Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hi There.

Remember me? Yeah, I know, I've been a little distant lately. Things have been happening. Yeah, a lot of things. One week from tomorrow, TFH will enter the submarine base for the last time as an enlisted man, and exit it for the first time as a civilian. This is a bittersweet time for us. It is truly "The End of an Era" for him, us, all of us. But it is also a new beginning. Friends, there is just no way to adequately communicate the energy and emotions buzzing around our home right now. I believe, at the beginning of the summer, I may have expressed some concern about my two dearly beloveds being home with me all day, every day. Yes,there were the typical 5 year old crises: the "I'm bored" and "there's nothing to DO." But by and large, the summer was fun! I flew a bit more than I did earlier in the year, but TFH really pulled through while I was away. And I can't help feeling that he's coming away from his vacation with a new perspective towards his roles as a husband, partner, father and role model. TFH did not want to have a formal retirement ceremony. What he told me he wanted instead, was a weekend camping trip. I struggled with that people, because 21 years of service to your country just seems like it deserves something a little more... BIGGER... fancier... I don't know - what? Formal. Camping? Really? I told him as much, but he really stuck to his guns, and being that this was HIS party, I backed off, and supported his wishes. And, so, two weeks ago, all of our favorite people joined us at Millersylvania State Park for a barbecue (on Friday night) and brunch (on Saturday morning) and two nights of sitting around the campfire long into the evening remembering, laughing (drinking...) Not everyone was able to be there for all of it, but they made it when they could. It was truly a blast. When we got back, I said "You know, I was really skeptical about your choice of celebration for your retirement, I worried that it might be sort of a let-down, but now I get it." It was really a special weekend. The retirement ceremony he would have been given on the base might have lasted all of 30 minutes, and most of the people who spent the weekend with us likely would not have made it. He totally had the right idea, and I learned a little something from my husband. There is an open doorway between our "dining" area and the TV/family room. Before we met, TFH had some roommates here and as there are only two very small bedrooms, what we now call the TV room served as a bedroom for someone. TFH installed wooden curtain rods in that doorway and the other, opening into the living room, so that the occupant could have some privacy. The curtains, or sheets, or whatever they used are long-gone, but the rods to this day remain. For the past 12 years, this is where TFH has hung his Navy uniform when he gets home from work. Not in the bedroom closet, not in the hall closet, not even in the bathroom. Right there, in the doorway between the dining area and the TV room. Do I have to tell you how I felt about this arrangement? Do you suspect that I've suggested that once he is out of the Navy, we can store the uniform away, and remove the curtain rods? And yet, right now, when I glance over my shoulder at that khaki uniform hanging over there, I have this HUGE lump in my throat, and it's a little hard to see the keyboard right now (thank you, spell check, thank you!) And guess what?! He's already had a job interview! Two former co-workers (both on their terminal leave, pre-retirement, same deal as TFH) called him and recommended he look into a position where they have already been hired. They also told their boss about my husband's talents with electronics - he may be heading back to work sooner than we expected, and I'm a little conflicted about this. I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure being together 24-7 for the last three months. We only knew each other for 13 months before we got married, and our odd careers have caused occasional rifts in our time together. This summer was not just a vacation, it was a blessing! The potential new job would be, without a doubt, the perfect transition out of the military. He would be working for a defense contractor on the same submarine base where he's been based for the last 20 years. He'd be working with 3 guys who also will be newly retired from the Navy. And the best part: no more patrols! How can I not support that? But still, it sure has been nice having him around. Happy retirement, TFH! Fair winds and following seas... (PS: Um, as you will no longer be The Floating Husband, what should we call you after you retire?)


Alpha DogMa said...

The Landlubber Husband!

Okay, maybe not.

But congratulations all around.

Let me get this straight: you moved into your husband's bachelor pad? Oh, you are a brave one.

theflyingmum said...

Why are we still up?! We have children to see off to school in the morning!

Nowheymama said...

Welcome back! It's great to catch up on what you all have been up to.

The...Non-Retired Husband?

theflyingmum said...

The Formerly-Floating Un-Retired Husband? (TFFURP?) Hah! just made myself snicker.
Well, the bachelor pad sits on 4 1/2 acres with an established fruit orchard. TFH: not your typical bachelor.

Misty said...

I hate change. It will be good though. It usually is and things always work out. But that transitioning stuff? Blah.

Congratulations Flying Family!

NotSoSage said...

I'm so glad to hear that your summer was a good one, all around. And happy retirement, TFH!

That party sounds like my idea of a good time. In fact, we just attended a wedding this past weekend that was much like it. I loved it.

As for a new moniker for TFH, he'll still be working at the base, right? I say stick with what works (there's enough change happening for you folks right now).

theflyingmum said...

TFH is so easy to type. And the camping weekend was just perfect. Really!

painted maypole said...

the camping weekend sounds great - now I want to go camping! :)

On Monday... the Last Monday Mission I host, I'll put a link over to your site to tell people where to continue. If you have a topic fo rthe first Monday I'll post that as well, to give people a head's up.

Beck said...

I hope he has a GREAT retirment! And I hope that he finds fulfilling work, too.

jen said...

happy retirement indeed. congratulations.

Tracey said...

Happy retirement and good luck in future jobs to your hubby!

Sara said...

I vote for TFFH, or The Formerly Floating Husband. Or The Artist Formerly Known as TFH. :)

Happy Retirement of non-retirement as it may be.