No storm. No rain. No typhoon. Just a TCCOR Storm Watch this evening. Thanks to Russell, we were prepared for an evening in–a surprise movie, mini-pizzas, a beverage of choice, and ice cream. Who wouldn’t want a reason to stay in?
Our day of waiting was productive–unpacking is nearly completed, furniture has been rearranged, and cleaning has been completed. We are well underway to making this our home.
Yesterday’s visit with [N], our housing counselor, was [S]’s second time at the housing office. It was a long, but worthwhile, meeting. We signed paperwork for our new home on Camp Foster, Plaza Housing, including a radon level disclosure, housing agreement, and furniture allotment form. (Yes, we are allotted a specific amount of government furniture for our use in our home, based upon the number of dependents. We are given a one-time free pick-up of any furniture we do not need (or want) within 90 days of delivery. Hedging our bets, we elected to accept the entire allotment and sort it out after our goods have been delivered.)
We collect our keys Tuesday afternoon and will leave the WestPac on Wednesday. I understand that many members and their dependents have a tenuous relationship with the housing office–and I can appreciate the various reasons why–but we are thankful for [N]. I mentioned that the lawn needed mowing and questioned whether that was our responsibility, she made a call to ensure it was mowed before we moved in. (After the initial cut, it is our task.) I asked about our expedited goods shipment, currently in storage on base, and she walked us through calling the company to ensure delivery next week. And when Russell and I were trying to read and sign documents, while tending to [S] squirming about on my lap, she said, “Here, I’ll watch her.”
With outreached arms, [S] welcomed [N]. [N] sat on her exercise-ball-turned-office-chair and bounced with her, walked with her through the maze of offices, and showed [S] her son’s artwork. [N] was understanding and kind to our family. And we are grateful. But we are even more thankful that we will be saying sayonara to the WestPac shortly.
The call came this afternoon. And what followed occurred exactly as had been told to us.
[N] at the housing office at Kadena AFB left a voicemail message at 1340, informing us that she had properties for us to visit and that we were to arrive before 1530 to collect the keys and a property map. Fortunately, our sponsor was available to collect us and accompany us to Kadena this afternoon. Upon our arrival, we waited. And waited. Finally, [N] greeted us.
“You look like you’re local,” were her first words to me. “Yes, so I’ve been told,” I responded. She explained the process. We will tour two base properties and must select one. “Call me tomorrow morning,” she instructed. We were pleasantly surprised by our choices. And, hopefully, will be in a home sooner rather than later.
We’ve just returned from purchasing our first vehicle. We should be in possession of the vehicle before the next typhoon is expected to affect Okinawa (mid- to late next week). It’s cobalt blue, which should improve our chances of locating the vehicle among a lot of thousands. The vehicle, a Mazda Premacy, will be refitted with four new sneakers and have a wee bit of cosmetic work completed before we drive it off the lot. Thank you B.C. Motors. And thank you, Sponsor.
We are preparing for our first tropical storm, with typhoon conditions possible. I’m learning the warning conditions as set forth by the Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR). We are at TCCOR 1, which means winds greater than 50 knots (57.6 mph) are expected within 12 hours. Yes, we have plenty of water and food. At TCCOR 1 C–the C stands for caution–base amenities, such as the commissary, exchange and the WestPac’s front desk, will close and all non-mission-essential personnel are to be off the streets and in their residences.
The WestPac, as are all buildings on base, is built to withstand typhoons. And we are snug as a bug in a rug in our accommodations. Earlier today [S] and I watched the facilities staff place sandbags on top of outdoor trash receptacles and secure outside tables and chairs.
Want to follow along with us? Check out Kadena Air Base on Facebook, no need to have an account or login to see the conditions.
That was until we hit a two-hour roadblock whilst attempting to upgrade our vehicle at the San Diego Airport. The good news is that we are now driving a Nissan Armada. The bad news is that the delay had a knock-on effect on the remainder of our day. And now, late into the evening, we remain packing and re-packing to ensure the weight of any one of our pieces doesn’t exceed 70 pounds.
As a good friend once explained, “There are times in life when its advisable to just drink through it.”
Amidst the recent chaos and upheaval in my life–or perhaps because of it–I find myself in a period of quiet and total reflection. I am in awe of my life and those who are in it. For the closest members of my family and dearest friends to passing acquaintances, I am thankful. The reflection of the looking glass of my life shows depth, complexity, love, and a good bit of frivolity and mischief at play. It goes without saying, but shouldn’t, that I am most grateful for my husband. He is a good man. A loving partner. And an amazing father.
Yesterday was a sad day for our family as we contemplated the very real possibility that Blue will not be able to travel to Okinawa with us. I was consumed by worry. Where would he go? Who would take him? Would he find a good home?
That evening, I sent an e-mail to a select few, explaining our situation and asking recipients to consider fostering Blue until we return–our Plan B. I was asking for a substantial undertaking and a considerable commitment. A tall order.
Within minutes of my pressing the send button, three people responded. One who was certain they wanted to be our Plan B; one who was reasonably certain they wanted to be our Plan B; and, one who asked after Blue’s ability to get along with a mastiff and two elderly cats.