Category Archives: Friends

Lake Tahoe Trip – October 2017

I cannot believe I forgot to share all of the pictures from my trip to Lake Tahoe.  Kim, Cristina, and I all met while we were stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland.  Kim’s family is civilian and Cristina’s family is army.  That doesn’t matter except that it means Kim is still in MD, while we’ve since moved to Spain and now South Dakota and Cristina has moved to Georgia and now Hawaii, so it’s been a while since we’ve all been together.  Two years ago we were talking about meeting when we moved back stateside.  So, we tried to pick a place kind of in the middle between MD and HI… and we settled on Las Vegas.  We decided not to go there because we couldn’t find a cheap place to stay.  We have points in a condo system, and we were able to find a place on Lake Tahoe for a few points, so that’s what we decided to do.

It turned out to be the best time because the weather was warm, especially for October.  Cristina has lived in HI too long because she was freezing in the 60-70 degree weather.  But we had a great time hiking, eating, and just hanging out.  I miss them so much.

I know I’ve said it before, and I guess I’m going to continue to talk about it until I find someone with a solution to the problem, but people in the military don’t have true community.  We might find it for months at a time, but that lifelong connection with people, raising your children together, and going through life together just doesn’t happen in the military and it does a huge disservice to the men and women and especially children who have to live this way.  I don’t have an answer, but I’m constantly thinking about this and I’m hoping there can be some kind of solution or at least a better way.

Anyway, we had a great time for 3 days and here are some of the pictures… Lake Tahoe is beautiful!  It was the first time I had ever been there, and my first time in California!!

October 2017 – Recap

October was more settled for all of us and we had a wonderful month exploring our new place and seeing some of the most beautiful sights God made for us.  Fall in the Black Hills really is a beautiful sight.

Ron

  • is loving his jujitsu…  He had his first rank test and is now a second degree white belt.  No pictures from class this time because I haven’t gone to watch him again.
  • Ron and I went to one of the chaplain assistant’s house for their gender reveal party.  They already have a precious boy and girl and found out at the party that they are having another girl!!  It was such a cute party and I loved seeing everyone so excited!
  • He also found out that his promotion to Major won’t happen until he is deployed next year.  So we will have a congratulations party here before he leaves.
  • He’s getting settled in at the chapel more and more, and the only downside right now is that he doesn’t have his own permanent office so a lot of his books and office things are still boxed up in the garage.
  • We invited the chapel family over for a Halloween party.  Not with costumes or anything, just with cute Halloween themed food and to get to know everyone better.  We haven’t been a chapel with this many chaplains and staff members before, so we thought this was the best way to get to know them.
  • Ron is loving what he does here, and he preached for the first time last Sunday.  This chapel family is really great!

Amanda 

October was such a great time for me.  I had some new experiences (i.e. mammogram) and learned that some things that you think will be scary aren’t as bad as you thought!  I have been brainstorming cool things to do while Ron is deployed next year, and I spent a lot of my time plotting a giant roadtrip to visit all of our friends and family all around the US.  If I missed you in my plotting, let me know and we will make sure we stop by to say hi.  Also, we are asking everyone to let us spend the night or tell us where we can camp out.  We are trying to do this trip as cheaply as possible!  I was also able to go to Lake Tahoe and meet with friends I haven’t seen in a while.  We haven’t been all together in almost 3 years, and it was a blast to see them again.  We had so much fun taking hikes and exploring a beautiful place we’d never been to before.  I am so thankful that we were all able to get away.  We all have wonderful families who let us go and spend time together.  I’m excited for next month as well.  I can’t wait to do more planning on my road trip and explore more of the area around where we live.  

Our route has changed a little since this, but this is the basic trip, and I don’t want to give away too much just yet!

 

Chyna

Chyna has been working at Target for a month now.  She was initially trained at Starbucks in Target, but then they trained her to work at their Food Avenue area, as well as being a cashier at Target and working the self-checkout area.  She’s been really busy with this, but she also has started taking online classes.  She called Animal Behavior College after we found out about them online, and they told her about the process for a Vet Assistant program they have.  She used her own money to pay for the class up front (they gave her a big discount for paying for the whole thing).  She’s already started the online portion, but she is waiting for her books and scrubs to get here for some of her other classes.  She is doing a great job working and going to school.  She finished her animal CPR certification first thing and she’s doing as much online as she can until her books get here.  

Price

Price loves birds.  I’m sure if you’ve spent time with him or talked to him for a while you know that he wants to work with birds of prey.  That means, owls, hawks, falcons, and birds like that… predators… so when he found out that the Black Hills Raptor Rescue would be coming to Wesley’s cub scout pack meeting, he immediately said he wanted to go.  He watched the presentation and then followed them out to the parking lot to ask how old he would have to be to work with them.  The great news for him was that he can start volunteering with them when he is 14.  He can’t wait for March to get here now and I’m sure that’s where I will take him for his 14th birthday.   He also attended a campout with Ron and Wesley where the temperature dropped below freezing and they woke up with ice on their tent.  

 

Wesley

Wesley has been involved in quite a few cub scout events this month.  He is finishing up his last year in cub scouts and will be making the transition to boy scouts in January of next year.  He sold popcorn with some of the other scouts and then did some shooting during the campout with his pack.

   

October gave us our first little bit of snow since moving here, even though it was so tiny we can barely see it on our pictures.  We also got to see a house decorated with lights for Halloween.  We had a great time at the Halloween Night Hike at Custer State Park, and we had a wonderful Halloween Night!  Can’t wait to see everyone else’s costumes.  We couldn’t pick just one costume for Jango, so he had wardrobe changes all night!!

