Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Adventures Never End

I had every intention of having a nice, quiet last as a "single" wife. My teacher friend Anna and I had our Friday night date planned, which usually consists of going to the commisary (that's a grocery store on base) and then getting dinner and watching tv. We started our date night just fine. Went to the commisary and had no problems. We ordered chinese food on the way home. We got to Anna's house and she asks "do you remember me grabbing my keys?" Nope, sure don't. We were locked out. Well, her neighbor has a key to her house, but Jake was on his way to Wilmington to get his wife from the airport. Ok, no problem still. We call and drive to meet him to get the key to his house so we can get Anna's key. We're on our way back to get our chinese food and my car doesn't sound quite right. We stop to get the chinese food and when Anna returns to my car it sounds pretty bad. We start to go and we hear a grinding noise. Grinding noises are never good. We decide to keep driving because we really aren't far from her house and what else could we really do? We're about a 1/2 mile from her house, driving down the road and we hear "chink" as something falls from my car and hits the pavement. My heart sinks and I'm thinking..."Oh hell what do we do now?" We keep driving because we are close enough to Anna's house that I'm pretty sure we can make it there. And if we can't then we can get close enough to walk to her house and figure out what to do next. So I go to turn onto her road and I have to use all my might to turn the wheel. I have NO power steering. Not good. We finally make it to her house and by now the battery light is on and my car temp has shot up and the hood is steaming. I'm thinking the worst that the engine is quitting, the transmission, or that I did some stupid girl move and forgot to do some scheduled maintenance or something and have ruined my car. Anna and I unload the groceries and go inside to eat our chinese food. A bit later we call Jake to ask him some questions about what it could be. He sends us out to look under the hood. We looked and the serpentine belt was loose. Jake thinks it has to be something with the belt and nothing more. Anna and I then check all the fluids and are poking our heads around trying to figure out if we can see anything else that might be wrong. We even take a pic of us with my camera and our heads under the hood. I had just pulled the camera out from under the hood and BOOM! The hood slams shut. Anna is like "OMG, that could have been my head! It's time to go inside now." Jake comes home, he's the friendly neighborhood mechanic, and looks at my car. He determines it just needs an idler pulley. Apparently that is what hit the ground because it is totally gone. It shouldn't be too expensive to fix, which is good because when you hear part of your car hit the ground you instantly think "please don't let me die and how much is this going to cost me?" It rained all day so no fix today, but hopefully tomorrow we'll get it back in working order. I seem to have not so good luck with my vehicles. I think I better move back to "the big city" where I can take public transportation a lot. I will never forget the sound of something falling from my car and hitting the pavement as I'm driving. Thank God it happened just as it did though because this could have ended in a totally different way. I could have been stranded or hurt or left to figure out what was wrong all on my own.

Please can we just get my husband home asap before I have to suffer through any more adventures? It won't be too much longer at this point, but still. An interesting side note: He had called while I was driving to the chinese restaurant and had just hung up the phone with him when the trouble started. Thank goodness he wasn't on the phone as I heard my car go "chink" cause I can only imagine what he would have thought or heard. Poor guy would have been left on the boat wondering what the heck happened. Only a couple more days. I am SO excited to have my husband back home. I'll probably follow him everywhere that first day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Almost the End!

I'll start with a family update. My Pap seems to be doing much better. His second surgery he ended up having a blood clot that caused the issue. They put him on meds and my Nana and Pap are hopefully enjoying their winter in Florida. So family stress is gone at this point.

