Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Heartache comes like a tsunami

Hannah's coming home. She's being discharged. Apparently the medical board decided that her condition wasn't a risk they were willing to take.  My child is crushed. 

She's feeling things that normal people would feel, mostly that she's a disappointment to people.

But let me tell you.

She's as far from a disappointment as the earth is from the sun. 

She dared greatly. She got up and tried something most people would never dream of doing. She left the comforts of home and put herself in the hands of yelling, cussing drill sergeants who were bent on shaping her into something they needed. Now really. That's kind of crazy isn't it?  

She shared stories of the decisions others were making that got everyone into trouble. Things that got them out of bed at 2 am to enjoy a little PT time; things that lost them those precious phone calls home...then there was the time they had locker/personal inspections because of a contraband cell phone. Yes, the hours of no expectation of privacy. Who volunteers for that? Very few. 

The few weeks she got there have been life-changing in ways beyond description. 

She's no disappointment. This was a thing beyond her control and something we'd never even heard of before. What could she do? 

She'll come home. She will eventually get her head back in the game and figure out what she's going to do. 

I know that God's way is perfect; and I know that His way isn't easy.  

But I wonder, does Hannah know this? 

Friday, March 10, 2017

You will probably get tired of my Hannah updates

But I'm incredibly proud of her.

My faith dictates that it is God who directs the path of man and when I look at Hannah's path, I see very clearly that her way is His choice.

So, when I'm asked about how hard it is to have a daughter in that place, I can honestly say that it's okay because God put her there.  


She is currently squad leader (which is good for her because she has natural leadership qualities.) She is the locker/equipment example meaning her things must always be beyond expectation and she has that ability.

It's actually a joy for me to see her find in herself what I've always seen in her.

In a large family, there are certain places. In my house, Hannah and Tabitha are switched. Tabitha has certain qualities of the average firstborn child, but Hannah has more.  She has always been in competition with Tabitha for firstborn status.  It's rather odd to watch, but I think it explains Jacob and Esau to me in a way. 

But let it be known that I believe God chose this path for her and my soul is at rest. I'm not saying I don't miss her because our home has a hole now. I'm not saying I don't worry about her because I do. I need to know she's thriving. But her first letter home from BCT shows that she is thriving. And this lifts my spirit.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

You're in the Army now...

Hannah's ride through reception has been utterly nerve wracking and insane. She didn't ship the first week because there were a lot of National Guard and Army Reserve women in her bay. They go first. Each battalion has room for 37 women. Hannah got to wait. The next week, she got news that she was going to ship and on her way to meet a drill sergeant to escort her to the PX, she began vomiting. That prompted a ton of tests. They determined she had the flu, but they found something else they needed to more seriously check. It was such a serious thing that it could have caused her to be medically discharged before she ever got to BCT. That guaranteed her a third week in reception.

Tonight, she got the call. She has been cleared and is assigned to a battalion.

My little girl is grown up. Sort of. She has some long hard days ahead of her, but I am so glad she's moving on now.

I'm full of emotions that really have no names. That's okay, though, because I'm Mom. I've earned these emotions. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Death's door and the quilt

I've been ill. I've been at death's door since the Friday before Hannah left. That's long enough. Yesterday I didn't have to be anywhere so I declared it "sleep whenever I want to sleep" day. It helped. I woke up with enough energy this morning to make breakfast. I had enough energy left over that I even ate it. It wasn't all that tasty, but it was food. 

Now, I have to make up for 2 lost weeks. That means time to wash the bedding. I should mention that Rod was down for 4.5 days with the virus. He dragged himself out of bed this morning. That means time to wash all the bedding. Sheets done. Blanket done. Quilt--

Well, the quilt is another story. I got it through the wash no problem. So drying is actually the other story. Every 30 minutes for the next 2 days, I have to get into the dryer, unroll the quilt taquito, and dry it some more. 

But I lose patience too quickly. And also I need to get my pillows washed. The sickness must go. So, after an hour and a half in the dryer, I simply unroll it onto the bed. Still quite damp in some areas. Maybe it will dry faster that way. 

In the meantime, I'll be napping on the sofa. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beginnings and Endings

I suppose watching your children grow and make tough decisions is part of growing up for parents. We want them to fly after we have carefully nurtured them for so many years. We want them to learn the lessons of life they couldn't quite grasp while they were safely tucked under our wings. 

When they are the ones who doubt themselves the most, it's beautiful to watch them tentatively spread their wings. There's joy for them as they fly the first time; and they have the fears.

Saying goodbye to Hannah yesterday knowing she was about to embark upon some of the most difficult days she's ever faced was hard. When she told Rebecca that she loved her best of all and Becca cried was hard too. 

There's an awkward quietness around the house today. I guess it's the silence of missing someone when you can't really find the words to say it.

Well, let's be honest. There are ways in which her leaving are a relief. She's been moping and angsty for about three years. We don't miss that. But we miss her presence among us. We miss the moments of being giddy about her upcoming garden. We miss the body in her couch corner. We miss the body in her bed.  She may have been moody, but she was ours.


