Tag Archives: retirement

Comings and Goings

We start packing out in 12 days; that’s less than 2 weeks.  Yesterday we loaded up our Sequoia because my husband needed to go back down to Florida to do the final walk-through inspection on our new house.  Water and electricity should be up and running before the weekend is over.  He’s also put in an application for a job, so he wanted to be there in person to check on that.  There are things the moving company will not pack and things we don’t want them to pack – too many broken or missing items in previous moves – so he took some of that down with him. 

So, another week alone with the kids.  They are not out of school til next Thursday, so I still have my days to myself to get ready for the move.  I’m also trying to keep a regular routine going with working out, blogging, etc., but I know that some of that will have to be put on a back burner for a couple of weeks while we are packing, cleaning, travelling, and unpacking.

The kids keep going back and forth on their feelings about moving.  In general, they are excited.  We are going to be closer to lots of family.  We aren’t going to move again (well, except down the street when our final house is built).  We’ll be in Florida, where they were all 3 born and my husband and I were raised.  They can go watch the UF Gators sports teams live just about anytime they want to. 

Last night, however, our oldest son started to back-track and say he isn’t looking forward to the move as much.  I think some of that has to do with his girl friend of a year and a half.  She is the first person he’s ever gone out with, and they’ve had each other’s friendship for the past 2 school years.  I can understand his feelings.  Our daughter and youngest son have made a few good friends but no best friends.  They are used to leaving friends behind and stay in touch with several through e-mail and Facebook now.  As with all of our moves, we try to make it as easy a transition as we can.  I know as they are getting older, that it is getting harder, though.  I am glad that this will be our last military move.  We really have been lucky to have been stationed in so many great places.  The things we’ve seen and experienced most people wish for.  But now it’s our time to pass the torch.  My husband officially retired Monday morning at 12:01 am.  We just happened to be up watching the women’s college softball world series, so I was able to congratulate him and give him a little retirement gift. 

I wasn’t there when he joined the military 27 years ago yesterday.  He served in the Army Reserves for 7 1/2 years during high school and college.  After graduating, he decided he wanted to fly for the military, and the Navy recruited him.  Lucky for me, the Army didn’t have any slots for commissioned aviator officers at the time, and he went to Pensacola for Navy flight school.  We met about a month after he arrived, and here we are today, 19 years later, with 3 wonderful children.  I am so proud of my husband;  of his 44 years, 27 1/2 have been serving his country.  He was also an Army brat his first 12, so most of his life all he’s known is the military.  Here’s to his (and our family’s) smooth adjustment to civilian life – or maybe I should be saying, “Watch out everyone; here we come!”

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The Weekend

The kids and I have had a very nice 3-day weekend.  Saturday started out going to the beach with a couple of the kids’ friends.  The water was freezing, but they managed to get used to it and floated on their boogie boards for a while.  The boys dug and built sand castles and buried my youngest.  I tossed the frisbee around with my oldest for a bit, stuck my toes in the freezing water and ran back to my chair screaming like a girl and then took up my book club read for the rest of the time. 

Yesterday, we just hung around the house.  It was nice to do basically nothing (well I did do a little bit of work on the computer).  We were a little wiped out from the sun.

Today, we went over to a friend’s house whose husband is deployed on a ship.  She lives on a lake – I want to move in with her.  The view was gorgeous.  The food was great (but I had too much and am now paying for it – lots of running scheduled for the week ahead).  Her 2 little boys are so cute.

Tomorrow, my husband comes home from his 2-week trip to Florida.  The house down there is just about ready for us.  It’s strange to think we’ll be moving into it in a month.  My husband had a couple of job interviews while he was there and now has to decide the path he wants to take after his military retirement.  I will be looking for a job once I get down there.  I’m trying to take it one step at a time.  I am known to get a little stressed at move time because I think about all that has to be done and I want it all done right.  We’ll get there, and it will be easier if I try to remain calm.

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Enjoying the Now

My husband came home yesterday with a big packet of paper to fill out and said we needed to sit down with a calendar to plan out the next 6 months.  It’s all for his retirement June 1.  Ackkk!  I’m here trying to figure out where to put the Christmas tree, and he needs to tell the Navy when and where and what and how much.  I know the day will be here before we know it, and it’s a bit daunting.  Even though the military life is not the most desirable at times, it does have its securities. 

I will miss living next door to another military family who is going through the same life as we are.  I will miss my children being quickly accepted at the school because we have lived in mainly military-saturated towns.  I will miss being stationed overseas and the travelling associated with it.  I will miss being able to be home when my children get out of school.  I will miss our family’s tightness because of how often we’ve had to move.

I won’t miss the deployments.  I won’t miss my husband being gone for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, summers, etc.  I won’t miss moving every 6 months to 2 years.  I won’t miss having 1/4 of our belongings in storage because military housing is sometimes quite small.  I won’t miss having things stolen or lost with each move.  I won’t miss worrying about where we’re going next and not enjoying the now. 

I’m afraid that is what is happening here, at our last official duty station.  We know we are leaving in June.  We are gearing up to move for the last time with the military.  We are thinking about the schools our children will attend next year, the jobs we need to find, the house we want to buy or build … everything about the next place.  At times I feel as if we have been going through the motions to get through the 22 months we are here (with just 6 now remaining).  My husband is not flying at this command, so he is a little antsy each day working at a desk.  I am not volunteering in any of my children’s classrooms as they are all past elementary school starting this year.  Thankfully the kids are just as busy as ever with their activities which is one norm that we all cling to.  We love to watch them perform in the band or chorus or a sport.  So that is how I am enjoying the now.  I hope with the busy-ness and confusion over the next few months, we can enjoy more in our last little bit of time left in the military life.

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MilVetSpouse

269 Days…My husband tells someone at least once a week how many days until he retires from the military.  I’m sure as we get closer to the date, he will be telling people to the second.  I am a milspouse (military spouse) that will soon be a milvetspouse or a retmilspouse (my made up “words” for military veteran’s spouse or retired military spouse).  The military comes up with acronyms all the time, like scatminewarn (something you could say to your kids?), hotphotorep (hmmm), and tactragrulant (not even sure).  I am a bit nervous to leave the support we’ve grown accustomed to over the past almost 20 years, but excited to start yet a new chapter in our lives.  We’ll move to a small town where my husband’s family is and where they have established lives.  I hope that it is not too difficult to become a part of their circle or get used to a one-traffic-light town.

I grew up in a military town (where I met my husband), but my parents were not military.  I have loads of uncles and cousins who were in all the major battles back to the Revolutionary War.  I am big into family genealogy (but that will have to be for another post).  I was 21 when we married, and the military whisked us and our new baby boy from one coast to the other less than a year later.  Since then, we have moved 10 times, lived in 14 different houses, and been in at least 13 commands (my husband would know better).  Since his father was also in the military, he’s probably double that on the moves.  He’s been deployed or tdy/tad (more acronyms for temporary duty or temporary additional duty) more times than I can remember.  But that’s the military life.

My kids have benefited so much from the moves.  When they study things in school, they have actually stood on the ground where the history lesson is talking about:  ground zero of Nagasaki, the beaches of Normandy, Loch Ness, the Danish fjords, the Great Barrier Reef, a Jewish concentration camp…  But when my oldest son graduates from high school in a couple of years he will have attended 8 different schools, 3 of them different high schools.  That is the hard part.  Making new friends, leaving the old ones behind, catching up in a subject that was taught differently at the old school, sitting through a class they already took (I just tell them, easy A!).  Just one more move.

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