I am trying to wait patiently for these last few days of the deployment to end. I have plans this evening for my last "Friday Night Date" with Anna, another teacher friend whose husband is also deployed. I think we are going to put together bookshelves! I'll be joining her for a few more dates before her husband is home, but she may have to endure hanging out with some of "the boys" as well. Saturday plans are up in the air at the moment. May head to Wilmington, may not. Sunday is a day of rest, yeah right! I'll be doing last minute cleaning, lesson plans, and bathing the cats. They're getting kind of stinky since their last bath before Christmas. They're boys, I should expect that by now. Then another week of teaching begins. Most likely I will be missing a day to pick up my husband!!!! Woooohooooo! I am more than ready to say goodbye to being a single wife. I really can tell the end is in sight because when my husband called this morning to ask a few more questions from his "list." I wasn't excited, I was annoyed. It was good to hear his voice, but I'm like....can this not wait x amount of days til you get home? Silly man needs more to do than sit on a ship in the middle of the ocean with time to think. His wife is at home with many other tasks to fill her days. I predict a grumpy Wizzel next week 'cause I probably won't get much sleep when he gets home. He'll be all rested and ready to run all over town and then I'm used to sleeping all by my lonesome...he's noisy. I didn't sleep well when we first moved in together...not for at least two months. Oh well, I sound all doom and gloom, but I really an excited and happy. I promise I am. :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Choices, Coming Home, & Family

There are several things that have happened since my last post. I hadn't realized that I haven't written since November. The month of December flew by so fast. I'm thankful for that, but it made me a very tired Wizzel.

The first thing on my mind is how much Jacksonville, NC has been in the news as well as the Marine Corps in relation to the murder of a female marine. If you don't know about it, turn on CNN or google it. I guarantee you will find much more information than you really ever thought you needed to know. I won't give much of an opinion on this case other than the fact that there is still so much we just don't know/aren't being told at this time. I agree with Onslow County Sheriff who stated that the ending to this story would be bizarre. Personally, I think the wife of the accused knows a lot more than she is telling and was pretty involved in this somehow. Some say the Marine Corps was in the wrong in their actions and I won't agree or disagree on that. The Marine Corps has a way of releasing information on a need to know basis. Those who need to know do and those (the general public) who don't need to know everything right now don't. I respect and admire Marines for just simply doing there job, because as a wife of a Marine I know some of what it really takes for a Marine to do their job. I also will say that everything both good and bad that I have ever heard said about Marines is true. It's not all true for every Marine, but there is a Marine that falls into each category. It doesn't change my respect for them, or the love I have to those Marines that I hold very dear in my heart.

In relation to this newsworthy turn of events I have heard rumors that the Westboro Baptist Church will be coming to hold a protest here in Jacksonville to show us just how "godless and lawless" Marines and those who love them really are. If you don't know who the WBC is they are the rather small group of radicals that go around protesting fallen warriors funerals, anything homosexual, and pretty much anything else they deem "godless". (I'm purposefully using a lowercase G for godless because the God I know doesn't discriminate amongst his people.) If you would like to view further info their website is I'm left feeling a mixture of emotions at this turn of events. I know I'm supposed to love my neighbor, but I'm finding it very hard to even think about being remotely respectful to these people if they choose to come to this city. They are more than unwelcome in this town, at least from the consensus I've heard. My first reaction was to be part of a planned counter protest...and then I thought about it a minute longer. I think it would be wise for me to stay far, far away from these people. I'm never sure what radicals will do and I know any Marine or Marine supporter that comes into contact with these people will have a lot to say to them. I'm afraid that if there is a confrontation it will only add to the WBC publicity and the fact that we are supposedly godless. The Marine Corps has passed along a letter stating that Marines should avoid these people and recommending that the wives stay away as well. There has been some uproar with some wives about the Marine Corps not having a right to recommend this because their husband signed the contract, not them. While I as a wife did not sign a contract with the Marine Corps, I did sign a marraige license with a man who has. As a wife it is my job to support him in what he does and respect his career choices. If that means staying away from a protest, even if I really had wanted to go, I would in order for him to be free from reprimand. I am subject to altered "rules" as a result of my marraige to him. It isn't so very different from a civilian standpoint. My husband is subjected to different rules as a result of marrying a teacher. As a teacher I am placed in the spotlight as a role model to students. While that image has evolved greatly the last few years there are still many things I choose not to do and ask that my husband not do in order to be that role model for my students. I don't want to be a teacher of questionable character. I dont' want to be the wife of a Marine with questionable loyalty either. I'm hoping that our wintry weather forecast will keep these radicals at bay this weekend and by next weekend they will have moved on to some other issue.