Now she belongs to the Army. I have watched the Army change her. I have watched her become happy again. I have watched her start to believe that she can do the things I've always known she could do. I've watched them give her purpose, even if the purpose she thought she wanted and the purpose they decided she was going to have were two different things. 

So, we'll grieve a while. And then we won't anymore because her absence will become our normal. And we'll see her in about 10 weeks and we'll see how she's changed and grown into some amazing thing she never believed she could be. 

And we will pray for her. Because there is no more hands on for me; I've been downsized from that part of her life.  But I cannot be denied prayer. 

So, #GoArmy and make her #ArmyStrong because in my heart I think this is the right thing for her. And that makes it the right thing for me.


Monday, January 16, 2017

A highly controversial post

I think the main reason anti-Trump people are so livid about this election is that his win highlights their hypocrisies.

Yes. I said that.

I go on record here with this: I am not a big Trump fan. I called him a troll of the Republican party. But the troll won. So life goes on.

But how is it that he showcases their hypocrisies?

1. Bill Clinton was accused of rape by more than one woman. Women *still* flocked to him, voting him into office. Twice. Yet, here we are with Trump's vile talk against women. Now women who once talked of engaging in lewd behavior with Clinton are angry. Mrs. Clinton called these Trump supporters "deplorables." Was it not deplorables, using her definition, that got her 8 years of living in the White House? And all the while, her husband was still behaving badly. Womanizing. Boxers or briefs?

2. Trump is Russia's pick.  Okay. What of it? Do you really think that Russia has never cared before? Go read some history. Just as much as the US has cared about elections in other countries, other countries have cared about ours. Remember also, please, where Hillary's off-shore support was coming from...

3. ...Big oil. Remember how the Democrats/Progressives railed about big oil interests in the Bush family? Hillary has the same support. But it's okay this time?

4. Rigged elections? The Queen of Rigged is Hillary herself. Remember Bernie Sanders? And what of accepting the results of the election? Mr. Gore?

5. Mr. Trump skipped security briefings.  You know something, Hillary must have done the same thing. How else can one live in the White House 8 years, work in the Capitol for 8 years, and spend time as Secretary of State--and NOT know the difference between a secure and non-secure device? She is either really stupid or she flat out lied to everyone and couldn't be bothered to tell us the truth.

And I can go on. Mr. Trump this; Mr. Trump that. Stop. Grow up. Handle it. Admit the truth that the GOP started playing by your rules and now you are scared because deep down you know how bad your rules are. And you are afraid of this taste of your own medicine.

Fix it. Play by better rules.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Give that girl a Snickers and some Midol

La Nina is here and she is in a particularly bad mood, in case you haven't noticed. We here in the Portland Metro area have endured a lot of unusual weather and I can't say we've endured it gracefully. I think we've endured it worse than we typically would, actually.  Let me explain why I think this is so.

Our microclimate, I guess you'd call it, is affected by a lot of other microclimates. We have the Columbia River Gorge creating it's own set of circumstances, we have the coast trying to push its weather through but then it hits the coast range and the two climates meet. Then we have the valley climate. And the foothill climate. And one of these is going to win, but most times it's difficult to tell which one that will be.

Which leads to the average Portlander not believing there will be snow or ice because it rarely ever happens as the forecasters predict. Actually, in my experience, the worst time (or best times if you are a real snow lover) are the times that catch the forecasters off guard.

So, here's what happened. The first round of unpleasantness rolled in exactly as scheduled. We were taken by surprise because that is a rarity here. Portland was log jammed. It was horrible for everyone. Wrecked cars, children on buses until midnight; some kept at school overnight. Plows were stuck in those traffic jams, as were the gravel trucks. Portland experienced a lot of anger.

Seriously, around here, when the first snowflakes fall, people know it's time to get home. So they all headed out at once. They don't stay with their cars. They abandon them when they can't go any further. Just trust me when I tell you that it is a mess. We hit national news because of our unpreparedness. 

Enter storm number two. Yes, we got a second major for us event. Everything came crashing to a halt. And made news. It made news because once again, it caught us off guard. I know--right on schedule.  But to be fair, it hit a little early. Panic. We can't help it. We know we are in trouble.

But it wasn't over. Before event number two--or maybe it was already event number three (this is how messy it's been this winter)--was even over, out came word that the next event was going to hit us. And they couldn't tell what direction it was going to take. It looked like ice. Wednesday, they said. 

Hello Tuesday. The snow began to fall fast and heavy. And it started earlier than expected. They told us that it would likely turn to ice again within about two hours. But it continued to dump snow. It dumped and dumped and dumped. Even NWS Portland kind of gave up trying to figure out what was going to come down. (Whoever is in charge of their Twitter account has a grand sense of humor.)
 
My house ended the drama with 8 inches of snow. Friends of mine ended with 13 inches. We shut down. There is no going anywhere when these events are so rare that your government entities don't stock a huge fleet of plows.

There is no denying the beauty of the fresh snow. There is no denying the great enjoyment of a true snow day. There is no denying the exhaustion that comes at the end when the kids go to bed and and sleep 13 or 14 hours.

There is no denying that it's nice to be at the end of it.




So, my conclusion is that La Nina is in an extremely bad mood this year. She needs some Midol and a Snickers.