Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back to Army Life We Go

Ok, so we never left Army life in reality, but for the past ten months or so, it's sort of felt that way. It's been that long since husband has been anywhere. Years ago, even if husband didn't go to the field, he still had duty every so often. Husband hasn't had duty in years now, so when there are no field problems or other training, he's home every night. Of course his regular work hours are long hours and there are quite a few late nights, but he's still home every night.

Now that all the transformation stuff is completed, it's back to the reality of normal Army life. Husband left yesterday for some time in the field. He won't be gone too long - just long enough to make the little ones and I face the music lol and snap back to reality.

I guess it's a good thing, this short field exercise. It'll help us get back into the swing of things since we've had him home for so long. This summer, they head out to CA to play in the sand for a month and then not long after, they'll head over to Iraq for a year. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't dreading going through another year consumed by fear and worry. Gosh, I'm just dreading living that again. It's all part of Army life, I know, but it sure isn't the part I enjoy. He's got 22 years of being a soldier behind him. Maybe THIS time when he returns from Iraq, he truly WILL be ready to retire. He was positive he was ready to retire last time - and here we are, gearing up for another year apart...

My road to keeping sane when he is away from home is finding something to do. Something new, something that is challenging and interesting. Before he deployed last time, I decided I wanted to build a picket fence for our backyard. Husband went with me to Lowes to buy a post-hole digger. I showed him the plans I'd printed off the internet for a custom picket fence. I measured the yard and made notes so when he left, I'd have a project to get me through that first month of adjustment.

Husband was sure I'd gone off my rocker. He said there was no way I could build the fence...dig the holes blah blah blah. After he left, I think I gave myself about a week or so to cry whenever I felt like it - and then I jumped into my fence project with both feet. I emailed pictures to him as I made progress lol. Apparently, husband was really proud, he showed everyone the pictures once they got internet access and he could print them out.

For the next deployment, my plan is to build us a back deck. Right now, we just have a small stoop that has seen better days. The back deck will go from the back door to the end of the house and extend out to our brick patio. We'll have plenty of room for built in planter boxes and seating - along with a nice table and chairs. A back deck will look so pretty back there...

As for this short field problem, I have several small projects planned. I was going to start today, but little guy was running a fever, so we stayed in today. He's not coughing or anything, so where this fever came from is a mystery. I'm hoping he'll be feeling better tomorrow.

At any rate, my first project is to get some grass planted. Last month I put some weed killer on the front yard because dandelions had taken it over. Now I have quite a few bare patches out there. I'm going to get the metal rake out and till up the bare spots and put some new grass seed down.

While he was deployed last time, I had planted some small boxwood bushes in front of the front porch. They've not done too well and look like crap, so I'm going to dig them up and toss them. I want to buy some Burning Bushes and plant them there instead.

Once the bushes are planted and the grass seed is down, I plan to clean out the pond and get a new pump since the old one died. On one side of the drive in the backyard, there is a tiny cement retaining wall that has a cement step, up into the grass of the backyard. I'm wanting to build an arbor there over the step. Maybe get some honeysuckle or wisteria to plant to grow on the arbor...

If I have time after all that, I plan on trying to finally get those kitchen cabinets painted. I know he'd be surprised AND thrilled if that was done before he got home lol.

Ok, it's way past my bedtime...better get going. Til next time.....

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6 comment(s):

Sounds like you have a very good plan for both the field problem and the deployment - and that's a good thing.

Most military marriages break up because wives get too dependent on their husbands and don't do well while they're away. Of course it's hard to have to do things alone all of a sudden but it's even harder because people realize just how much they've been relying on their better halves.

My better half is lucky I'm a patient person because this recruiting thing is WAY more annoying than deployment has ever been. Sure, he's home every night - to sleep - but that's about it.

I wish you good luck with your projects. They sound great. A friend of ours built a whole deck by himself, so it can be done. I'm sure you'll have two furry, four-legged helpers, too. ;)

By Blogger mauser*girl, at May 17, 2006 1:28 PM &nbps;  

Well, my plan's not working too well. We were stuck in the house again today...seems son's fever has a tummy flu attached to it :(. Can't win for losing...

It's not really a good thing, but I'm a loner by nature. Being without husband stinks, but being "alone" doesn't scare me or have me wrapped around the axle. Of course when husband is gone, I miss him something awful, but I only miss HIM, not the idea of having someone, anyone with me (if that makes sense, this is hard to explain I guess). For example, there are women (and men) who just cannot bare to be alone. Their better half is barely boots in the air and they are already having a melt-down about being ALONE...not being without their spouse, which is normal, but just being alone in general. I think that plays a huge role in marriage problems during deployments. I can find something to do to keep me busy and sane, but there is NOTHING that makes the pain of being separated from husband ease...nothing but him coming home. The projects just help ME feel productive and as though I'm making a difference for our family. My projects are always about things that will improve our home...

I was fortunate I guess. Husband did Drill Sergeant duty, not recruiter. My best friend who currently lives about five hours from us - her husband did recruiting duty back in the mid-to late 90s. I lived those three years of hell with her and I would NOT wish recruiting duty on ANYONE. He was extremely successful at it (got some sort of emerald badge or something, which from what I understand isn't easy), but the three years were so stressful on him, my friend and their family. Deppers calling at all hours of the night, making mission etc...NO THANK YOU.

Drill Sergeant duty husband LOVED. I had no experience with Army life, so I thought ALL soldiers got off at midnight or 2 am every night lol. When we were dating, that's what time we'd meet for dinner, since that is what time he got off work ha! I had no idea that in regular Army life, the hours were crazy, but not THAT crazy lol.

Anyhow, I don't envy you. Recruiting duty isn't a walk in the park, that is for sure! If you ever need to vent, I'll be glad to listen. I may not have lived it myself, but having seen what my friend went through, I can surely appreciate the stress of it all...

By Blogger Shannon, at May 17, 2006 2:34 PM &nbps;  

I just wanted to stop and say thanks for your prayers. All of you have helped me recoup so much quicker.

By Anonymous Greg, at May 18, 2006 8:16 PM &nbps;  

I can't wait to see the deck - the fence turned out fabulous. :-)

By Anonymous Kris, at May 19, 2006 10:33 PM &nbps;  

Greg, no need for thanks. The prayers are the least we all can do! I hope you and your wife are doing well!

Kris - after this week, I may have decided to hire the deck work out lol. I'll still send you pictures though ; ).

By Blogger Shannon, at May 20, 2006 9:02 AM &nbps;  

I know it is tough Snannon. Sometimes I think depployment is tougher on the families than on the ones deployed. But it appears that you have a plan to get through it and that is what it takes.

When I retired sweetthing danced with joy! She married me when I was a young troops with only three years service and supported me for the next nearly twenty years before I decided to retire. Not once did she say she would be glad if I retired but when I went home one day and told her I was thinking about putting in my papers her face lit up like a 100 watt bulb in a small closet and I knew that was what she wanted me to do. I have never regretted the decision..one of the three smart things I have done in life. The other two were enlisting and getting her to marry me.

Thanks for being a military wife. Only those who have been there and done that can actually understand the pain and worry and hardships.

By Blogger GUYK, at May 20, 2006 9:05 AM &nbps;  

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