Crazytown! That's where we're living right now. Military move number nine has been straight crazy, and it's prolonging itself indefinitely. Apparently God needs me to grow in the areas of flexibility and patience because He's giving me PLENTY of opportunities to act Christ-like through the lengthy unknowns of this permanent change of station (PCS). And by the way, who thought the word "permanent" should be included in the title for a military move?!
Our journey for this move began three years ago when Tim called from Afghanistan and told me he had been chosen for an instructor position at West Point. They gave us 24 hours--I repeat, 24 hours--to accept the position. More than 7,000 miles apart, we decided to begin our adventure to West Point. Doing so meant that Tim would finish his company command at Ft. Bliss, and then he would attend graduate school at U of A, followed by the Fixed Wing Course at Fort Rucker. And now, here we are in New York waiting for housing. It's been a long time coming!
Our trip to New York started out a little rocky. The night before we left we found out (again) that our trailer hitch was faulty and we would not be able to tow our car behind the SUV. Tim drove around until almost nine that night trying to get it fixed to no avail. Both kids were sick that night and extremely needy so I couldn't work on packing. With the stress of the move, two sick kids, a house that needed to be packed up, and a husband out trying to fix the car, all three of us back at home were crying. When Tim arrived, Lincoln and Adeline finally fell asleep and we spent the next few hours packing. Somehow Tim managed to fit all our belongings into the the two cars, making good use of that new engineering degree =).
Before we officially started our move, we stopped by our church to view the flags they had set out to commemorate Memorial Day, one flag for every soldier who has given his or her life in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was terribly moving, both powerful and heart breaking in the same breath. As I looked at each flag, all I could see was the wife and son of one of Tim's soldiers who passed away while serving in Afghanistan. The site of all those flags quickly puts life in perspective and overwhelms you with gratitude for our nation's soldiers.
Because Lincoln has a hard time riding in the car for very long, we decided not to drive more than four hours per day. On the first day, we made it to Atlanta, Georgia. It was actually a blessing in disguise that the tow hitch broke because Tim volunteered to drive the kids for the entire trip, which meant four hours a day in peace and quiet for me! Hallelujah. I listened to a ton of broadcasts from Family Talk and Focus on the Family, which might have been God's plan to give me strength to handle the rest of this move. In Atlanta, we stayed in a trendy loft through Airbnb that was attached to a nice outdoor shopping mall. Addie and I treated ourselves to ice cream and then we all visited Olympic Park and the SkyView Ferris Wheel.
Next, we went to Charlotte North Carolina. We ate dinner at a brewery, where we enjoyed live music and dinner outside. Perfect after a day in the car.
Then we headed to Virginia, which is the most gorgeous state! We stopped in Roanoke to visit the train museum and then spent the night in Lexington. We drove around the VMI campus, visited Stonewall Jackson's gravesite and toured the Lee Chapel and Museum. One of the highlights for me was seeing an original painting of George Washington--the first one ever composed!
After that, we drove to Harrisburgh, PA to visit Meredith and her family. It had been two years since we had seen each other and it was extremely special to reunite for a few hours. It felt like we picked up right where we left off and our kids got along famously. I might have even prearranged marriage between Adeline and Parker. That evening (Memorial Day), we drove to the PA Capitol, which was beautifully lit in patriotic colors.
And finally, we arrived at West Point. Only to treat ourselves to milkshakes (including Wilma), stay the night in a hotel by the airport, and fly to Arizona the next morning to surprise my grandma and nephew on their birthdays. Like I said, Crazytown! It was really nice to be home and our kids certainly needed the love and constancy that home offers. But was it ever a whirlwind!
After a few days there, we flew back to NY to participate in the housing draw at West Point. We were disappointed that our favorite houses and neighborhoods were chosen before our chance to pick a house, but I'm reminding myself that God didn't want us there. Our home should be available mid-June, but we're hearing that our housing goods may not be delivered until after early July-uuuuuuggggghhhh! I just want to get our kids settled again, giving them a place where they can feel grounded and secure. But, we're at the mercy of the Army, as usual. So, more opportunity to grow in flexibility and patience. If you feel so inclined, we'd welcome your prayers for us to get into our home and receive our stuff by mid-June! If not, we're out of our Airbnb rental on the 17th and need to find another place to accommodate us (and two packed cars!) until we can move into our new home. The joys of Army living! I suppose it's all an adventure and it'll give us a good story later. I must often remind myself that God is in charge and allowing all to work for good. But I'd rather the good come sooner than later!
Here's a picture of our future home on West Point. There are four houses attached, but luckily we're an end unit. It's a four bedroom and we have a small backyard with a playground directly behind it. The inside is dated, but it'll do. If we're not in love with it, we can always move next year once Tim makes Major and we have some more appealing housing options. Right now, the idea of another move so soon will have to wait! We'll see how the next couple of weeks unfold, while continuing to pray for our new home to be ready QUICKLY!