After nearly a year of no posting, thanks mostly to the wonders of Facebook, we're back! And we come bearing fantastic news: we're on the move again. We got word yesterday that The LT is "penciled in" as the XO of the CGC Hickory out of Homer, Alaska. Let me decode that for all of our non-military readers. By "penciled in" we mean that the detailer (the guy who decides where everyone goes) has called to say that we got the job pending the approval of the guy currently in charge of the ship (we call him the CO, or commanding officer). The XO, or executive officer, is the guy second-in-command. CGC stands for "Coast Guard Cutter." And the Hickory is a 225' buoy tender (Coast Guard trivia: buoy tenders are all named after trees except for the last one The LT(meaning my hubby, the lieutenant) was on, which was the SPAR).
The reactions we have gotten to this news have been rather comical. The first thing most people as is, "So is this good news?" The answer is: ABSOLUTELY! As you may know, our very first station with the Coast Guard, 2 weeks after graduating college and getting married, was Kodiak, AK. Being from Florida and having never thought of living anywhere else, that news came as a shock. I must have blocked "The Call" from The LT from my mind, because I certainly don't remember hanging up on him when he called from the Coast Guard Academy to tell me about his orders...but he swears that's what happened. Long story short, we fell in love with Alaska and have always hoped for the chance to go back to let our kids experience it. We have always said that Homer would be the most ideal place to move with the family as it is on the mainland (hooray for not having to fly on prop planes through the fog just to get home) yet it is still a small, authentic Alaskan town. Never did we imagine that it would actually work out! Homer was our number one choice on our "dreamsheet" (list we give the detailer of about 20 jobs that The LT would be okay with doing). Getting our first pick is pretty awesome!
I will admit, when we got the call yesterday, my first thought was, "What have we done?!" But since we have done this huge move (5000+ miles) twice now, we have a pretty good idea of what needs to get done before we go. After thinking it over, I realize that this is "what we have done" by requesting this job:
Given our kids a very rare chance to:
-travel the country (on the government's dime, nonetheless)
-leave behind a lot of unnecessary "stuff" and focus more on what we really "need"
-gain a greater appreciation for wildlife, mountains, and even volcanoes
-have a little adventure in everyday life.
So, we brought back the blog to have one place to chronicle and share this new adventure...and maybe even to be able to lend a helping hand to other families making the same sort of move. There are A TON of things that are involved with a military move to Alaska that you don't have to worry about when moving within the continental US (or CONUS, in military terms). This is considered an overseas move (OCONUS), will involve additional health screenings, shipping of a vehicle, special paperwork for the dog, and more. Blogging it will help us stay organized, and hopefully help others who are in the same "boat."