I Drove For My Life!
Hello out there! I am almost embarrassed that I have not blogged in almost two months. Although life has been busy, there have been several moments that I wanted to update this site but couldn’t since our internet service was super shady (the problem has been resolved now). I have a list (no joke!) of entries that I plan to write and post, but I am somewhat lost on where I should start. Hmmm…it seems fitting that I would start from the beginning.
So, let’s go back in time to mid-December 2012. Kyle was in Texas and was set to graduate from A-School on December 20, and I was (mostly) moping in California. We hadn’t seen each other in four months and we were really excited to be reunited around December 22. We had our official orders to Coronado Island and Kyle was due to report for duty on January 4. The NAVY was going to pay for him to fly out to San Diego sometime after the 20th and he would be on break until January 4. Our plan (as of that point in the story) was to spend Christmas with his parents in Corona, then around 12/26 catch one-way flights to North Carolina to get all of our stuff out of storage, then drive it to California to put it back in storage for a few months until we could find a home in San Diego. Our calculations put us back in California by 12/30 to enjoy New Year’s Eve with family.
Boy, how plans change.
Anyway, back to the story. Even though I had only been an anchor wife for a few months at that point, I had learned that I needed to be my own advocate. Others in the NAVY mean well, and I am sure that there are many who actually do well, but I have discovered that many people who offer me advice give contradictory statements and (unfortunately) wrong information. Since I’ve learned the hard way more than once (…sigh) I decided to drive to the nearest NAVY base from my parent’s home to talk in person to a few people about filling out some paperwork. You see, this cross-country move that Kyle and I planned to do would be paid for by the NAVY if I had properly filled out paperwork. Normally, sailors take classes on this very subject, but since Kyle’s A-School was special (it went through many National holidays and therefore had funky deadlines), if he wanted to take these courses it would push his graduation date back three weeks and he would more than likely be issued new orders. So we decided that I would take the class and do the paperwork for us.
On Tuesday December 18, I drove to Lemoore Naval Base near Fresno, CA to speak with someone in their PSD (Personnel Support Detachment) Department about all this moving business and what our best options were for getting all of our stuff to CA. After spending several hours there, I discovered that it would be most advantageous for Kyle to forfeit his flight from Texas to California and have me drive there, pick him up, and then continue driving with him to North Carolina. That was really exciting news!
BUT…(dun dun dun) that meant that I needed to be in San Antonio by 3pm on Thursday (less than 48 hours from that moment), and it was a 24 hour drive from CA. Oh snap.
My dad (who was a TOTAL saint) had tagged along with me to that meeting in Fresno. As soon as we figured out the plan, we knew we needed to get home ASAP. So my dad volunteered to drive us back to Paso (about a 2 hour drive) so I could get everything in order for my crazy drive to Texas. We left Fresno around 2pm and got home around 4. I dropped my dad off, and drove to the Kia dealership to get my oil changed. While there, I made lists (I would) of stuff I needed to do, stuff I needed to pack, and stuff I needed to buy before I started my drive THE NEXT MORNING. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.
I got home, did laundry, packed, shopped, ran some errands, showered, and coordinated with Kyle about our road-trip. We booked hotels and the moving truck, and made our itinerary for gas fill-ups using gasbuddy.com. We tried to contain the excitement that we both shared when thinking about being reunited after all that time apart. I tried to sleep that night, but as you can imagine, I didn’t ever fully rest.
Now, I had to be back in Lemoore by 8am on Wednesday 12/19 to finish some last minute paperwork details so I left Paso at 5:30 so that I’d be there on time (you never know how long it will take at the gate when you enter a base). I finished up there and was on the road by 8:45. Now, I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with that viral video of “Sweet Brown” that was all over youtube.com and facebook, but naturally, I was in the habit of quoting it. In fact, that clip was the inspiration for the title of this entry.
“Then I ran out. I didn’t grab no shoes or nothing, Jesus! I drove for my life!”
I stopped a few times but made it safely to Tucson, Arizona around 9pm to crash on my friend Tammera’s couch. We chatted for a bit and I got to hold her third child so was only HOURS old. I know this is a sidebar, but seriously, this woman needs a special shout-out. She was in labor only a few hours prior to my visit, has two other children, and she offered me her couch. I am forever grateful to her for that kindness. Oh and her baby was really freaking cute.
Anyways, I crashed for 1.5 hours on her comfy couch (yes, you read that right, an hour and a half), got up and started driving to Texas around 12:15am on Thursday 12/20. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of the driving. I was running on pure adrenaline and love during those hours. I don’t think it hit me that I was going to actually be seeing Kyle that day until I parked in front of the event hall on Lackland Air Force Base at 2:15pm. I made it there with 45 minutes to spare. Phew. Thank you, Jesus.
I got to witness Kyle graduate from A-School. I was so proud. He received an accelerated advancement to rank up after a short probation period at his new post in San Diego! And it was awesome to see him in his dress blues since I hadn’t seen him in that particular uniform yet. One thing was interesting to note. We saw each other, waved, and then it was all business. As family, I was allowed to take some pictures (most were blurry, fail!) and after the ceremony I was allowed to chat with him briefly but then he needed to grab all his stuff from the barracks. So I waited in the car and after some back-and-forth on his part (he had many arm-fulls to carry and I wasn’t allowed to help), I helped him load the car and then, right before getting in the car together, he gave me a kiss! Haha, it took hours for that moment but it was the biggest thing I was anticipating.
We immediately continued our road trip into Louisiana and stayed in Lake Charles. We got there super late and had to wake for our drive into North Carolina the next day really early so we crashed. BUT we got to sleep next to each other for the first time in six months. And it was so incredible.