Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Waiting and Writing

Since I posted last week, "George" has gone off to boot camp and I have missed him much more than I realized I would. On the other hand, I have learned again how much information is on the internet if you want it! After about the third crying spell, which my husband, bless his heart, assured me was not only OK but a good thing (none of the "thank goodness he's out of the house" stuff), I got on Google maps with the satellite overlay feature. I can see the track he'll be running around, and the barracks building where he sleeps, and so forth. The base even provides a "driving tour" for people who are coming to the graduations -- every week, year round-- and I can identify the buildings by name. When we finally get some mail, I'll be able to visualize what he's doing pretty precisely.

Which brings us to the "waiting" part. The first week of boot camp is essentially "intake processing", where they sort out the ones who maybe have a medical problem missed by initial physicals, or don't have all their ducks in a row with some other aspect of their life. Some they keep, some they send home. But during this process all the recruits stay in an intake barracks, (which I can see on Google ;-) ) until they are assigned to a recruit company with a number (e.g. N175) living in a "squad bay" in a particular barracks. And until they get that assignment, they don't have a mailing address.

My husband, who did all this himself just over 30 years ago, assures me that as soon as the assignments were given last Friday, they sat all the recruits down and had them send a note home with their addresses (and probably not much else.) Since getting mail is good for morale, they want those addresses out there to family and friends. (We have an email all prepped to go to the whole extended family as soon as we get it.) But since yesterday was "Columbus Day" -- and I'm old-fashioned enough to like Columbus, and think he did a good and useful thing -- there was no mail service. Our long-awaited address was just sitting somewhere. No wonder they call it "snail mail" ; and then the snails get a vacation!

I have about a four-page-both-sides-on-legal-pad handwritten letter waiting to go, and the minute I get that note I'm going to address an envelope, slap on a stamp, and head for the nearest late-pickup mailbox. He may not be my baby anymore, but he's my son, and he's going to get mail!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back from Real Life

Not to imply that my blog is unreal, but typing here requires TIME, which in the last month has been used up by a lot of "real life." This does not include the catering job, which is being indefinitely postponed because so far there are no registrants for the local class. We did acquire a pod-type coffee machine, which is a much better resource for a smallish (10-15 max) class size then trying to make the right amount in a large brewer. But I have been confirmed in my opinion -- my family are "hot beverage snobs!" I knew they were picky tea drinkers, as I am one myself (the water must be boiling, the pot must be preheated, it must brew for exactly so many minutes, and so forth.) But when my 13-year-old's (!) comment on the pod coffee was "Well, it's better than that stuff they make in the urns at church" I knew we must be snobs. Sigh!

The "real life" which has happened in the last month has been quite varied. My younger kids went back to school, and for the first time since 1993, when our oldest entered middle school, we have children in only one building, on one schedule. It's almost disorienting! There have been band practices, football games (including the great cross-town rivalry, which the blue team - ours - won),
a trip to the state capital for a get-away weekend trip which our kids gave us for our 25th anniversary, another trip to the state capital for the annual conference of the state pro-life organization, three out-of-town business trips for my husband, and visits from our grandson, and of course his parents.

But the "realest" part is what we did today -- we sent our 18-year-old, our older son, off to the Coast Guard. He's not quite gone yet; along with 10 or 12 other wet-behind-the-ears types, he is checked into a hotel near the recruiting office for the night, and we will go and see him sworn in tomorrow. But he doesn't live here any more, and probably never will. (Of course his "stuff" still lives here - he was allowed to take one very small duffel bag to hold the clothes he is wearing, and nothing can go with or to him until he ships out to his A-school in California after Thanksgiving. And considering what we still have that belongs to his older sisters, including a wedding dress, I don't expect we'll see it moved out anytime soon.) This was a different kind of "going" than we've had so far with his sisters, since when kids go off to college you assume that they'll be back for at least a couple of summers, and two of our three so far have gone to schools within an hour-and-a-half of home.

Since he will only be able to send and receive real ("snail mail") letters -- no email, no online access, no computer at all, no ipod; no wonder boot camp is hard -- I have made a resolve to write him at least one letter a week. And here is where it gets good for anybody reading here: the resolve includes writing here, and catching up on my other letters and emails as well. (Writing, that is. I read them as fast as I get them ;-) ) So my "real life" will now include enhanced communication, and you're the first to know! (I can't send a letter to him until he sends his address; even the recruiters don't know what it will be until it's actually assigned.) Details will follow.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Guess I'd better get started..

Wow! I can't believe that I have actual comments! I guess that means I had better write more posts for people to comment about.

Today my husband and I drove to nearest-big-city to check out and make a deposit on the meeting room he is renting for the esoteric-computer-stuff class he teaches. This is a big step of faith, because always before (for the last 17 years!) when he has taught these classes it has been under contract to someone else; they provided the place, the students, and the amenities. But the folk who did that have mostly moved on to other things, so if there are going to BE classes, my sole-proprietor husband will have to offer them: with money up front and no guaranteed takers. Scary enough for him.

But then there's the other part -- the amenities. ( In this case that means food and drink. ;-)) The cost of in-house catering drove him away from one possible site -- coffee at $26 per gallon, a dozen bagels the same. And NO offsite food permitted. So we moved on to another site, which doesn't care how you cater.

Which is very good, because the caterer of choice is -- ME. This is not entirely outside my scope; I have a food-service background (I helped open a small deli-type restaurant) and actually catered our second daughter's wedding reception. (Full disclosure -- it wasn't the same day as the wedding; she got married in a far-Western state and had one reception there, and then we had a local reception for people in this area.) But I've never been solely in charge of the food for a four-day schedule of classes all on my own.

Fortunately the numbers shouldn't be too high. A class of 25 students would be pushing our wildest-dreams limit, especially till we get husband-offering-classes down to a part of the local business routine. And when our whole family is home, I'm regularly cooking for 10 or more. But this is not in my own kitchen (it's about an hour drive away; refigerator, sink, and dishwasher, but no stove.) And I want to plan for a minimum of leftovers. So, while I have lots of ideas, and a rudimentary guess at needs and costs, I guess I'd better get started! Good thing the class isn't until the second week in October. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Still here...

As I suspected, I don't have much time here, especially when Tommy hijacks the computer I mostly get to use to take to an overnight LAN party. I can't believe my "baby" will start high school in just over a week! This really is a new phase of life, and I hope I'll make the time to document it. So much of the kids' growing up has run together. And Daniel (my grandson) is 2 1/2 months old already. He's changing every day, and I'll forget this, too, if I'm not careful. [ Resolve to write here more often!] And I wish my daughter would post more, but as she's two years and hundreds of posts ahead of me, I guess I'd better not complain.....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Numero Uno

So -- this is my first, very private, post. (Mostly because nobody knows I'm out here.) I think I'll leave it like this for a bit, and see if I actually want to do this, or whether I'll just keep this so that I can sign on to Blogger-limited comments. I guess the pace of life will determine that!