Sunday, August 13, 2017

MA visit part 3: last few days in the US

Hello from the other side! After an intense 24 + hours of travel that began at 1 a.m. in SeattlešŸ˜±, we arrived in Okinawa at 5 p.m. Friday. We are now 13 hours ahead of the east coast. We did manage to get about 7 hours of sleep last night, but we are still very jet-lagged. I don't know what time my body even thinks it is -- it is just continuously recalculating. I keep looking at my phone to remind myself what day and time it is. Tim suggested I blog in order to avoid conking out during the hour before our sponsors come to take us out for new phones and lunch. I have to save the nap for when we get back (although I could probably take one now and later.) There is not enough coffee in the world sometimes.

Tim's parents had all our family and friends who could make it for a farewell cookout. Carolyn made enough of her yummy meatballs and sauce to feed an army and crafty Karen did a beautiful job with the decorations. Once mostly everyone had arrived, we had a promotion ceremony for Tim. It was a way to mark the occasion of his promotion, and more for the benefit of me and the rest of the family than for him. As Tim says, it's about us, not him. We wanted a ceremony, and there wasn't going to be the traditional one at his place of work since he was between duty stations. His best friend Derek, a Marine veteran, read the warrant. Carolyn and I pinned on his silver oak leaves. I think it meant a lot to the family to get to watch. Then we took lots and lots of pictures and everyone ate.
Monday was tough. We loaded up our six suitcases and backpacks, and took our car and Tim Sr's car to the hotel at Logan Airport. After a couple hours we waved goodbye as Karen and Carolyn drove away in our car. That really made it real for me. It was so hard seeing them go and not knowing when we'd see each other next. Thanks to the Marine Corps keeping us in suspense as they are wont to do, we didn't know yet whether we'd be in Japan for a year or three or four. The minute we got off the plane here, his new boss told him congratulations on getting command in Cherry Point, NC. The change of command is in May. It's a crazy life we have. 

Tim Sr stayed with us and flew the next morning to Seattle, where we all stayed two nights and had a day to explore and see the sights. Then we tried to get a few hours of rest before we all headed to the airport again and he saw us off before flying back to Boston. 
Tim cashed in all his points and got us the nicest suite at the Hilton at Logan Airport. The kids were beside themselves with excitement when they saw the views we had.

I want a do-over of Seattle. It was so smoky from wildfires in Canada, and we couldn't see all that much from the top of the Space Needle either. Tim Sr said the view was amazing last time he went. They could see Mt. Rainier even.
How I felt about being in a long, narrow passageway with hordes of people. That is what Pike Place Market is, not an open air farmer's market like I'd imagined. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and I know I missed out on some yummy local food. Next time I will stay outside and I will ask Tim to go get me something good to eat. No one ended up getting anything to eat there, just walking through and out. We got hungry and ate Subway a little while later. So dumb.
It's been a whole day since I started this post. I think I'm adjusted to the time difference. Now if we could just get Joey sorted out.. This morning I made a big deal of opening the shade and letting him see the sunrise and acting cheerful because it's "morning!" even though I was so exhausted from being up with him half the night.

That's it for now. Have a great Sunday!


  1. Silly question: so, will you only be in Japan till May, then back to N.C.? That looks so familiar, my dad was career USMC. But we always stayed stateside while he travelled.

    1. Not silly at all -- we've been going back and forth on this for days. It's looking like we'll actually be heading back late February or March because he needs to take a course and I need to attend a workshop. I have a lot of mixed feelings about it. I kept saying to him again and again, "Can't we at least let them finish the school year here? Is there any way?" The idea of having them change schools two-thirds of the way through drives me nuts. But that's what's going to happen, they know it and they seem to be OK with it.

      I think even if we'd known about command in NC before we'd left, we all still would have gone. (I'd have probably agonized about the decision beforehand, though. Logistically, it would have made so much more sense for us to just go get a house in NC and wait for him to get back.) Our policy is to keep the family together whenever it's possible. So I'm still glad we're all here. We're going to look at it as a deployment we all get to do together.