Today was just one of those days. It started off with me running around the house for 20 minutes looking for my car keys. I think that’s the 2nd time in my life I’ve ever looked for my keys. I found them in the laundry hamper…
And later on, I got halfway home before I realized I hadn’t picked Abbie up from the sitters…. Oops.
I’ve been pretty pre-occupied lately, thinking about everything I need to do before I leave here and head back to the States. It would be one thing if it was a 2 week trip home, but leaving your house and all your stuff for 6 months puts this trip into a different category. I have a little notebook with all my lists of what I need to do before I leave, what I need to take, what I need to ship, etc, and I spent 15 minutes looking for it yesterday. It completely freaked me out because I’ve been adding to those lists for the past month, and I feel like that’s the one thing holding all this chaos together. Luckily I found it.
There’s a strange thing about Italy, and more specifically, Aviano. Things here tend to be at LEAST 15 times harder than they would be anywhere else. Mark complains about this ALL the time regarding his job. You have to go to 15 different places on base to get one task done, and on top of that, you have crazy hours and schedules where people are only there for 2 hours per week and trying to coordinate everything is a nightmare.
Take the dogs, for example. Bringing them to Italy, from Luke, was relatively easy. I called the base vet at Luke, told them when I was flying out, they made me an appointment, which I went to and 15 minutes later I had the health certificates in hand and was out the door. However, here in Italy, you need three times the documentation to get the dogs out of the country that you needed to get them in. So Tuesday I went to the post office in Aviano to pay for these stupid pet passports, because naturally, you can’t pay for the things at the same place you get the things. That would make WAY too much sense… So then I have to take the receipts from the post office and take the dogs to see a vet in Aviano so they can scan the microchips and give me the pet passports. Then, within 10 days of flying out, I need to make an appointment with the vet on base to get their health certificates. But instead of it being like it was at Luke, I have to drop them off by 8am and pick them up at 1:30pm. Why they need five and a half hours to fill out 2 sheets of paper is completely beyond me, but it’s a pain in the butt because that’s 2 trips to the vet in one day. And THEN, after that I have to go back to the post office to pay for the export documents and then take those receipts to the other vet that I took them to for the pet passports with their health certificates to get their export documents. And, by the way, the Aviano vet is only open for four hours per WEEK. See what I mean? It’s completely and utterly asinine and the ENTIRE BASE operates this way. They couldn’t make it more complicated if they tried.
I’ve discovered that my way of dealing with Mark’s deployment is to just kind of overlook the fact that he’s leaving. I’ll admit, if I think about him leaving, the tears come fairly easily. So my defense mechanism is to just look past the fact that he’s leaving and focus on me going to the States. It seems to be working fairly well for me so far. When he went on his first long (3 wk) TDY to survival training, I was a MESS for a full 2 months leading up to his departure. It was bad. But that was 3 years ago and things are much different now and I have a much better handle on this military spouse role. I’m just going to try my best to remain positive through this deployment, and keep my eye on the prize, which is a wonderful reunion with my husband. Part of me wishes he was already gone so I could quit dreading him leaving since I’m sure that’ll be the hardest part for me, and part of me is trying to enjoy every minute I have left with him.
In other news, my friend Jennifer got on the same flights as Abbie and me back to the States! So Jennifer, and her 15 month old son, Luke and Abbie and I will be flying back to Chicago together which will make for a MUCH more enjoyable flight. Abbie and Luke are great buddies, so hopefully they’ll be able to entertain each other on the 9.5 hour flight across the Atlantic. And Brittney, being the sweetheart she is, is going to drive Abbie and me to the airport and help me get the dogs checked in. I’m not sure what I would do without all her help sometimes! Thank God for fantastic friends!