It is Monday morning and I am enjoying the silence of my house… for another three and a half days.
Yes, school is ending this Thursday afternoon and there are two people in this family who are thrilled with that fact. And one who is somewhere on the fence. Admittedly, summer is a wonderful season and I am looking forward to many things: Not having to be a slave to the alarm clock each morning is definitely one of those. Also, having the freedom to take the boys places on a whim — no schedule to adhere to.
We can walk to the local pool, take off on hikes and day trips or just go get ice cream whenever the spirit moves us. And I honestly do want to spend time with them doing these things. But I will miss my quiet mornings.
Often I will take a cup of coffee and this very newspaper out to my beloved porch swing on the back patio and sway gently while listening to the many interesting bird calls. Sometimes I just sit there and space out for a while, or I’ll watch my silly dog search for squirrels. I can still do this with the boys home, of course, if I don’t mind the muted roar of a video game or their bickering in the background.
Summer brings a host of fun activities but it is also prime moving season here at Fort Hood. Each day there are any number of moving vans parked in front of homes, either emptying them out or filling them with boxes. My older son’s two closest friends are both moving soon, as are we, which brings a bittersweet tang to the start of the vacation season. Happily, my husband’s deployment is finally nearing its final phase after what feels like a very long separation. He left in early August last year and is due to return in late July, at last.
Needless to say, we will all be over the moon … and relieved. A couple of weeks after he returns, a big old moving truck will be parked in front of our house. But before that happens, my younger boy has two weeks of swimming lessons at Lion’s Club Park. And he wants to take a robotics class at Central Texas College 4 Kids.
And my little sister is getting married on the Fourth of July in Yakima, Wash., which we intend to make a vacation out of, spending some time in Seattle acting like typical tourists, and reuniting with family. So there is a lot going on.
Like many military families, moving summers are different from non-moving summers. Non-moving summers are definitely more relaxed and laid-back. Moving summers mean checklists and scheduling and organizing and paring down. At the moment, I have no less than eight different lists going and they continue to grow. Some are pretty standard but there are some new tasks as well, such as shipping our dog to the next duty station. Murphy is OK in the car for about 30 minutes, and then is prone to motion sickness. The prospect of two-plus days on the road with him is not a pretty one. So we are flying him to Virgina, which involves purchasing the appropriate travel kennel and various other logistics.
Summers that we move also mean balancing the maximum amount of fun with all the afore-mentioned tasks that will ensure a smoother transition to our new location.
If it doesn’t get done on this end, inevitably it will have to be dealt with on the other. You simply have to decide when you most willing to “suffer.” The parts I dread the most are the small stuff that gradually become big pains. For example, we have an entire drawer filled with dead batteries that I refuse to toss in the trash.
I was told I can take them to the recycling center here on post, though only if they are Lithium, not Alkaline batteries. We also have an old air conditioning unit that has been festering in our carport since we moved in nearly three years ago, and a tall garbage can filled with Styrofoam products that I’ve steadfastly hung onto in the hopes of eventually recycling it, rather than tossing it into the trash.
There are clothes and books and old toys of the kids in boxes in our sheds that we promised ourselves we’d sort through before the next move … and here we are. Clearly procrastination has not been working for me. But I tell myself it will all get done and it will...one way or another. More importantly, I want my boys and I to enjoy our last summer here at the Great Place, despite our upcoming move. And I think we will.