Sunday, February 5

Work-ups: Navy's training wheels.

I wouldn't turn down this work-ups cycle by any means. I was mostly calm as the days ticked down to where he'd be leaving for weeks. It was in November when I thought February was so far off, because it was actually months away. We still had Christmas to tackle and enjoy, and there were a million wake-ups together with kisses and cuddling before the first command detachment of this pre-deployment cycle. But now that time is here and I'm (so far) calm with it all. least until Murphy shows up and annoys me. She's never been kind in the past, but I'm planning on restocking the Murphy,

That morning he left, I only asked one thing: please let me know when you get there. As he was initially slated to transfer with the aircraft, plans changed when he was told he wasn't moving with the bird. Did he care? Meh. Did I? meant I got one more night with him versus those that moved the planes. So obviously I enjoyed that extra 24 hours of having another human in the house. One more night to sleep next to him, one more night to tackle all the laundry he may need, one more night to stew over the weather of his destination and how expansive it can be (freezing to frying), and one more night of co-cooking with him. And let's not forget one more night of a Jeopardy mate.

So that morning, after I threw myself on the couch in my pajamas, sleep deprived from the early wake-up to send him off, I hunkered in for a short nap - drawing the comfy blanket off the back of the couch, kicking it out over my feet, and waiting for Sweet Pea to realize oh, okay, nap time....then closing my eyes.

The house is now quiet. His computer shut down to avoid drawing the unnecessary power. His desk littered with documents that didn't need to make this trip. And his nightstand empty. No phone power cords. No laptop next to the bed as nights can be spent tapping away at the keyboard. With his job, work doesn't end at 5pm. No, work ends (at the squadron at least) when the Skipper signs the next day's schedule. Whenever that may be. And even then, there still may be more to do...but all he wants to do is leave work. So in my training, I've learned to fall asleep to the sound of the Navy's need of burning the midnight oil.

He did mention one thing before he left. He's going to be very busy. Early mornings, late nights. Briefs, flights, de-briefs, sims, and more acronyms than I care to ever know. So while he's technically on land, it's more like he's at sea. But this will always be good training. I hear pre-deployment is worse than actual deployment (which I don't know if I believe that or not...yet). And since it's been years since we've had to navigate the long-distance relationship dance, I'm feeling nostalgic for my strength when he was in the beginnings of flight school in Pensacola and I was enjoying my life in Oregon. Will that strength return? Will time fly by? Will being settled in our duty station make it easier or harder? How soon will I make this deployment my bitch? Military separation - where holidays and celebrations will come and go, a card and care package will be sent off, and the long travel time for shore-based affections to reach its sailor.

But there's always a silver lining. The same day he left, I kneeled down, in my hallway, peering into my linen cabinet. I spied the yellow happiness that lay folded on the top shelf. My flannel sheets. A mark of military separation. There they were. Just waiting for me. They felt so happy sliding onto the mattress. Their bright yellow hue - the color of cheer - I can't not be content when I slide into them after a long day of talking to myself, the dog, the fridge, the TV, the Santa Anas, and my dad's phone (which doesn't like to connect via  a call - I don't get apparently hates me and is competing for the trust fund also).

The emails from the fellow ladies have been in full. There's a scheduled Valentine's Dinner (with margaritas!) during that week. There's our monthly get-together, which brings the new wife of the wedding we attended (whom I've made it my point to give her the welcome I didn't get). And there are pedicures. Yes.

So while this may not be a multi-month separation that's coming thanks to Uncle Sam - it's here. I want to wish that deployment farther away with every breath I take, yet I want it here now so we can begin the deployment already. I'm not ready for him to be gone, to an undisclosed location, operating mission's potentially in harm's way, and being a man I'm so proud of. But I've never been more ready. He loves what he does and he's good at what he does. He's only going to do great things while deployed. And no, that doesn't include the mustache. Lest forget the 'stache....


  1. Totally know how you feel with the wishing it would hurry up and get here so that it can start and then be over.

    Looks like you've got this though.