>A lot to say: airports, Arizona and a look back.

>I was going to update yesterday when I was waiting for my flight at Midway, but my computer wouldn’t hook up to the wireless there. And I’m too cheap to pay $6.95 to use the Internet. Now this post is going to be very long.. mostly because I have the luxury of time to post such an elaborate entry.

I love airports. I got to Midway around 7:30 via Peoria Charter Coach. I checked my luggage, which was free through Southwest, and proceeded to my gate. Not before, of course, hitting up a cafe with the advertisement of “We Proudly Brew Starbucks”. Got my grande nonfat caramel macchiato (wow, I sound like a snob) and hung out until my flight boarded around 10:10. The whole experience with Southwest was great. They were friendly, offered free drinks and snacks throughout the whole flight and collected garbage about five times. Instead of being assigned a seat, I was assigned a boarding area out of A, B or C. I purposely sought out an aisle seat because I have a tendency to pee.. a lot. Sure you wanted to know that. I hate stepping over people or asking them to get up.

I was seated next to a couple really cute families with very well behaved children. This little boy, Samuel, popped his cute two-year-old head over the seat and said “Hi!” really loudly and with a cute smile. It’s times like that, and when Jackie’s daughter Libby gives me a huge enthusiastic hug, when I kind of wouldn’t mind a child right now. Kind of.

Something about airports just intrigues me. I love the feeling of anonymity. Maybe this is one of the reasons I know I will love San Antonio (besides the traffic!). I love the feeling of empowerment when I can speed through the security line in the “Experience Traveler” lane. I love wondering where people are going, where they’re from, what their families and lives are like. I have to say that an airport is one of my favorite places ever (as long as my flight is on time and I’m not stranded there! But that has yet to happen…).

My flight to Tucson was direct, just shy of four hours. Normally I get extremely restless and can’t focus on one particular thing, but I ended up almost finishing Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult, which I only started on Wednesday while my students were watching Toy Story in Spanish.

I got to Tucson and it was only about 60* and rainy there yesterday. Brrr, coming from Illinois and its heat wave. I got to the Enterprise counter and got my car. I rent with a debit card since we do not have credit cards, and I don’t have a problem doing that. Granted, I’ve rented from the same place all of two times I’ve needed a car in my life. But instead of debiting an amount of at least $250 off the bat, the only take out 20% more than the rental. And I got a 5% military discount. All in all it was $220. Not bad for a week and being under the age of 25. I got an aluminum can for a car because I’m cheap, like I said earlier, so I’m driving by default a Hyundai Accent. The salesman asked me what my husband would say if I drove up in a Camaro and I said, “He would ask me why I spent so much money on a car.” The salesman though did try to upsell about two more times, once citing safety and once comfort. Ehh. I’ll take my chances.

The drive to Ft. Huachuca was familiar and gorgeous. Unfortunately I forgot our camera. I was upset about that.. it’s the only thing I seemed to have forgotten! However, I enjoyed the view regardless. The mountains down here were so pretty yesterday, shrouded by indecisive clouds. One minute it’d be sunny, the next drizzling, the next actually raining. I cranked up the XM radio, much to my disappointment. Apparently the tin can comes with horrible speakers as well. I shouldn’t expect anything less.

I love flashing my military ID and just being flagged on at the entrance. I had directions to the housing office but knew the way. I got our room, only $290 for five nights, and moved in. This was the first time I actually took everything out of my suitcase and carry-on and stocked the dresser and bathroom. Our room has a small kitchenette (maybe that’s redundant..) with two gas burners.

I went to Walmart, hoping to find produce and a grocery store inside, but lo and behold they have not seen the glory of Super Walmart here in Sierra Vista, yet. Maybe they will someday. So, relegated to the few aisles of easy comfort food, I bought chips, salsa, popcorn, stuff to make PBJs and some wine.

I talked to my mom and my sister Emily when I got back to the room, and by the time I got everything settled in the kitchen Aaron called. He was in the parking lot! I am always taken aback by seeing my husband, who I knew for six years as just Aaron, in his ACUs and beret. He’s so cute. And sexy. He brought up his things and we went to dinner. We had Mexican takeout. It was yummy. That’s what I think of Mexican food – yummy.

