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.