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R&R diary (not boots on the ground, but socks on the floor)

Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 in Army wife, Military Spouses

Today my husband gets on a plane to Kuwait and two days since he left home. It’s also two days away from the anniversary of my mother’s death. So in her honor I’m going to write a journal entry.

Mom kept a journal for many years and we all liked it that she did so. Sometimes she’d have to stay up later than she wanted so she could record whatever the TV weatherman said the high for the day was. She also recorded things like the number of pints or quarters she put up. Or if Dad bought a new pony at an auction or if she bought a new coat. Her entries are really pretty boring to read, but I treasure the couple of books I have. I’ll try to make this at least as interesting.

I do not wait well. I really hate those minutes before people show up to a party I host and I loath the hours I spend waiting to find out exactly when my soldier will be available for pick up. The only things you ever know for sure is that the time you’re given initially is just a shot in the dark. I was smart this time and went to the gym to work out. I had to carry my phone with me, but I had something to do with my nervous energy and if I broke anything it wasn’t something of mine. I got HabMoo’s phone call from Atlanta telling me his flight number and time while I was working on the ab machine.

I tried very hard not to be too early to the airport. I only had to wait five minutes or so. I imagined seeing him come down the stairs. Instead I saw him walk down the corridor and gave a little shout. It wasn’t too loud, but I’m sure people heard it. A small public display of affection followed.

I drove home. I never drive when he’s home unless I have to. But since he hasn’t driven above 10 MPH in the last six months and was sleep deprived, I took the wheel.

I had left the Xmas tree up, but had taken down some of the decorations thinking that we might want to decorate the tree together to make it feel like Xmas instead of January. That never happened, but we did take the tree down together which counts for something. It’s not festive, but it is a domestic chore which can be sort of bonding if you haven’t done one together for a while. We always give each other gifts at home, but this year we took them to his folks so there’d be more presents. That was a good plan. But we never got our traditional Xmas photo to post on Facebook. It seems like Facebook didn’t even notice.

I have a hard time with disruptions to my routine. That’s hard for me to believe that to be true. It makes me feel old and intractable, but it’s true. The second and third days of having HabMoo around talking to me outside the daily morning Skype visit got on my nerves a bit. I went to the gym one day so I did that little bit of routine and it helped. I have to remember that I need to do that when he comes home in spring.

HabMoo pointed out a few other aspects of my habits I’d rather not notice. Yes, I had left a bowl of oil and vinegar out for over a month. Yes, I live like a stereotypical bachelor when he’s not home. But I do change my underwear everyday and I brush my teeth so I’m not completely a lost soul. I might eat a bell pepper like an apple for lunch, but so what? I mostly remembered to close the bathroom door while he was home.

I got special dispensation to attend the annual “mancation” so that I’d let him attend. It’s an all-male party at a cabin in Wisconsin and involves secret stuff I’m not allowed to talk about. That’s their official poster for this year’s event on the right. Mostly it’s loud, involves a lot of food and booze, and allowed me to play some of my favorite board games. I also took a few walks out on the frozen lake and looked at bald eagle and Canadian goose tracks.

At home, we played a lot of board games, painted board game miniatures, shopped for board game related paraphernalia, and talked about board games. We ate at Chipotle, Five Guys, and Origami. We also renewed our driver’s licenses, cancelled out each other’s votes in a local election, and packed up books and other stuff to get out of the house before we put it up for sale. Pretty basic vacation stuff?

We also watched a few movies. I had never seen Indiana Jones so we watched that. I should have seen it when it came out instead of waiting I guess. I wasn’t impressed. We also watched Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. I love it that HabMoo loves the Planet of the Apes franchise as much as I do. On his last night at home I suggested a romantic movie and he said, “What? Like Romeo + Juliet?” And I realized here’s where our age difference really comes into play. He likes the 1996 version with Leonardo diCaprio and I like the Franco Zeffirelli 1968 version. So we watched Mystery Science Theater’s Catalina Capers instead.

The last day of his stay was made more complicated by the failure of an alarm and the snowy road conditions. But that stress was better than last time when I waited at the gate with him for his plane to leave. Worst idea ever. It was much better to kiss and run just outside the airport.

Temperatures during his visit were unseasonably warm and he didn’t get a chance to use the snow shoes I gave him for Xmas.

  1. Oh, K, so many challenges. And the two of you meet them with grace. I love this post.

  2. I love to read your journals. It’s really special that you are inspired by and continue to carry on the tradition your mother set. Take care and keep journaling and sharing. Love ya, Peg

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