I have to say that not for the first time I was not butterfly-afflicted or adrenaline-rushed when I saw him. I don’t consider that a bad thing. I think it’s natural when we’ve been videochatting with ease for two months since I got a new laptop. It was nice, to fall into his arms. I love that feeling of comfort and completeness, knowing that you’re with the person you’re supposed to be with forever. I have that feeling all the time, but it makes a big difference when you’re in the almost exact same place geographically.

Today I was up at 4:15, then again at 6:30. He got up at 4:15, got dressed and went to PT. I slept fitfully for a couple more hours, knowing that I had to get up in two hours because he would be back and we would be getting the continental breakfast. He came back, took a shower and then we went to get food on the second floor. (We’re on the third.) We enjoyed a cup of coffee and then he left for class.

I was going to go back to sleep, but decided to stay up. I got more creamer and sugar from the breakfast room and made coffee. I turned on Good Morning America and ironed his shirts and my dress. I found satisfaction in that.

I have to say that our transition to San Antonio in two months (only two months!) will be multi-faceted. It will be the first time we’ve really moved away. I don’t really count Peoria as it’s only 15 miles from where we grew up. He will be getting a new assignment, and I hope it’s something he enjoys. It will be completely new. I hope to find a job, because being a full-time stay-at-home-wife will not sit well with me. It’s strange; I’ve been independent for the past year. Still a wife, but by decree not by action really.

I’m trying to figure out how I will react to then again being put in that role. Don’t get me wrong – I love cooking, cleaning, taking care of my husband. But until we have children, which we don’t see happening anytime soon, I need a purpose outside the home. He wants me to have purpose outside the home. I hope I can find a full-time job, or at least something where I can work 25 hours a week. The best case scenario of course would be to land a full-time teaching position. If I get accepted to UTSA’s graduate certificate program for Spanish Translation, that will give me something to do.

I really think, though, that I’m underestimating the changes we will go through, as individuals and as a unit. I love my husband so much. I am so thankful for our relationship, that we understand and appreciate each other in nearly every way you can. I love that he supports me in my desires and doesn’t try to impose his opinions on me. It’s the best thing for me specifically – to be grounded but also to be able to be free to be myself.

I’m glad we waited so long to get married. Looking back, I can see the wisdom of that. When in the moment, you can’t really see too far. I think maturity is when you can see far. I am glad we spent five years getting to know each other. We made our mistakes, that’s for sure, but we’ve learned and grown from it. I’m glad we were married for a year before he joined.

In our first year of marriage we experienced so many different things. When we first got married and got our apartment, I was getting ready to graduate. I was working, by the middle of the summer, only 15 hours per week (not intentionally; I was told I’d be getting more). He was working lots of overtime, whenever it was offered. Then he got laid off at the end of the year and for two months before he left for Basic, I was the one working and he assumed the role of doing more things around the house and cooking. Not that we both didn’t contribute before. Then, for the past year, we’ve both been working and contributing equally. We had a common goal for the year: to pay down some debt so that we could live together without scraping by and incurring more debt.

Whenever things got rough this past year emotionally, I think we were both drawn to that goal. When I first came to visit Ft. Huachuca back in July for the holiday weekend, it took everything I had not to quit my job and move down here. Heck, the Army would have paid for it. But we knew we had to stick to our decision because that was what was going to get us through the year.

I’ve had a phenomenal year teaching, and it’s only shown me even more that teaching in some capacity is my calling. I’ve had little to no disciplinary problems. Maybe I’m more laid back and put up with more. But my classroom is still controlled chaos, and that’s the way I like it. I’ve gotten good review from my boss and I’ve grown a lot as a teacher. I’ve learned even more how to balance my work life with my personal life. I’ve never let myself get to the point in this year where I have been overwhelmingly overwhelmed.. to the point of depression or hopelessness. I am thankful for that.

I feel like now it’s time to move on. I would have felt that regardless of Aaron’s being in the Army. Regardless of whether I love my job at Midland or not. I have felt, since the beginning of our relationship, that we were never meant to be comfortable in one place for very long, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. I believe that throwing all else aside, that is the main call on our life together. Yes, life is singular. Our life. As husband and wife, one in God’s sight and unbroken by the weight of the world.

Sigh. I feel so much better. I was thinking all these things for the past 24 hours and am happy to have it down on cyber paper. Now, I will enjoy some more coffee, maybe go for a run under the beautiful Huachua Mountains and then take lunch to Aaron and his buddies. I’m such a good wife. 🙂

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