The time away from Michael is certainly not getting any easier, but we've still been able to talk several times a week even since he's gone further out into the field for training. For me, one of the most challenging things about him being relatively unaccessible on a moment's notice by phone is the organization of any and all logistical details - since, now that we are married, my logistics are often going to be his, too! Even while I am in Chicago and he is still here, it is going to be important for us to always be on the same page so that we can stay on top of tickets between Atlanta and Chicago, and obviously for me to find a balance in work/school and my time with Michael. Anyway, while he's in the field, he obviously isn't able to help me even with the smallest details, so I've just been trying to juggle what few things I've had to take care of :-) He is very good at expressing his gratitude for that and saying that he wishes he could be helping with everything, so that makes it all worthwhile.
The past week and a half or so, I've really been at a complete standstill, as far as productivity. You might wonder what I need to be producing. Well, before I left in May I wasn't able to finish all of my packing of my winter clothes and several miscellaneous items leftover from my dorm room, most of which I will be wanting/needing desperately in Chicago! That is the main thing I am trying to wrap up - luckily my parents aren't looking over my shoulder trying to take over my entire closet...just my room. Although my mom has already made a very nice little office for herself in there, even with my bed still intact! So that is for my last week, as we are taking off for Orcas Island this coming Tuesday for five and a half days.
It has been really great to be home; I haven't seen as many people as I had hoped, but that seems to happen "everytime", no matter how long one has. I've managed to get quite a bit of downtime and good running and reading in, so for me that is alright for now. My thank-you pile still stares me daily in the face, but those I'm planning on bringing next week, so hopefully finish them then!
Michael has been doing a lot of driving out in the Mojave Desert the past couple of weeks. His Sgt. Jon Pratt had two incidences of heat exhaustion in just 3 days last week, however, which meant Michael took a couple of missions he wouldn't necessarily have otherwise. Jon is doing better, but the Sgt. above him who had him go back into "action" after just a night's rest following his first bout is getting demoted and moved to a different section. They had one day a couple days ago when they had some real "Iraq" fighting and action, so I'm glad about that, since it's really the reason they are out there - not just to run ammo back and forth between the camps. (At least, I thought...?) So they have a week or so left in the actual field and then will go back to the "staging ground", which is actually a Marine base in Yermo, CA, to get all of the vehicles back onto the trains to head back to Georgia.
My dad and I took a two-day trip up to North Vancouver, Canada, this week; he had a couple services/performances at Regent College and I visited several friends in the area. Such a great time. Here are a few pictures of the dinner I had with my "group".
Thursday night my dad had a concert at Regent, and we went out to dinner with Brian Moss (our friend who is the music and arts director at Regent), Heather Pasman and Jamie, the saxophone player who was also doing the concert. We ate at a great little bistro called Burgoo. They had "the best grilled cheese sandwich [Brian] had ever had in [his] life"...and it was pretty good! My dad was really excited about it, so I snapped a shot of him & Brian.
Meanwhile, today when my mom and I were baking all morning in our kitchen, the cat, Taffy, was begging incessantly. He started when I was making my salad for lunch, continued as we blanched peaches and cut them up for a pie, and was finally rewarded with some cooked chicken. (Although not before we made fun of him for begging for fruit...) Here he is, perched on my leg begging for who knows what...