Monday, December 30, 2013

Holidays Done

Finished a nice Christmas vacation spent with my children starting when Melissa arrived and we traveled together from Tucson to Ft. Worth, Texas. We were then joined by Aaron and Chelsea in Oklahoma. It would have been better if Chuck had been part of it, but he was on the phone and online with us regularly.

It wasn't the same, but it was him.

An update on Chuck: he finished his first 14 day work shift and now has a week off.  It will be a busy week because of many errands he has to run to start setting up for me to join him.  He will be researching banks, obtaining a PO box,  and finding an RV park to name a few things on his list.

When you go someplace new and think you have everything you might need it takes a few days before you realize half of what you brought was unnecessary and you have no idea what you really need until you have spent time in the new location.  Chuck is discovering this.  He is also discovering how inadequate a lot of cold weather clothes sold in Arizona are for REALLY cold weather. 

I am back at work now and this is my time to wind up, close out and finish up before I leave Ventana. It will be an interesting couple of weeks.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I'ts fun, but not the same

I've been here for a few days and I absolutely love being with my kids, but it is just different without my husband. As the days have gone on I increasingly feel the loss of his presence. My beloved children are wonderful and I love being with them, but Chuck makes me feel complete, safe and happy. If it is in my power I will never be apart from him again. Not for this much time and distance. Hunting and fishing trips are one thing, but even though this is ultimately a good thing, I won't do it again.

He is enduring in the cold north. Only five days until his first week long break, well deserved and very needed. It is taking everything I have not to go to him.  I feel this challenge is going to change him somehow and I would rather be with him while it happens. Then this change/adjustment would be part of both of us.

We have worked hard at our life together, and like a roller coaster, it has been full of high and lows. The one constant is our doing our life together. He is amazing.

Being a bit dull here, sorry.

Coming up over the next three days is two new movies (yes I will actually go into a movie theater), Christmas Eve gifts, Christmas Day at the Prough's, getting my new car, and a Dr. Who marathon and Christmas special.

Chuck would love all this.

Give to Wounded Warrior's.


Friday, December 20, 2013

It's been a week-almost!

My honey has been gone almost a week, he left last Saturday and I have survived. He has called each night, and thanks to Verizon for their cell phone coverage. We have no problem connecting.

This has been a hard, busy and emotional week for me. I've had a couple of nights that were melancholy and I was a bit blue missing him. I have been busy trying to get lose ends tied up before the Christmas break. A co-worker lost her spouse Tuesday morning, another co-worker lost her Grandfather and had to have her dog euthanized. Sasha moved into mom's apartment for the next week. The dogs will be in a kennel (thankfully together) starting this afternoon. I remembered to put the garbage out and to get coffee ready for the mornings.

With Chuck here all of this would have been easier. The stresses are part of life, but it is just easier with a beloved partner. I've been waking earlier and earlier and cannot get back to sleep, so I wander the house doing chores, feeding and letting the dogs out, checking emails, getting ready for work.

But Melissa is coming to town!

I am very excited to see Aaron and Chelsea and to have the distractions of a holiday season with them and their activities. The family time will be so wonderful and fulfilling. Hope they like their Christmas presents. Time to keep busy, and listen to Christmas music. 

Fa la la la la.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

He made it! Now what?

Chuck is so far away. The only time we've been farther apart was when I went to a conference in Boston. It is a very strange feeling when I pause and recollect the physical distance between us. I was weepy and sad for several hours on Saturday after his departure, and if I let myself I can easily still become pouty.  The distraction of busy work has helped ease this feeling. Talking to my sweet children has helped, along with the comfort of well meaning friends and family. I've had many offers of company and invitations out.

It is rather strange, however, that when I think of where I want to be; it is in my home where Chuck lives. I don't really want to go out or leave to visit or even have people come over right now. I think a bit more time will make that more appealing. I can be alone, but I prefer to be alone with him.

Ok, emotion. BRB.

We spoke last night as he was moving into his more than adequate company apartment. It was comforting to me to hear that it is warm and stocked with all the necessaries (food he has to provide himself.) While we were talking I put him on speaker phone to see what the dogs would do at the sound of his voice. It was interesting. They perked up at his calling their names and came over by me to listen. Then they both ran to the front door - and then up on the couch to look out the window. They were expecting his appearance. It was sweet and melancholy. I know they both realize something is different. Even my uninterested cat seems to sense something out of the ordinary though she merely tolerates us.

Before he left Chuck taught me how to use his 12 gauge shotgun. I can now most efficiently load and cock it and should an unwanted intruder come in they should beware because I will be able to stop them with a scattering blast of shot!!  It is a very empowering feeling, though not politically correct.

(Shoulder shrug here.)

I am steadfast in my support and so very proud of my wonderful husband.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Tomorrow will be hard

The day for Chuck to head north has arrived. He will head out tomorrow, with my heart and a car full of things to help him transition to his new job, and new climate. I'm in the kitchen being busy doing the last of his laundry, finding things he can't locate and wondering how I will sleep tomorrow night. I have two faithful dogs and an indifferent cat to keep me company.

