The very first person I met when I moved here two years ago is PCSing this summer. In fact, she will be gone in just a few short weeks. I recently had the chance to visit with her over coffee cake and tea at her kitchen table.
This visit came after an open invite for friends to stop by her home. Since I knew she was so close to moving, I wanted to see her before that happened. I thought I'd stop by with pink and white flowers to brighten her day, turns out she is the one who brightened mine.
It doesn't matter if you are in the middle of your first, fifth or fifteenth PCS, each move requires lots of planning, flexibility and ultimately in the end saying good-bye to friends. These are the friends we have learned to lean on during separations from our spouses due to schools, training and deployments. The goodbyes are hard to say and although it is easier to keep in touch now via social networking sites, the day-to-day involvement in each other lives will never be the same. Still we move forward; even if on any given day we can't wait to move or wish we could stay. In the end, we follow our spouses and go where the military sends us. We start a new adventure filled with promise, possibility and lots of packing paper!
When I arrived, my friend was indeed handling the move and doing it with four kids, two dogs, and all the accompanying "accessories". Her husband is already neatly tucked into their new "duty station". This is her family's "final move" with the military. They are retiring after serving twenty years in the Navy.
At a time when you might think the average military spouse's daily calendar would be filled with moving preparation, she is making time to spend precious moments with friends like me. She talked of final activities with her friends squeezed in-between vet appointments and pack out inspections. We laughed over shared memories at our previous command and talked of new adventures for both of our families.
The time flew by and soon it is time to say our good-byes. I hate goodbyes! We hugged and instead of saying "goodbye" we said, "see you on Facebook!" As I drove away it wasn't long before I noticed a moving truck. A military family was moving in just a few doors down. This is a true example of our transient lifestyle, one-neighbor leaves, while another moves in just a few doors down.
Whether you are getting ready for the movers or surrounded in boxes, the day's details can get overwhelming. You might begin to wonder if you'll get it all done. Remember to stop and take a deep breath. Ask for help when you need it, and when your energy and strength are waning; remember to stop for a cup of tea and coffee cake. Be sure to invite a friend be it an old one or...a new one.
Cheers to all of you either packing or unpacking!
What is your top moving tip? How have you handled moving while your spouse is already at your next duty station?
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