On Friday Boots flew back to check out of his command in TX and so we parted ways for the week. Despite the mountains of snow in Northern VA right now, I made it to VA with few problems. When I arrived I had a surprise waiting for me. Boots had sent me beautiful pink roses! I love the roses, but the card that came along with them just melted my heart.
I am always so happy to be reunited with my family no matter how long or short our time apart. My family and I are extremely close and I grew up in the house they still own (and secretly hope they never ever sell). Being at home is such a comfort. If someone asks me where I would want to be at any given time I frequently answer in the kitchen of this house with my family.
My sister and I are 4 1/2 years apart and the best of friends. It wasn't always this way growing up, but I am so lucky that my sister and I are so close. She lives in Old Town and on Saturday we went to get our nails done, window shop and have dinner at our favorite little French cafe we've been frequenting even before either of us could drive. We would Metro over and spend the day in Old Town together, and so we have plenty of fun memories from over the years. Her wonderful little apartment is walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants in Old Town so we went back to her place to watch her hockey team, and some favorite old movies. We stayed up late talking and had a sleepover like when we were girls.
On Sunday, Valentines Day, my parents threw me a Soubetsukai (Farewell Party) and it meant a lot to have my friends and neighbors together providing their support and well wishes. A lot of my parents friends and neighbors have watched me grow up and feel a lot like family. It was encouraging to hear some of their stories of being a young military couple and how they wish they could do it all over again. Numerous times I received the advice to travel as much as possible and I assured them I would!
Needless to say, there are a lot of memories, history and bonds with people here that will be, and have been, hard to leave behind. While webcams, email and long distance calls don't replace time spent with someone, they sure help. I never would have seen myself as someone who loves change and moving, but I knew that they came with the territory of military life. I have a life here, but it's time for Boots and I to make our own life, memories and bonds with new places and people.
One VERY hard part about leaving the States is this little guy:
My little, adorable Yorkie pup is going to be staying with my parents while we're gone, for multiple reasons. I wish we could take him, but for his sake it is much better for him. He is 11 and spent 9 years of his life in my parents house, so he's right at home. He is with people who love him just as much as I do and he'll have the best care. He's having health problems and does not do well at all with stress and change. I'll miss him terribly, but I'll see him on webcam.