Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to Act Toward a Spouse of a Deployed Military Member

So, I’m learning that civilian people say odd things when they know your spouse is deployed.

I very often get the sympathetic head tilt accompanied by “So, how’re you doing?” with a facial expression that says “it’s okay to cry.”

I halfway want to reply with the “I’m okay Head Bob” but usually simply say, “Umm, I’m fine” and just change the subject. I haven’t just come from a funeral, divorce, or learning I have terminal cancer. Can we please lighten up?

My latest favorite is my neighbor’s reply (and other variations of this). Talking of his being overseas, separated from me, “Oh isn’t it just terrible?” 

Okay, how am I supposed to reply to this one? “No, it’s not terrible. I love having him gone. I dance myself to sleep every night in celebration” Or “Yes, it’s terrible and I blame the evil military for taking him away from me without me knowing that it’s his job or anything.” I usually reply that it is, in fact, his job to go overseas and we expect and prepare for this. Both our “sacrifices” are part of being in the military.

Please be kind to your friends with deployed spouses. Ask them what they’re doing while he’s gone. Anything interesting? You can ask them how his or her spouse is doing over there. Maybe they’ll have a lot to say or maybe not.

The main idea is to be open. Please do not assume everyone feels as you would. Military spouses have more preparation. They know their spouse will be deployed. It’s not a surprise (usually). It comes with the job. I prefer to be proud of his service and while it may not be the most awesome thing to be separated from your favorite person in the world, I love that he is dedicated, skilled, a wicked-good pilot, and does his job well wherever he is in the world.

One of the nicest things you can do is thank the spouse of a deployed military member for serving as if you were thanking their spouse.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Latest

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At the end of May, I went to the beach in Mexico! Ahh, I love the beach. You may ask what I did with my time in Mexico… well, I laid on the beach, shopped, laid on the beach, ate tropical fruit on the sea-view balcony, laid on the beach, and drank fruity drinks delivered to my lounge chair… while laying on the beach. It was AWESOME!

Flying back through Dallas, I always stop at the USO (lounge for military personnel) and this adorable man was playing the banjo outside the door. It just put a smile on my face.

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I stopped in College Station to visit family and attend sweet Janine’s wedding. It was SO wonderful! The ceremony was so sweet and it was a joy to catch up with some College Station friends! Her new husband a firefighter, Janine arrived in a fire truck to walk down the aisle!

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This picture was too adorable not to take – father and grandfather with my niece!

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When I got back to South Dakota, the plants had exploded with growth! It was very good timing because the Moores followed me back to help me plant the garden.

A lot harder work than anticipated, Ken tilled the ground, we took out the grass, added compost, planted, and arranged drip hoses. All done now, it was worth the effort! And a BIG thanks to Rob’s parents for helping me plant!

Before

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During

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After

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THEN, as if all that manual labor wasn’t enough, these two energizer bunnies decided to go ahead and help me do the ceiling in the sunroom.

We chose to do tongue and groove pine planks and they look SO good!!! We also added insulation to the ceiling and the remaining wall (that I hadn’t yet completed) and it makes a HUGE difference! The sunroom is much more temperate now – not too hot and (hopefully) not too cold.

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We also attended the air show and it was exciting to see a B-2 bomber on the ground (I’ve only ever seen them do a fly-by). Of course the B-1 showed off (you know, because it’s awesome) and the Heavy Metal Jet Aerobatics Team was the stunt show for the day.

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And that’s the news from Lake Woebegone South Dakota.