As a military family, we certainly aren't accustomed to letting the grass grow under our feet. My previous post established that we were awaiting military orders, and they were taking a long time. My marine's replacement has known he'll be coming to Atlanta since September. I was being pretty patient until it got to the point where my pets would have to suffer in quarantine because I wouldn't be able to meet the time required to get them to Hawaii (no rabies there, big pet process to keep it that way) or Japan or Europe if any of those places became our destination. My marine has put Camp Pendleton as his first choice for 15 years, unsuccessfully. For recruiting, we got to choose 5 from 18 available cities. Neither of us wanted Buffalo or Des Moines, so he picked Seattle and Phoenix, while. I picked Chicago and Atlanta, and we both picked Ft. launder dale to be near family. We were happy it was Atlanta, but annoyed that as a native of Ft. Launderdale he still didn't get it. As for our current situation, my marine figured we'd find out by. Jan. or Feb. I'm the pragmatic one who believes there are no promises in life nor in the military, so I didn't expect news until March for our move in June/July.
After mid-March came and went, I began (tongue-in-cheek) asking my marine like an excited child every night, "Did we get orders yet?"at random moments, making both of us chuckle because we know that if he had gotten them, I certainly wouldn't need to ask him to tell me. Now, I am not keen on receiving the notice from my marine via a distracted, life-altering, phone call where he drops a bomb at 7 AM and then has to rush to hang up and get back to work. Most people do it that way since it's the most intuitive and natural. I suffered through that once (he was randomly accepted to a school to which he did not apply, which uprooted him a year or two early from 29 Palms several months after we had met in CA. He found out when a Colonel shook his hand randomly while passing in a hallway to congratulate him on his acceptance, much to my marine's shock) and prefer to never have it happen like that again, where I'm left to get through the longest day ever, carbonated thoughts bubbling up and me trying to tamp them down until we get home and can pop the cork together.
So, I am not working, since often the timing of my employment 'under-laps' (I try to avoid overlaps!) with our moves. I have been booking gigs as an extra on Vampire Diaries and teaching an art class to pay for a fancy gym membership (heated pools in & outside, sauna,jacuzzi, new equipment, classes galore) and I love it. Since I make it a point to not let my life revolve around my marine's work hours (no clock-watching, texting when will u b home? Eta?), I was coming home from the gym one night and I opened the front door to darkness, the odor of char/smoke, and Dr.Dre's "California Love" blaring. Then, I turned and saw my marine standing next to the dining room table (with lit candles atop gluten free cupcakes from Gluten Free Cutie) with the most enormous, dazzling smile, arms outstretched, wearing a t-shirt with the California state flag on it. Never one to make assumptions, I broke through the noise of the music to ask if it was 29 Palms (desert, where he was when we met) or Camp Pendleton (beach, his perennial first choice that he never has gotten). His response was to make a surfing motion and say, "Babe, if it was 29 (Palms), I'd be blowing sand in your face with a hot blow dryer right now." We hugged and his smile hasn't faded since. He is on Cloud 9.
I'd have preferred Hawaii or Europe (our 2nd and 3rd choices since my choice of Atlanta won out last time so I let him pick the first spot), but am ecstatic that he finally got his dream job in his dream locale. Having resided in SoCal for 13 years, I was not in a hurry to go back just yet. I own a home in California, but it's too far from the military base for us to live in it. Plus, I'm in this life for the adventure of it. That said, even after all that time, I have never lived by the beach nor been north of San Francisco in that giant, banana-shaped state! So, the relief of not getting Camp Lejeune (North Carolina military town where I probably would have to live in Charleston to keep my sanity, forcing my marine to drive 4 hours to visit me on weekends) coupled with his elation and beach living has me brimming with excitement for our next chapter. Stay tuned...