A few months ago, my husband unexpectedly deployed to Japan. One night, when I was already fast asleep—we spoke earlier that evening—I got a surprise phone call from him that went a little something like this:
Him: The list came out.
Me: The list?….Huh? (slowly trying to wake up and figure out what the heck he’s talking about) Wait. THE list?
Him: Yes. So, where do we want to go?
Me: (still waking up) Well, what are our choices?
Him: Basically, there are a couple bases in Florida or one in California. There are a few other states, but I’d like to stick to those two if possible.
Me: Well, Florida has hurricanes and California has earthquakes. We would know about a hurricane in advance, but the earth will quake out of nowhere. How long do we have to decide?
Him: About 15 hours. I’d like to be one of the first to submit this, so it will be in their inbox by the time everyone goes to work tomorrow.
Me: Well, let’s talk about it.
So that’s exactly what we did for the next five hours. We discussed all the pros and cons about each city and base, Googled the surrounding areas, and I even started looking into job opportunities and how feasible it would be to work wherever we got stationed. By the end of our conversation, my husband had a list in order of the places we’d be content on moving to. While I “slept” on our decision, he emailed the latest list to his boss. Before I went back to sleep he told me it could be a few days before he heard anything.
I got another phone call from him the very next day.
Him: Hi! Are you sitting down?
Him: I think you should sit down.
Me: Um, is everything okay?
Him: Well, we didn’t get Florida or California…
Me: Oh shoot. (My mind starts racing with the other places that were lower on that list) Where are we going?
Him: Remember awhile back when we put Italy on our dream sheet just for the heck of it?
Me: Yeah….? And I remember when you said we shoud include it because it’s a “dream” sheet and there’s no way you’d ever actually get the Italy slot.
Him: Well, we got Italy.
Me: WHAT? (standing up now) Are you serious? What?!
Him: (excitement growing) I’m not kidding, we’re moving to Italy!
So here we are, three months since that conversation and things are still in motion for getting us to Italia later this year. Of course, we’re playing the hurry-up-and-wait game with a full understanding that the military could change their mind at any given second and pull this from underneath us, but for now, we’re trucking forward with plans. The R.I.P. (reporting instructions and procedures) is apparently on its way (so say the head haunchos in my husband’s office), so in the mean time, we’re working on getting our house on the market and making this process as easy as possible.
Have I mentioned that this is my very first PCS? To say that I’m a little overwhelmed with all that’s about to happen in the next six months is a bit of an understatement. What are some things you do when you know you’re PCSing, but are waiting on those handy-dandy official documents? Care to help a newbie out?
photo by: ianmunroe