Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pin It To My Forehead

Lists. Lists are good.

1. Love this island, paradise in a tiny little package.
2. Hate this island's allergens.  H a t e   t h e m.

3. Air Force draw-down declared for Lajes Field and a year and a half later, we're all still waiting for news what exactly that means.

4. Commissary selection grows thinner and thinner. Some shelving completely removed this month.


5. BX has reduced all cosmetics to fit in a tiny 3'x5' area. That includes nail polish and fake nails that no one ever buys.

6. Post Office has closed one more day of the week since planes really only bring in mail once a week.

7. Began attending multiple meetings at the school to discuss what will happen to school-aged children.

8. Came to terms with the fact that we WILL be here until summer 2015 and will be one of the last people with kids at that time. Bright side is, we're eager to explore everything this island has to offer.

9. Children have accepted that they now play with kids whose ages may be 3-6 years younger or older than they are- that's all that's left. Church people getting assignments to leave. We're down to 5 families and all but our family will leave by summer.


11. Learn about next year's "Virtual School" that our children will 'attend'. At my plea for some kind of physical program to PLEASE be included into the planning (now that we've written off sports and it's accompanying scholarships) a Col turns to us and cryptically says, "We're very aware of all of you (gestures to everyone) and your circumstances. Everyone will be getting contacted on a case by case basis soon".

12. Begin freaking out. What does that mean? Are we going? Are we staying? If we go, it means we're heading stateside and that's NOT in our plans.

13. Did I mention that I can't stand whatever allergen is putting so many of us under? Saline rinses become my crack and I cry, "I CAN'T do this for another year and a half!"


14. Husband texts me: 'Can you talk?" "Need to talk" "phone"...

15. He was contacted by the 'powers that be' to determine if we want to curtail this assignment because of our two high school peeps. It MEANS, going stateside in July. Which is NOT an option for us. Not interested. But... but... but, I really want to be here for the summer! This is the best place ever in the summer!

16. So, we told them no. We want to stay.

In a few months, when I'm whinging about how sucky life is here,
dying from allergies
while our friendless kids are staring at each other
in an empty church
as less and less supplies come in,



remind me that I chose this, ok?


Friday, February 7, 2014

And the Winds Howled

While the States slumber under their blanket of white, the wind whistles throughout the house. The rain, pelting us horizontally, comes flowing in rivulets under the door.
There's a beach towel tucked against the door to keep the puddles at bay.

Who could complain? It's cool, but not freezing. The strong wind assures me that there will be glimpses of sunshine and watching the violence of the white caps bursting on the ocean surface causes me to reflect on how little control we have over our lives.

I love living where I can see the ocean every day. I love the difference in color from one day to the next and seeing her moods change with every passing storm.

One could say I've always had a 'problem' giving water the respect it deserves. 
I crave it, I long for it, and if I see an area large enough to envelope 
a human body, I ache to be in it. Because of that, 
I've had a few brushes with near-drowning. 
Some of us are slow learners.

The husband chuckles when I watch waves SMASH 
against the jagged lava rock and still exclaim, 
"I want to be in it!".  




This is the result from a very angry sea recently hitting a local swimming area:



But I still love the ocean.

When our lives are hit with powerful waves, are we as eager to greet them? Do our eyes sparkle with excitement as it approaches or do we curl up in a little ball and pray to be rolled along the sandy bottom until the wave passes and we can surface for breath again?

Sometimes, we're only the observer and are forced to watch helplessly while someone we love is dragged under.

The oldest son is again bracing for the storm.

Military job security is no longer a given. An enlistment contract means nothing these days. He is fighting to keep an overseas assignment that was unjustly removed, so he will also face the repercussions that come from challenging one's chain of command (the legal office is in his corner, so he is right to challenge this, but if someone wants you kicked out of the AF, it's not that hard to make it happen).

As I watch the trials Son #1 continues to face, I have to remember that like the stone being rolled and dragged in the ocean current, constantly being polished, smoothed and rounded, that these trials are helping to shape him into the person he is meant to be. His dad and I can only stand back and hope this wave isn't a devastating force to his foundation.

It's so hard.

The winds are howling outside and whatever this latest storm will bring, we will have to accept.
 

Are you or is someone you love having any 'polishing' storms these days?


I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” -Tony Robbins

I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tonyrobbin126257.html#RSYjU20L101zY6Jp.99



I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tonyrobbin126257.html#RSYjU20L101zY6Jp.99







Thursday, December 12, 2013

What May Be Missing

Today,

I had to keep kicking the homesick monster in the head
but he kept rearing up to take another bite. 

Holidays... he's much stronger this time of year, so sometimes he wins and I'm a miserable cow.
It's the children I worry about. They seem to be doing so well with their transplant here in a new country. Is that normal?

And then...

Miss Ky said, "You know what we haven't had in a long time?"

There it is, she ISN'T fine! She's missing some part of our traditional English lives! A Panto? Mince pies with double creme? Cadbury Advent calendars? Celebrations chocolate? School Nativity play or Christingle? Mounds and mounds of Christmas cards to carry to her school friends?

What could this child be reflecting on that has been ripped from her life in the past 6 months?


"Head lice".



Oh, that. Hmph. Yeah, forgot about those (recurring) traumatizing experiences...
I'm not so homesick now.



What's missing (but maybe not "missed") from your traditional celebration this year?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!
 
Miss Kyleigh will be caroling tonight with the Girl Scouts. We received the lyrics to one of the songs and it's almost enough to make me keep her home and just bake cookies.
 
"We wish you a happy holiday, We wish you a happy holiday, We wish you a happy holiday and a happy New Year. Good tidings we'll bring...". Recognize it? It's "We Wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS".  
CHRISTMAS!

WHAT other holiday are they singing about if the words "happy New Year" are included? Hannukah is over, Kwanza? 
 
And speaking of Kwanza, our family was introduced to the holiday by Steve... or Jo... somebody on Blue's Clues years ago, so I've always respected that there is another holiday to acknowledge in December. 
 
However, the Wiki definition of the foundation of this relatively new holiday is that it will "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."
 
Seems a little misleading. 
 
Are we saying Blacks couldn't possibly be Christian and have only been practicing Christianity because the dominant society forced it upon them?

Does Jesse Jackson agree with this?
 
My daughter, whose eyes still sparkle at the mention of anything Christmas, is going caroling tonight. She will sing songs about a neurotic reindeer and a snowman nearing meltdown and belt out a bit of a Brenda Lee favorite, but before she goes, she will learn the lyrics of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and which holiday OUR family is preparing to celebrate this month.

For those of you who are celebrating anything other than Christmas this month, Happy __________ to you. Wishing you peace, good health and happiness. May you always have the freedom to enjoy the things that are dear to you, free from persecution or hostility.
 
And to the Merry Christmasers,
 

Bom Natal e Feliz ano novo from our home on this tiny island in the Atlantic.
 
 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Glimpse into the Island Experience

I was hit by the Island crud- a terrible case of flu/cold/ pneumonia that was being passed around. My fault really. Knowing that all of my kids "besties" had it, I dosed them up with all things germ-fighting, but kind of neglected myself. 
The worst part of the illness was being abnormally tired. Three or four naps a day were not enough.

All said, I didn't get it half as bad as most, so no complaining.  
Nothing like a good illness to make you appreciate your health!

We're all better and enjoying the things Terceira has to offer. Rather than rambling any further, I'm just putting a couple of video clips on here instead. Enjoy.
 
Sorry for the poor quality on this one! 






Put Terceira on your bucket list folks.

Boa Viagem!


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