11/28/06

Packin' up memories

Last week, we were able to schedule our TMO date, so the first shipment of our things will be picked up on Monday -- can you believe that? Monday! Our second shipment will be picked up on the 11th, so we're canceling our internet connection on the 1st. I guess that means that I won't be blogging again until we're at our new home.

It sounds strange to think that another place could ever be home, but, as the saying goes, "Home is where the Air Force sends us." And so, we will make our next base our home because that's what military families do.

It's the only way to survive in this life.

I have lived here in Japan for twelve years -- that's more than half of my life! -- and to think that we will be leaving so soon just blows my mind! We are actually going to be on a plane in less than 5 weeks... I've left Japan before, but I've always come back.

This time, things will be different.
This time, it isn't round trip.
This time, it's one-way.

I think that's the part that scares me the most.

Misawa is my home, and in just a few short weeks, we will be making a new home... somewhere else. I tear up every time I think about it, but I haven't broken down just yet.

It will happen soon, I'm sure.

I've written before about military life being hard because of all the goodbyes that must be said to friends who become a second family, but I've pretty much experienced only that one aspect of the life. It's always been my friends who were leaving while I stayed. Now it's my turn to be the one boarding the plane.

I won't even deny it: I am going to bawl my eyes out.

Ever since My Airman told me our pack-out date, I have been working a little at a time to take things down and separate things for our move. At first it wasn't hard at all, but now when I take things off the wall or pack something into it's box, I get a little melancholy. We moved into this house right after we were married, so, of course, it's our first home together.

Now that I've packed up so many things, our house is starting to get really bare again -- just like it was early in our marriage. It brings back a ton of memories...

Like, the first day we moved into the house. After making several trips to empty out my bedroom in my parents' house, My Airman's room at the barracks/dorms, then carrying everything up the stairs into our new home, and unpacking what we could, we were sweaty and stinky -- a shower was absolutely necessary!

Of course, it was at this point we discovered we didn't have a shower curtain. The BX was closed, and we didn't have any money anyway, so we were stuck. We had just finished removing the plastic wrapping from our mattress (pretty much the only thing we owned when we got married was a mattress and the box springs. No frame, so we slept on the floor without sleeping on the floor, lol), so my husband had the brilliant idea to use the wrapping as a curtain. It ended up being a tad too short, so water sprayed out no matter where the "curtain" was, but it was all we had, so we made it work.

And what about the time I helped out with my best friend's wedding rehearsal dinner? I volunteered to make a shrimp pasta salad. I bought all of the ingredients and even thought to pick up a nice serving bowl (okay, it was plastic, but it was one of the nicer plastic bowls, lol). Then, when I got home, I went to get started making the salad and realized, "I don't have a mixing bowl!" There wasn't enough time for me to go all the way back to the BX, and plus, we didn't have any money anyway, lol! (I'm noticing a common theme here) I didn't want to get the serving bowl all yucky from mixing everything, and of course a cereal bowl wouldn't be big enough. I was using my big pot to boil the pasta, so I had nothing left. In a moment of ingenuity, I noticed my rice cooker and decided to use the insert to mix everything in.

Crisis solved, right?

Not quite.

I then went to open the can of shrimp so I could drain it and realized... we don't have a can opener. I tried jabbing at the can with a knife (though I didn't have any actual kitchen knives, so I was using a steak knife!), hammering at it, but nothing worked. Finally, I thought, "I married an air force man -- there's got to be a Swiss Army knife around here or something!!!" I found a set of Gerber pliers and used that to jab some holes in the can; I cut myself a little during the ordeal, but at least I got the can open!

It wasn't until later that night that I found out Brandon doesn't even like shrimp. My labor of love for my new best-friend-in-law, and he doesn't even eat it, LOL! :P

I could go on forever, but I'll stop myself.

As hard as it will be for me to leave this place, I know that the Lord has other plans for us. I have an unexplainable peace in my heart that it's the Lord's will for us to go... so, underneath all my sentimentality, I do realize that God has a purpose and everything is happening according to His timing.

I'm ready to go... but I'm still going to bawl my eyes out.

P.S. Can anyone tell me the best way to pack a memory? I can't seem to fit all of mine in the boxes.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh, sounds like you will have a hard time the next few weeks. Just remember this little saying that we always use:

"It's not 'goodbye'; it's 'see you later'!" Because it is! Even if you never see those friends on earth again, you will see them in Heaven one day if they are saved!

I'll be thinking about you!

Rebecca said...

Awwwww, your last line was so sad.

I'm sure this will be a hard move for you.

Nathan sent me a message mentioning staying in our RV while you are here. I actually think that's a great idea. It will be more private for both of you - like a hotel room. Tim can hook up the heat pretty easily, but you'll probably have to use my parent's bathroom. We'll have it all set up when you come. See you in a few weeks! Hard to believe, huh?

Anne said...

Hugs, pictures, and letters are one way to chip away at the "memories" problem... although it doesn't ususally suffice! I've said enough "good-byes" as people left, and only twice in my life have I been the good-bye-e person. Keep looking up! You don't have to worry about packing God for He is going with you!!!

Mrs.B. said...

What a sweet post!

I've moved quite a bit in my lifetime....in fact during elementary school I went to a different one every year!

I sure will miss you while you're not posting!

Adele said...

It is never easy to move, especially when you've lived somewhere as long as you have. We face a move in the coming months too, so I know how you feel (besides the fact that I've done it three times before). It is always hard for me at first b/c I always miss the place I've left so much. But then we get settled in, make new friends, and develop new memories and soon that place is dear to the heart too.

If you ever move again, I have a feeling you'll feel the same way about this place that now seems a little daunting. We'll have to pray you find a special friend to help you through the transition time.

Happymama said...

You poor little thing! You had me in tears. One moment I was feeling sorry for you and the other moment I was laughing my head off at your shrimp calamity.

I sure will miss your posts. Make sure you write down all of your blogging information, like your password and username. I always forget mine. I'll be checking in everyday to see if you've posted anything. Although I know it will probably be several weeks before you get to do that.

Home is where your heart is and I know your heart is in Japan. But look at the bright side....you'll be closer to me! A couple thousand miles closer anyway. :) hehehe Besides, when that little baby gets here, you'll be surprised at how the homesickness will ease.

Take care of yourself and don't overwork yourself trying to get things ready to leave. They come in and pack it all up for you anyway. OK?

Love ya!
~Kristi

Samantha said...

Arlene,
It must be hard moving so much, and leaving such good friends. What a journey God has taken you on! I love what the first commenter said about seeing your friends again in heaven, it's so comforting to know that we will all meet again someday.

I also know what it's like to be newly married and without some of the "stuff" that most consider necessities. It's amazing how resourceful, and creative we can be when we have no other choice :) These young married years will definately provide us will some humorous memories. I loved your shrimp salad story! That was too funny!

Joyce's Ramblings said...

pieI want to go to you and give you a big hug and tell you it will be alright. After reading your blog I know that you will be fine and have loads of memories and friends. You won't lose your memories . They stay with you and sustain you. I have memories that are 50 plus years old. They pop up at the strangest times.
Trust in the Lord. One thing I will say is don't give a party when you first move into your new place. Find everything first.

Anonymous said...

Well! Today is Tuesday, January 2, 2007!!

I figure you'll be getting your computer soon and one of the first things you'll want to do is check your blog. Well, let me be the FIRST to say HAPPY NEW YEAR and WELCOME to the states!!

I hope your move was a good one and that you and Nathan are getting settled.

Hope to "see" ya soon! :)

~Kristi