors across the cul-de-sac are out watching the clouds move from southwest to northeast. The wind is strong and making the tall pine trees sway impossibly from side to side. We have no idea of the devastation that is about to occur.

15:50 Saturday April 16:
     Our power is out. Yep. Nearly dinner time and the power is out. Good thing that we're smoking ribs because that's the only thing we've got thats ready.

16:00 Saturday April 16:
      The power is still out. We've played with the kids, read every story we own. (that I can stand)

17:00 Saturday April 16:
      After a split second of me thinking that I've heard the quintessential locomotive is roaring through, my panic has subsided, and the clouds have parted. The sun is shinning again. Literally.

If only we knew how close we came to total loss we probably would have been cowering in the spider infested crawl-space underneath our house. Instead we were perched precariously in our living room as though nothing out of the ordinary were happening. Little did we know that slightly more than a mile away, neighborhoods were being wiped off the map.

The border between Fort Bragg and Fayetteville has been wiped out. There is a swatch of land 10 miles in length stretching west to east, about a half mile wide that has been completely obliterated. There is nothing left. Only snapped trees, splintered lumber, and scattered brick. I have never seen anything like it before in my life. There are cars stacked on top of cars. There are businesses that have been leveled. There are schools that are closed for the rest of the year. There are people that have lost their homes, their clothes, their food, their cars, everything they have. Gone.

Does this make me selfish for worrying about what in the heck I am going to do with the crap I have sitting in my closets that I haven't used since we moved from Fort Benning? I hope not since I am giving some to my unexpectedly pregnant friend and the rest to tornado relief. Does that make me a better person?

Today we drove past the worst of the damage. To say it took my breath away is an understatement. I am probably like a lot of people at the moment. People who got lucky because of geography and who don't know how to help. My answer to them is the same as it is to myself. Give. Give to the Red Cross. Give an hour or two of your time. Give what they need. Ask what they need, and give it. These people are our neighbors, our friends, our teachers, our coworkers, and they need us now.

April 14, 2011

A Bad Case of the Blahs

I've been out of the writing mood for a while. Sure I've tried but with everything that has been happening in our country, with the whole "your husband won't be getting paid" thing, gas prices, and the nuclear crisis in Japan, my neurosis seemed trivial in comparison. But as I've learned, the hard way in a lot of cases, life charges ahead no matter what. So here we are.

I've been itchy lately. Cranky. Bitchy even. Just ask my husband. I've been thinking for days about what could possibly be the cause of this horrible funk I've been in. It's become so bad that I don't even want to be around myself. . . and that's bad.

Then it dawned on me. I'm tired. Tired of being here. It's almost moving time, and there is so much on my to do list but the problem is that I can't even begin my to do list until we arrive at our new duty station. I am ready to get to where we need to be, get on with the business of getting acquainted with our new home and making some good friends. I'm tired of waiting for the unknown to become known. I am more than ready to embark on our next adventure.

This weekend is our final "clear house" weekend, and then we're done. There is quite literally nothing left for me to do until the movers come. We already know what items are going to be accompanied baggage but it is obviously WAY to early to even think of packing that up.

Until then.

April 6, 2011

Freaking O.U.T.

Is it April already? Really? That means there are. . . 

I count on my fingers. . . 

There are 3 more months until we move. Then my husband brought in his training schedule. The last 4 weeks before we go to Japan he will spend out in the field. That gives us only 6 weeks until he goes into the field, including the week and a half of field time at the end of this month. . . 6 WEEKS?!?! My heart accelerates and my stomach drops into my butt. I feel the tears coming but refuse to let them fall. They WILL NOT fall. . . 

Time has gone by so fast. I've been trying not to take it for granted. I've been trying so hard to soak up every last minute we have of living in the United States but it's been flying by. So, we have 6 weeks to get all of our effects in order before he goes into the field. I've already made it clear that I will not be dealing with and sorting through our household items by myself while trying to take care of 2 kids. I've already moved us once all by myself, without children, and it sucked big time. 6 weeks to have his help before they come to evaluate our items.

I look around at our living room and think of the closets, garage, and immense amounts of kitchen crap we have. Lord. There is still so much to do and to think I felt so accomplished last week when I made it through my closet. How stupid of me.

It's a good thing I'm not high strung. . . oh. wait. 

So I've resolved to do this. I will take things one step at a time. I will get our house cleaned out and ready for our move. I will enjoy the last weeks I have living in the U.S. I will enjoy the spring and summer with my children, family, and my friends. I will take a deep breath and know that everything will get done. I will remember that my home is where my husband and my children are, no matter what. I will remember that I will make new friends who will become like family.

No matter where I live in the world I can make it home. I have to remember what I've been telling my mother since we found out we were moving to Japan, and that's that we are still only a plane ride away. 

Only a plane ride away.