My good fortune is that he will be back soon, not like others who are deployed for months or years at a time. Yet 34 years of marriage will make this time apart feel like ages and my heart is wrapped up in his happiness. I have plenty to keep me busy...during the day.


We can Skype, email, text, Facebook and call. He has lots of snacks and munchies, drinks, CD's and a vehicle that has been checked from top to bottom, bow to stern, and found to be a sound mode of transportation for my love. His best traveling companions are the angels I ask God to send to protect him and a caring and all powerful Father to guide him.

I will cry.

Yes, I will and I don't care who knows. I told him I wished I could go right now, with him, and begin the adventure together. That is not realistic, but I don't care about realistic. I care that we will be apart, so if you see me and I seem gloomy or out of sorts you will understand and I will take a hug.


Monday, December 9, 2013

It is a transition week

This is the first week in over 34 years that Chuck didn't go into TMC for work! He has this week to get a lot of things sorted, stored and packed so he can leave for his new job. I am taking Wednesday-Friday off to be with him and share in it. He has some personal appointments and people to see.

I will handle it.

Last night Chuck and I went to "The Great American Playhouse" in Oro Valley and watched a very fun production of "A Christmas Carol" which is my absolute all time favorite Christmas story. Scrooge's transformation is so wonderful and heart warming. If you have never read the book it is quite dark at first (typical of Dickens), but the reconciliation and redemption at the end is joyful.
God bless us every one.

I was part of a very special ceremony today to honor a hero who stepped up and saved someones life by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. He was awarded a beautiful glass sculpture by the CEO of our company.  The woman who's life he saved was there along with myself and the hero's manager.  I hope if I am ever in that situation someone like Pete will be there.

It is my turn now to start the transition out of my position. I'm making lists, clearing out files and cleaning my desk. I expect to be out of here before the end of January. Seven years is not 34 but I still have accumulated a size able stash of "stuff". It feels good to sort.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Good Bye TMC

Today is Chuck's last day at TMC, and the comments he has heard are about how happy he seems. There is a message there. He is the type of man who loves to learn new things and work hard. I know this is the reason for his excitement for the change. He brought home a farewell card from the lab staff and it was nice to see the good things people said, I think he was a bit surprised. They also gave him a gift. It is a door mat with the word "HAZ" on it!!  Cracked me up since he is the hazmat guy. He loved it and chuckled when he showed it to me.

I love the sound of his laugh. 

It is very cold this morning for Tucson, but my friend Danielle said "this is just the start for you!" Mocha and Cooper ran outside, around the yard, did their business and ran inside! It will be a big change for them.

I bought a Pea Coat from Miller's Surplus and man is that a warm coat. That gives me two wool coats. I've never worn a coat out so I guess we will see how long they last.

I woke this morning feeling really weird, and running plans though my mind.  Still a lot to tie up before Chuck's trip, and checking things off the list. We snuggled this morning just being quiet and holding.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

The next thing on the list

We have set up the storage unit for our stuff. Now to start planning what goes in, what goes with us and what stays in the house. I gave some stuff to my sister and mom. Melissa will get some when she is out here at Christmas. We got some new footgear for the cold weather, and man is that stuff expensive.

I have about six Christmas decorations up, not really feeling festive. I plan to not put up anything that will be a hassle to take down without Chuck. He always bring out the tubs with the decorations and puts up the outside lights. I'm not into doing it.

We have been shopping for 5th wheels, and have found a place that has nice units and good prices. The dogs and I can't go until we have one, but we will be comfortable here and with so many people nearby I feel very secure. We have good neighbors next door who know us and family less than a mile away.

My best feeling it to have everything organized.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving coma

Ok, the food was consumed, the dishes done and the traditional Vaughn Thanksgiving football game survived by the players. Now the television is playing football games that we wake from naps to catch the score and then go back to sleep.

We had so much fun today with 13 people around the table and lots of laughing and story telling. Great music playing with singing and dancing. The family had a very special time and I was glad to share the day with everyone. This is Chucks last holiday with family for a while.

The support of family will be important while I am here without my honey. It has been fun to be with mom's friend Bob, he is a lot of fun and fits right into the crowd. Kris and Heather's kids are getting so big. I remember the Thanksgiving day when Trinity was in a high chair and Austin was in the tall stool. Now they are so grown up.

Gave some stuff to Mary and Mom to take with them to start clearing out the stuff.  Time to start planning the yard sale.

Happy Thanksgiving to the troops serving all over the world. Thank you for your service.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving melancholy

I've been off for a few days getting ready to host my last holiday with Chuck for a while. I go back and forth between excited for the holiday and a bit of mellow about not being with him for our anniversary and Christmas. I keep holding him and touching him.  We will have our 34th anniversary on December 22nd.