The next thing I have been planning and preparing for is my husband's homecoming. He should be home by Super Bowl Sunday. I have been working on homecoming banners, cleaning the house, shopping for groceries to make his favorite foods, and many other things. I can't believe the end of this deployment is so close. There were times when I never felt like it would ever end and other times that I have felt like time has flown by. I've managed to keep busy with the help of the other wives, some very special friends, and my students. The months and weeks of counting are almost done and he will be back home with me where he belongs. We end our phone calls with the question "where are we going?" (for our date in our dreams) and I said this last time "home" and he asked "where is home...DC...AL...NC...?" and I replied that "home is with me, I'm in NC so you're coming here." It made me start thinking back to when I realized that home was really a feeling and people, not a place or a building. I discovered that shortly after my parents divorce. I had lived in one house for the majority of my life (it was the only house I remembered) and the time came to move out of it after the divorce. I was heartbroken. It was my "safe place" to at least feel ok when the rest of my world as I knew it was falling down around my ears. It took awhile, but I eventually came to realize that as long as I had the people I loved around me then I was always "home." When I moved in with Dave in DC I was home. Even though I was so far from the rest of my family and friends, home was with him. It's probably the one reason I have been able to survive moving so many times already in life. I've lived in countless places at this point and it takes me a minute to think up my address and home phone number. In my defense I've had a new address almost every year for the past 5 years. Between moving from northern Ohio to southern Ohio, moving around the OU campus, and then moving to DC (for a whole 9 months) and then to NC my brain is now having trouble remembering what the current one is sometimes. Anyhow, I digress, the point is Dave will be home soon and I can hardly wait. I've been waiting for a very long time now for a healing hug from him and boy do I need one right about now...

The last part of the title is family and mine is making me crazy towards the end of this dpeloyment. The deployment started with Dave's shoulder issue and he may need surgery upon his return to dry land. Probably should have had it instead of deploy, but he didn't and the deployment is almost over now anyhow. Then fast forward several months to my Pap. He had a heart catheterization on my birthday where they put in five stints. A week later he decides they are going to Florida for their annual 3 month stay and starts driving. He gets to SC and has chest pains, they end up doing another surgery, and he is ok at this point. I think this has caused the most stress because my Pap is the rock in our family. He is a man of few words, but the ones he does say are wise and well chosen. He is a man I respect. And after talking with my sister I realized that the two of us do not use our father, like most women, as the "perfect man" that any future mate is measured...we compare them to Pap instead. When my dad called to wish me Happy Birthday I barely let him get the phrase out before I asked if he had heard anything about Pap's first surgery. My other grandfather has been through a few heart surgeries several years ago, but for some reason Pap needing surgery was more worrisome to me. I guess it is because I feel like my Pap should be invicible. I know he really isn't, but I'm just not ready to think about him not being around. Then my mother in law had some scary health issues crop up the week after Pap's first heart surgery. Scary enough to throw our future plans in a tail spin. The health issues have since then been lessened and we're waiting on one more round of test results before we can breath a sigh of relief. Pap and my mother in law combined led to a stress meltdown for me. I was so stressed after talking to my husband that I couldn't sit still and I was shaking. I haven't been that stressed in a very long time. I can't even remember the last time I was in such a state. That's about the time I decided to purchase the elliptical machine from one of my teacher friends. Tonight is the first night since purchasing it that I haven't been "running" on it. I was just too cold and tired after this week to get on the darn hamster wheel. I'll be back on it tomorrow though.

So, that is only a portion of what has been going on lately. I'll be cleaning house tomorrow and staring at the calendar wishing I could fast forward the days just a bit. I need that hug and the comfort in knowing he's home. It won't be long now though...