Goodbye October!

 

Sevilla/Seville

We  love living near Sevilla, and I couldn’t wait to take my parents to see the city we love!  It was our first time taking a carriage ride there too!

The architecture in the city is amazing!

We went to the Cathedral and saw where Christopher Columbus is buried… well, at least part of him is buried here!

We took a nice carriage ride around the Plaza de Espana.  It was so beautiful!

Morocco

While my parents were visiting, we took a day trip to Tangiers in Morocco.  It was a great day with great people!!

We took a ferry ride to get from Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco… There were a LOT of people on the ferry because it was Holy Week in Spain (read about our Semana Santa experience if you missed it).   The beginning of a great day!!

The day in Morocco started with a walk through the old part of town.  It was market day, so there were lots of people selling fresh produce, spices, and plenty of trinkets.

Our guide led us to some of his friends who were charming some snakes!  My mother volunteered to have them put one of the snakes on her.

After a huge, wonderful lunch, we went for a drive around the city and out of the city for the funniest camel ride I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then went to the Caves of Hercules before making our way back to the ferry for our return trip.

Goodbye Morocco!!!

The real adventure started after we got back to Tarifa and found out our cars had been towed because we parked next to a sign that said we had to move our cars before 6:00pm.  We didn’t make it back in time, so the cars were gone, and Amy and I had to walk to the police station, ride in the back of a police car to get the cars, and drive through horrible traffic to come back and find everyone else to head home.

All in all, a very long and wonderful day!!

 

 

 

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

This article was first published on 25 March 2017 on Daily Blog.

Saying goodbye sucks.  It doesn’t matter why you are saying goodbye.  It is just hard to look at someone for what may be the last time, but will certainly be the last time for a while, and try to imagine tomorrow when they aren’t around.  This is the basis of #6 on my pro and con list of life in the military.  “Con – You have to learn to make new friends all the time.”

Last night I had the final dinner with my friend before her family PCSs to Texas.  They flew out today and I’m not sure when I’ll see her again.  I know I said the con was having to learn to make new friends all the time, but the other half of that is that you have to then say goodbye to those friends… again.

We move to a new place still thinking about the people we have just left behind and then trying to figure out how we will present ourselves to the new people we are about to meet.  We are caught between never wanting to forget the people you left and trying to fully embrace the possibility of the friendships you could have.  I spent the last year getting close to my friend who left.  We will call her Nikky for this post.

She isn’t like friends I’ve made before.  Usually, I find myself becoming close friends with introverts.  I’m sure it’s because I love to talk, so it’s easy for me to do that when I’m with introverts.  Well, Nikky is even more extroverted than I am.  She loves to talk as much as I do, so there was NEVER a quiet moment with the two of us.  I’m sure anyone around us could attest to that.

Finding friends may not be the easiest thing, as I’ve learned well over the last 10 years in the military, but when you click with someone it seems effortless and you just know you will forever be connected.  That’s how it was with Nikky.  She has two boys and my two boys loved to play with them.  So that added another connection for us.  The downside to this, as it always is, someone has to leave.  We come into these friendships knowing that we only have a certain amount of time together.

When you move to a remote assignment, you know the month you will be leaving when you arrive.  One of the first questions people ask each other here is how long you have left.  We do it just as conversation starters, but also because we aren’t wasting a lot of effort and brain power to meet someone who’s leaving next month.  We try to find people who got here around the same time we did so you aren’t floundering for your last year at a place because your friends all moved at the same time and you’ve been left behind.    That’s what I do, at least, so I can’t speak for everyone.  It’s probably my selfishness coming out, but it’s just hard to say goodbye, and it is hard to get attached to people and watch them walk away or walk away ourselves.

We know where we are going next, so we are in the mindset of heading out.  We are officially the “old” people here because we are in our last 6 months of the assignment.  It has all passed in the blink of an eye.  We were just getting here and setting up our house, and now we are going through each room deciding what we can live without when we move again.

The military life seems so normal to me now, but it wasn’t always like that.  I am very patriotic.  Of course I am, right?  My husband is in the military, so maybe it’s a requirement.  I don’t know, but I am, and I always have been.  I am used to seeing my husband and a lot of other people walking around in their camo and other uniforms, but it still gets me every single time I hear them all stand up and say the Airman’s Creed.  Their voices all coming together to say that they will fight for me and defend the country I love.  I go to any event where I know they’re going to say it, and I try every time not to cry, and it just doesn’t help.  It is my most favorite thing about being surrounded by these men and women.

But we still have to move and leave each other.  We still have to make our children say goodbye to their friends and watch them cry because they just wanted to see someone one last time.  They are used to moving and packing up all of their belongings, and that part doesn’t seem to bother them anymore, but it’s the people.  These people that we meet and connect with.  They take a bit of us when they leave us, and we leave a bit behind every time we move.  In one way, it is amazing that I know so many people spread out over this whole world, but on the other hand, I am so spread out and pieces are removed so many times that eventually I worry there won’t be enough left of me.

Saying goodbye sucks!

**For a great post on saying goodbye from a non-military family, read this:

https://lumpslymphnodeslaundrylegos.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/dear-military-best-friend/

 

The Airman’s Creed[1]
I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my Nation’s call.
I am an American Airman.
My mission is to Fly, Fight, and Win.
I am faithful to a Proud Heritage,
A Tradition of Honor,
And a Legacy of Valor.
I am an American Airman.
Guardian of Freedom and Justice,
My Nation’s Sword and Shield,
Its Sentry and Avenger.
I defend my Country with my Life.
I am an American Airman.
Wingman, Leader, Warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.