He is ready to go and start his new career. I'm thinking constantly about what need to be done next. I've been drinking a bit more wine that usual, and get aggravated easily. No telling how obnoxious I will be when he is gone. He arranged to arrive in Tioga on the 17th. My heart will be with him.

 Two pies are completed, the fixings for cherry crumb cake, green bean casserole, stuffing and deviled eggs are ready to go. The turkey is thawed out and we will have a very fun time. Hope to Skype with my kids and watch a football game in the yard.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Gearing up

Chuck will be starting his new job December 16th, so we are gearing up with the planning. Everyday we talk about what is first, then next and how to put it all in place.

Today is a thoughtful day with the rain, clouds and wind. It is cool out and I am feeling reflective. I do not care for the idea of being apart from my husband, however this opportunity will give us a boost into the future.

Once when Chuck left for a week to look after his parents in Reno, I realized that in my sleep I reach over with my foot and touch him. Him not being there woke me from my slumber. I piled the pillows onto his side of the bed and had  Mocha sleep with me.  I was able to rest after that.  He laughed when he got home to see the pile of pillows. 

I know I wil have bouts of gloomy, sad and blue during the holidays but I will be with my children and they understand me and my co-dependence. I have even promised Chelsea I will go to a movie theater with her! If anyone knows me they know I have a kind of germ phobia about theaters. I think it stems from working in biology. I feel like I am sitting in an incubator with bacteria swarming over me.  I know - that is extreme so my agreeing to go is pretty big.

This week while the family Thanksgiving celebration is happening I plan to have my sisters take the things they want from the house, the things that are inheritances. When Melissa is here at Christmas time I have things for her as well. Since we will be traveling back and forth and perhaps having people rent the house while visiting Tucson I want to depersonalize the house. I want no chance of anything of emotional value to be at even minimal risk.

There is a time for everything under heaven.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Finally, Chuck heard from the company he applied to and was told he was in and to make plans to head to North Dakota! He can give official notice to TMC and we can start to plan for his (and my) relocation.

He is glad to know for sure and is excited to venture out. I'm proud for him and happy he has this chance to do something very new and interesting.

We have a storage building to put up and some weather proofing and clean up to do around the house. We also have a real opportunity to "lighten the load". Time for a yard sale!

Making plans

Its hard to make plans when we don't have a start date. My husband is ready to make the transition and I am ready to support him. There are things in process which are part of the preparation for relocating and should it all fall apart these are good things to have done. I'm really enjoying the whole activity, and as items come up there are long and short terms plans to make. Something as simple as what do I do with cleaning supplies really takes thought. Bigger things like what do I do with my plants really involves a lot more preparation.

Chuck has been daily doing home maintenance and improvements while he waits and ponders his future. He has much to meditate on where his work task transitions are concerned.

I woke this morning to the sound of him texting and when I aksed him what he was doing he indicated he was communicatiing with his contact  in North Dakota. Wow!

Holiday plans which in the past were easy to make have been compromised by this lack of a start date. We were skyping with Melissa last night and as we tried to plan Christmas travel there are contengencies for every option. We will get through  it. My philosphy is "A year from now I won't be thinking of this". 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Amazing response

I am overwhelmed by the wonderful responses to my blog yesterday. My friends rock!

Tioga, ND


48°  30°Sat  snow

39°  25°Sun snow

27°  10°Mon snow

41° 10°Tue

48° 18°Wed
  This weather is the forcast for our destination!  I look really good in cold weather clothes-you know layers.    -N 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I've put the word out

I've told a bunch of people about my blog-we'll see what everyone thinks. I found this wonderful picture of Chuck and Melissa which pretty much tells everyone about our family.

A Change In the Air

Sometimes it takes the chance of a change to make the things that have kept you in one place seem unimportant. My husband has the chance to make a big change in his career and thus our lives.  Not only is it a change in jobs, but it is also a change in location, style of living and proximity to family. It is a move to a place I've never been with climate as opposite as possible from Tucson.

North Dakota.

Ok, I can do this.  The move for him will happen sooner than my move due to living accommodations. He can live for free in company apartments that are set up for singles only.  Once we are able to set up house for both of us and the dogs I will join him.  I am not looking forward to being a bachelor for a couple of months, and there is much to get ready before he leaves. 

At my age I wonder how I will make this transition? I'm not young, but certainly not old, yet things will be very different. We have grand plans for this time and the money we can make. I hope for stability and freedom after this experience. It will be profound and unsettling, exciting and challenging and will test us in our ability to adapt. For our relationship we will depend on each other more than we already do and I'm sure the encouragement we give each other and our mutual faith in God will be foundational in finishing this course of life.

My children are excited for us and I think a bit concerned. We will keep our home in Tucson for the time being, it will be the touchstone for us as we abide 1800 miles away. I won't have to sell my possession, store the keepsakes and put myself out there with no home base.

So here we go-our adventures are ahead.