Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sights I Can't Wait to See

In 48 hours, I'll be on my way to Oklahoma--and I can't wait! They tell me I'm a responsible adult, but I feel more like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I remember my early Christmas Eves pretty well: being put to bed waaaay too early (I thought), tossing and turning under the covers, listening for reindeer on the roof and Santa in the living room, feeling as though the minutes were progressing in reverse (yeah, they really were crawling by THAT slowly), and wanting to go to sleep--but powerless to make it happen, because I was so hyped up about the next day.

Now, translate that into adulthood, and switch out Santa for Spike. I keep telling myself to get a grip and to behave like I have some sense, but it's tough. Forcing my mind to concentrate on my work (which I really do enjoy immensely) is like trying to control the Budweiser Clydesdale team, with no prior horse-handling experience, while the enormous equines are hyped up on caffeine.

My mind, currently. It's even kicking up dust in a similar fashion.

Now Bosslady, if you're reading this, don't worry--I am winning the concentration battle, and productivity is still occurring. But I'll be honest--it's tough. The past two weeks here at my North Carolina home haven't been bad by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm glad they're almost over. I miss my Captain. I know it's silly and irrational, but when I'm here in the midst of what I already think of as my "old" life, Spike and what we have together sometimes seem like a too-good-to-be-true dream from which I'll wake up unexpectedly.

Luckily, though, I have pictures to prove that Spike and his Great Plains habitat are real, and I can pick up the phone whenever I want and hear his voice. I don't take that for granted, either--I know that a lot of military girlfriends, fiancees, and spouses don't have that luxury, because their men (or women, as the case might be!) are currently deployed to a place without reliable Internet access or phones. When you're in that situation, every second of communication is the most valuable thing in the world to you, and you'll drop literally anything to take the call for which you've been holding your breath.

I think back to the first phone conversations I had with Spike, placed from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. I hadn't even met him in person yet, but I knew he was incredibly special, and I had a feeling he'd soon come to occupy a large place in my life. Hearing his voice across all those miles and time zones was always a rush and a relief, rolled into one. Talking to him was an anchor I could use to remind myself that the fledgling changes in my life were really happening, but much more than that, to reassure myself that Spike was safe, and that he was thinking of me.

I remember skiing with Bosslady one night (see? told you she was awesome), my coworker Natalie, and Bosslady's sons. We were riding the ski lift up to the top of the mountain when I felt my pocket vibrating. I almost didn't check my phone--but I'm so glad I did. As you've probably guessed, it was Spike. Immediately, what had been a leisurely lift ride turned into a flurry of frantic activity. As quickly as I could, I ripped off my ski glove with my teeth so that I could answer the phone (I have an iPhone and have to "slide" the bar across the screen to answer a call, as opposed to pushing a button). Simultaneously, I was babbling through the ski glove, which was still in my mouth, "It's from Afghanistan! I have to answer it!" Of course, this sparked off incredulous questions from Bosslady, who didn't yet know about Spike.

Eventually the call was answered, and I breathlessly explained to my suitor-to-be that I was on a ski lift. Ever the jokester, Bosslady took the phone as we slid off the lift bench and told him that I was lying, and that I was really playing one of those virtual-reality games at the mall. Sidenote: I wish my own brain worked that fast.

The conversation ended up being a short one. As I stood at the top of the ski run looking out over the starry sky and the snowy Appalachian mountains, Spike explained that he'd called to tell me that his unit was starting the long journey home, and not to worry about him if I didn't hear from him for a few days. I can still sharply recall how grateful I was for those few seconds of communication, and how touched I was that he'd thought to tell me--a woman he'd yet to meet in person--that he was okay, and that he was coming home. I think I'll always treasure the memory of that brief call on the top of the mountain.

So, that's the Spike I can't wait to see in a few days. Here are a few other sights I'm excited to see:
The view from the plane of the plains. See how flat it is??!?

Our little town of Geronimo! The strange copper domes are the high school, and that row of houses to the far right is our street. We're the third one from the left.

Our street and our "front yard," which is really a field. I love it in the evenings because the duplex faces west, which is convenient for sunset-watching.

And of course, the sight I'm looking most forward to seeing is the Captain! (Yes, I know he was still a First Lieutenant when this photo was taken.)
He won't be wearing his ACUs (Army Combat Uniform--the acronyms strike again!) on Saturday as he is in this picture; however, I think his expression will be similar. This is my favorite picture of him, and I have it framed on my desk. I love it because of Spike's genuine, bursting-with-happiness expression--as opposed to an "I'm posing for a picture" smile. Spike's mom took this shot at his coming-home-from-deployment ceremony. And shortly thereafter, I got my first call from him on American soil. I'm so happy that it turned out to be the first of many.

One other note: still waiting to hear back from the Field Artillery regarding the Captain's branch transfer application. Sure hope we get word soon, and that it's positive! At this point November (when we'd move to wherever the Army sends us) seems pretty far away, but it'll be here! Four and a half months. Zounds. Which I'm sure will pass before we know it.

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