Here we go again…

It has been a little while but we have finally settled down after the move. Or rather, we are settling down enough that I can get back to writing and reflecting a little bit.

A little bit of admin stuff up front…

I finally got an email subscription plug-in to work with this blog. I do not plan on putting every blog post on Facebook. If you want to get a notification each time I put up another post, please enter your email address under the subscribe option at the top of the column on the right. You should get an email confirmation after you do this. If you go through the steps and find that you are not getting notified about posts, then please let me know.

We moved out of our house March 16. We slept in our own beds again May 13. Almost 2 months of living out of bags and sleeping on floors! It was quite an adventure. Please Please Please do not think that we were having a hard time. It seems as though we did not suffer at all.

One of my objectives for the trip was to spend some time together as a family and see if we could strengthen some of relationships. There are some wounds in my kids that I have caused and I wanted to see if I could spend those months trying to reconcile their little hearts to mine.

It seems to have worked well. Now that I understand the hearts of my older kids a little bit better, we were able to connect in a more deliberate manner. My oldest daughter, the introvert, would sit next to me for 6 hours at a time.  It was most comfortable for me to ride with my right arm resting across the seat-backs, and so my hand would rest on her shoulder.  We wouldn’t talk about much, but the moments we did spend talking were precious.

Sleeping on the floor wasn’t bad either.  We got to stay with family, friends, friends who are family, and family who are friends.  All in all it was such a great trip.  Spent time with a range of people like folks that my wife and kids have never met and that I have dearly missed (Thanks for the grape juice bro!), as well as family that we saw last Christmas.

And now we are here.

I have a lot of butterflies in my stomach right now.  It feels like tomorrow is the first day at a new school…  probably because it is.  I’m more excited than I am nervous or anxious.  I do wonder if I have what it takes.  I’m not so concerned about graduating, I wonder if I have what it takes to actually be the sole medical provider on a submarine.

I’m sure it will be fine.

My soul rests as I wait.

Thanks for being patient with us as we travelled.

Thanks so much too for letting us sleep on your floors!!   I cannot think of a better way to explore this great nation of ours!!


Until next time…

Seattle to Portland

We made it to Portland.

We got started about 6 hours later than I planned.  We had more to load into the suburban than I had planned, but all in all, things went well.

I got almost 13mpg as an average from Seattle to Portland, but I held a solid 72 for the vast majority of the trip.  I felt so proud.  I also discovered that driving around 65 will get me right at 15mpg, so I think I’ll slow down for the rest of the journey.

The trailer pulls fine as long as there is no wind and no bumps or turns.  Add any of those things, and that trailer gets unruly quick.  I’ll be looking for a different hitch set up in the morning to see if I can negate any of that.  Might look for some airbags too.

Truck and Trailer

Stopped for a supper at a place called “The Burger Claim“.  This place is outstanding!!  They buy their meat in steak form, they grind it themselves, and they make fries from actual potatoes just like 5 Guys Burgers and Fries.  They also give a 15% military discount.  Food was outstanding.  Not only are the burgers fresh and tasty, they used shotgun shell Christmas lights in the dining area.  Tacky… Check.   ‘Murica…  Check.

Shotty Lights

If any of our Washington military friends are looking for a short little family vacation, head down to the Great Wolf Lodge.  It is an indoor water park and “The Burger Claim” is right next door.  Or if y’all are driving from Seattle to Portland or vice versa, this place is pretty much dead center.

I am really worn out.  A lot of stress from today has really taken a toll on me.  That trailer getting twitch and swimming down the road took a lot to keep in my lane.  I really hope I can figure something out before we start crossing the mountains into Utah and Colorado.  I really don’t feel like killing anybody on the road in the next few days.

Thanks for reading.  If you want to get email updates when I post something new, please submit your email address on the right.


Road March to Groton

We hope to be wheels hot no later than 0800, 01APR2014, en route to Groton, CT.

We also hope to still be on speaking terms with each other, well rested, well fed, and excited to start the drive from one side of this great nation to the other.

And by we I am referring to my wife, my kids, and me.

I will be going to school for a little more than  year in Groton in order to become a Submarine IDC.  An IDC is an Independent Duty Corpsman.  A Corpsman is a beastly creature composed of the essential elements of power, strength, and intelligence with a side helping of awesome and gliding with a swagger which cannot be duplicated and inhabiting the nightmares of those who would do harm to the Marines and Sailors entrusted to their care.  We are a proud breed… maybe I should do a post dedicated simply to that…

Anyway, a Corpsman is a medical “jack of all trades” for the Navy and Marine Corps, most commonly filling the role of a combat medic or hospital nursing staff.  After I graduate from the school in Groton (If I graduate), I will be the sole medical provider for the crew of a Submarine.

Pumped… Yes

Intimidated… Absolutely

I am not sure if I am really mature enough to accept the responsibility of the health, the lives of so many men and women in such an austere environment.  Talk about a heavy burden of responsibility.

Sooo… between now and a little less than 2 months from now we have a lot to do and a very little amount of time to do it.  We need to get our household goods packed up, our house cleaned enough to pass a military cleanliness inspection, close up all the business like things we have going, resolve whatever local tasks are still outstanding, load up our cars, and then punch out.

We plan on Visiting family and friends in Portland, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Altus (Oklahoma), Dallas, Lake Charles (Louisiana), Knoxville, Jacksonville (North Carolina), Washington DC, a little town in Maryland, and then stopping in Groton.

I will try to put up a post and some pictures every couple days during the trip.

Until then…