A long time ago I heard about a funny bit published in Reader's Digest. A travel-tired little girl lay on a pile of suitcases in an airport while her military daddy saw to the details of yet another flight. A nearby woman sized up the situation and remarked, "You poor dear. You don't have a home, do you?" The little girl sat up and replied, "Yes, we do. We just don't have a house to put it in right now."
Such is our state at the moment.
This house was merely a container for our home this past year. As containers go, it's a pretty good one. I liked it. But it's time to say goodbye.
Our 'home' has been on its way for a few weeks now. The family left Incirlik on Wednesday, September 4th. We were one of only four families who made it out of Turkey that day. A problem with the cargo weight resulted in almost everyone who was booked for the rotator to Ramstein getting kicked off the flight. For some fortuitous reason, my 7 person 10 suitcase family wasn't kicked off. The delay meant we didn't get into BWI until after 2 am, turning our planned good night's sleep into a three hour nap but at least we were back in the country.
Did you know that there are lovely people who show up to greet returning soldiers at BWI no matter what time of day or night? It may have been the sleep deprivation but I will admit that when we were met with a handshake and a "Welcome back to the United States," I got all teary-eyed.
Two more flights from Maryland through Chicago to Vegas and we were done with planes for what we hope will be a very long time. Hello Vegas!!
Geoffrey's dad, Leo, picked us up at the airport. We had asked him to rent a 15 passenger van or something comparable for the drive down to Phoenix. He showed up with one of those bus style RVs. My kids were over the moon. After being strapped down in airline seats for over 30 hours they could lounge and move around and get snacks and drinks out of the fridge with out waiting for an airline attendant's cart. And since this grandpa drives trucks and buses for a living, I passed out on the rear queen size bed for some catch up sleep with no shred of anxiety. Well played, Grandpa.
We had a great reunion taco dinner with Geoffrey's family which he and Leo were very late for. They had gone to return the RV and came home two hours later with a motorcycle. Have I mentioned that Leo can be a bad influence on my husband? Actually, the bike is exactly the type he's been wanting, was a great price and its purchase means I won't have to listen to months and months of motorcyle research.
The next day my parents drove up from Tucson to bring the crew down. We had dinner with my oldest sister, Treisa and family that night and with another sister (Michelle) and brother (Traver) and respective families the next day. It was fabulous to see everyone again. And both Treisa and Traver brought party packs of Eegees. Best welcome home gift ever.
Sunday we celebrated birthdays - Grandpa Riggs, Cody - Michelle's 3 year old, and Evan - who turned 11 the day we drove down to Phoenix.
|Yet another bypassed birthday make-up.|
On Tuesday Geoffrey left for Vegas via Phoenix. He had collected his Jeep from Treisa whose talented husband Ed has it running better than when we left it with them. A small trailer for his acquisition and his golf clubs later and he is on his way. He will stay in a relative's home until we find a new container for ours.
Meanwhile the kids and I are hanging out in Arizona. My parents have three extra bedrooms and lots of patience. They have a week at their Mexico condo and a week at their mountain cabin that we will take advantage of. My sisters have both invited us for visits. So being 'houseless' is not so bad. Because I'm feeling right at home.