This deployment has been very different than the last, and completely different from the 'other' deployment (Ranger Man and I have each been through one deployment without us).
Warning : Webster is literally in my lap right now- and my laptop is in my lap, so half the cat is sitting on the computer, making typing more of an challenge that it usually is. But he needs his snuggles and since I'm sitting here trying to convice my Lunesta-ized body that it is in fact bedtime... here we are. If Ranger Man were here, he would laugh and take a picture. Of course if he were here, Webster would be snuggling on the lap that isn't moving or otherwise occupied by electronic devices. ideally. Anyways- that's why all of the typos, I can't see what I'm doing!
This deployment is very different. I've not posted a lot of it because it's been a very personal battle that i've been fighting. Our last deployment was not typical: It was very short (he came home early to go to Super Secret Army Land), I was moving to Hawai in the middle of it, and before moving I was living with my parents, working with a wonderful and supportive group of people and had just established myself with some great friends.
Then I moved to Hawaii and went back to my default position of being more solitary. Ranger Man came home (to Ranger Local #1) soon after I after I moved to the Island. We had great mail service (well, one way- I have no idea if mail went both ways) and we wrote via email almost once a day. The email was rough, as we are really bad email communicators as a unit, but for less than two months, it wasn't that big of a deal. I could go home and talk to my mom, my dad was supportive and willing to distract with talk about biking or hiking or kayaking or climbing or whatever, my friend A from work (of Deportment fame) and I would hang or go out occasionally on the weekends and my friend Danger would take me once a week for a walk in one of the beautiful places to go for a walk in the Pacific Northwest and then we'd go out for margaritas afterwards. It was good.
This time around- it's completely different. I am completely on my own. My mom and I aren't really talking (really- I don't need to hear about how you got drunk and hula danced in a bar mom). My dad's never been the one I go to for talking, but he's trying. A and Danger are great, but they have no idea about anything in the alternate universe that is a Southern Army Base Town. At work, most of my interactions go like this: "Hey, Ms. KJ, will you do this citation for me?" "No, but have you seen this great style book? I'll show you how to do it!" "grumble, grumble."
This time around, until this morning, I had no idea when he was going home. It literally could have been any time between sometime this month to December. That was awful. Now I've got a bit better of an idea. It's not December, thank goodness, but it is certainly longer than 'typical' Ranger deployments. Now I know when hes scheduled to take block leave, so now at least I have something to look forward to. Before- it was just a bunch of days that I kept crossing off on my calendar... Now crossing them off has a purpose.
So the hardest parts of this deployment (so far) have been two fold: Feeling completely cut-off, and the utter uncertainty. And: My Grandma will be here for a week, starting next week so that will help with that, and the little tiny bit of information I got this morning definitely alleviates some of the uncertainty problem.
There have been more than a few bad days- and a couple really bad ones. But overall, it's truly going well. I'm eating better than usual and exercising more. I've got school largely under control for now and Today, I feel happy. So that's a start.
And oh my gosh- I cleaned today! Usually, Ranger Man does the cleaning (have I mentioned I love him?) But obviously, he's not here, and before he left, he cleared out his barracks room. So there was STUFF everywhere... it was terrible. He took a picture of it at its worse, I may have to post that sometime. And he seems to think that he "cleaned it up" before he left. And I think by that he means that he cleared a path or something, I don't know. And he is such a packrat! Apparently, we are in the deepest throes of a box shortage. So that means: We MUST NOT throw away any boxes. We must keep the empty boxes. Not so much. He named some specific boxes he wanted to keep before he left, and I am tossing the rest!! Good riddance.
And now, after a weekend of cleaning, It's not bad.. It's not perfect- and Lord knows we still have boxes of stuff, but they're mostly contained boxes. and put in corners. And only a couple empty ones.