You may recall that we've just moved. Or maybe you just thought I'd fallen off the planet. At any rate, we managed to accept our household goods one day and then the next day we flew to another state to retrieve our children and second vehicle. We visited with my sister for a few days (she took care of our girls for us that week we were getting the house ready and trying to move in). Then we went on to yet another state to visit Stretch's family (which included a side trip to yet another state -- we're up to 3 now if you are counting, not including the one we started from).
We left family and started our drive back to our new home 3 states away. On the way, we stopped in Myrtle Beach for a night so we could have dinner with one of Stretch's Naval Academy room-mates and his family. It was the first chance I had to meet them. We've been married 10 years and we finally proved to them that I actually exist (and so do the kids!). I still heard his ex-roomie remark, "I still say Stretch was on the beach this afternoon with his wallet saying, 'I need a mom and 2 kids!'"
After a grueling 3 days in the car, we finally make it to our new Maison Dragonfly. Then the serious unpacking had to begin. But there was a catch. Isn't there always? In the midst of all of the unpacking, I also had to start packing. Because we were off on yet another trip! My cousin was getting married and the girls were going to be flower girls in her wedding.
In true military family fashion, no one from this part of my family had met L'il Sis yet and she turned FOUR in May. Big Sis hadn't seen any of them since she was 2, so didn't remember anyone and kept asking who "these people" were and how were we related. But they were excited about the wedding and their princess dresses. My sister's daughter was the third flower girl so they were even more excited.
But the real fun was yet to come. We had an evening flight to return home. Which would have been fine except there was heavy weather at the airport of our connecting flight. We were delayed. Then delayed again. Eventually, they boarded us onto the flight. Only to tell us that all flights had again been grounded and they were looking for another update in 50 minutes. So we just sat in the plane at the gate. Fun! The next time the control tower lifted the ban on taking off, our pilot did so as quickly as possible.
Of course, there weren't 4 seats together. Stretch sat with the kids. I was in a window seat next to a stranger. Who went to sleep. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except I developed a need for the restroom. But we were almost to the next airport so I thought I'd try to hold it. When the plane landed, I was one of the first people in the aisle. Stretch knew I was in pain and told me to just go and get to the nearest one and he'd follow with the kids. We're still standing in the aisle. Then the pilot announces that they are waiting on the guy to drive the jet way to the plane. He takes his merry little time getting there. Or at least that's how it felt. He finally arrives. Still no jet way. The pilot announces there is a mechanical problem with the jet way but mechanics are on their way and will get it fixed in no time. At this point, I would have been happy with a ladder! Finally, the jet way was in place and the door was open. I made my way out as quickly as a woman with a full bladder can. Thankfully, there was restroom just across the hall from the gate. I ducked in. ALL the stalls were full! I was beginning to think there was a conspiracy!
Finally, mission accomplished, I reached for my cell phone to call Stretch to find out which gate they were at for the connecting flight. It went straight to voicemail. I started to panic a little. I called back but then my phone was ringing to let me know I had a voicemail. I pulled it up and heard, not a message, but my husband talking to whoever was manning the gate at his end, "our flight just landed...my wife is in the head...no, she couldn't wait..." I hung up and dialed Stretch again. He answered this time. He told me which gate to go to and then added, "Run. They've already closed the door." Just peachy.
I get there and find I am not alone. There is a man waiting to board and someone in a flight uniform who turns out to be the co-pilot. The door is unlocked and the 3 of us head down the jet way. My family is waiting for me at the end of it. Big Sis' eyes has been crying. She grabs my arm and doesn't let go. Of course, our seats are near the back of the plane. When we finally get to them, an announcement comes on that the XO has arrived and he will be nice enough to turn on the A/C. Apparently, these people had been sitting on this plane for a long time. Without A/C. But we were still waiting. On the pilot. Yeah, I could have been spared the slight coronary that I'd been given exiting the ladies' room.
We finally made it home just after 2 a.m. Big Sis (who didn't sleep the entire trip) kept saying how tired she was and that we would all need to go to bed as soon as we got into the house. No arguments here!
Back to the land of boxes...
Now, I've heard of mil-spouses who tackle the unpacking and get it done in less than a week. These are super-women. I don't understand how they do it. I actually know one from our last duty station. While her husband was deployed, she moved onto base, had her house unpacked within two weeks, AND hosted an event in her new home. Yeah, let me tell you, that is so NOT happening here. And not for lack of trying. The boxes just seem to multiply. Well, since I'm still knee-deep in the unpacking of it all, I guess I'd better get back to it...