From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Winds of Change

All In The Family...



"Now in this middle part of my life, I've got to tell you, winds come, storms blow, and I have problems, but I feel pretty rock solid".
(Thomas Wilson)


My family is approaching a period of transition. On August 24, Dennis (my husband) will arrive home from Iraq and on August 28, his retirement from the Army-Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) will be official. He has been in Kuwait and Iraq for a total of 3 years in the last 3-1/2 years (not counting R&R time.)

I'll be very thankful to have him home safe and sound! Fortunately, his work as a Department of Defense employee has been in military facilities (not out on patrols), but he has made many trips on convoys and there is always the possibility of hostile attack or some terrible accident -- even in camp. I've prayed for his safety every day.

Along with the relief of having him home, I'm feeling a little anxious. Isaac and I will be adapting to a father and husband at home full time after a long absence. Dennis will be adapting to life at home with his family instead of life in a combat zone -- as well as retirement and probably a different job eventually. No doubt we'll all need to make some adjustments and concessions as we enter the next phase of our lives.

Since our income is going to drop off sharply and we'll have two children in college starting next year. I need to go to back to work soon, if not immediately. I have applied for several jobs, and hopefully I might get one of them.

This week, I'm trying to whip the house, yard, shed, and all the paperwork into shape, and next week if I'm still unemployed, I will kill the fatted calf and prepare the feast for Dennis' arrival on Thursday.

And if I've started a new job by then and I just barely get off work in time to run to the airport -- well, we'll stop at Cracker Barrel on the way home and buy him his favorite -- a gravy-smothered country-fried steak.

8 comments:

Sarabeth said...

I can imagine anything that comes from the good ol' USA is going to tasete great to him.

What a time of change for all of you.

Wrkinprogress said...

You know, Runaway and I have speculated about whether there was a Mr. Prairie Bluestem in the picture, and I'm glad to hear that he's on his way home to you all! What marvelous news!

Is there any kind of benefit, like through the EAP, that would provide some sort of counseling for the family upon his returning home? I would imagine it's totally expected that people would have the potential for adjustment issues.

Be sure to let him know how famous you are in the blogosphere now. ;)

Collagemama said...

Best wishes on your job search.

For some reason, starting with your Sunday mule post, the left edge of the post is being cut off. You've got a lot on your mind. Sometimes an hour spent locked in struggle with html is a kind of mini-mental vacation--speaking from experience!

Genevieve said...

You must be seeing this in Internet Explorer? I always use Firefox, but I guess I should look at the blog from time to time in I.E. just to see what it looks like. I can see what you're talking about. The font is weird too, and I have no clue what is causing it because it looks fine in Firefox. But I'll probably have to figure it out, now that I know it's not right. :D

Mark Paris said...

Now I learn another little piece of your life. I'm glad for you that your husband is coming home. I know a little about separation from family, because since my wife and I married (only a little over a year ago, and we are both old, old, old - don't tell her), I have been working four days a week far enough away that I have to stay over. Every Tuesday (the day I go back to work) and Wednesday is a very difficult time for us. So, adjust, readjust and be happy.

RunAwayImagination said...

I have also wondered where "Mr. Prarie Bluestem" might be. I'm so glad that he's safe and sound and returning soon to you. I imagine it will be like a second honeymoon to have him come home for good.

But remember, this will be a major adjustment for you both. Over time you may discover that each of you has developed unrealistic expectations of the other's adjustment issues. And there may be issues of which you are currently unaware that will crop up. Open, honest and frequent communication will be essential to regaining your marital equilibrium. I agree with WIP that some kind of counseling would be a good investment of your time and energy.

In many ways this may be like starting a new life. You both will be starting new forms of employment, which brings its own set of stressors into your individual lives and hence into your marital lives. In addition, he will be adjusting to life in the U.S., whereas you will have no way to understand his adjustment because you cannot share his perspective.

May I assume your husband reads your blog?

If he reads your blog, I can imagine that your posts must give him much comfort to dream about the peaceful, small town, rural life to which he would one way return.

I surely wish you both the best.

Genevieve said...

Thanks to all for your good wishes and words of wisdom.

RunAwayImagination said...

I need to repeat to you a saying that adorns our refrigerator by the poet Rumi:

"Let what you love, be what you do."

You are an extremely gifted writer and observer of life. I think you should submit some of your freelance journalism (along with your pictures) to the local newspapers, and see what response you get.

Like maybe the Kentucky New Era (http://www.kentuckynewera.com/) or maybe one of the Kentucky newspapers (http://www.usnpl.com/kynews.html).

Good luck in whatever you choose to do!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.