Thursday, May 31, 2012


The movers came last week.  And after two and a half days of craziness, our house was empty.  We moved into TLF (temporary living facility), which is the hotel on base (also known as the Hodja Inn).  (We stayed in this hotel during our first couple of days in Turkey almost two years ago.)  We are now merely days away from leaving this place that has become our home and returning to home-sweet-home, America

I've been wanting to blog about this time of transition, but have not found the words to describe how this feels.  Moving to a small base in the Middle East is such an intense adjustment that in order to truly adjust to it you have to just dive in completely.  Embrace the craziness.  So we tried our best to dive in.  And in the process, we've had some incredible experiences.  We've felt the healthy stretch- and at times, pains- of personal growth and life lessons.  And we've met the most unbelievably wonderful friends who now feel like family. 

It is surreal to say goodbye to our life and our friends here.  Many of my friends I see almost every day, so it feels impossible to imagine them not nearby.  Our friends here have been such an incredible blessing from God and I just can't begin to think about leaving them. 

It is so hard to think of Peter leaving his very first friends.  They are such sweet boys.  Peter loves them and talks about them constantly.

And yet, there is great joy and anticipation in this week too.  We are finally returning home.  I can't describe the joy that it is to see friends I have not seen in two years, to give my family a BIG hug, to be back in the country I call home.  I can barely wait. 

As we say all of the goodbyes and do everything "for the last time", we embrace the exhaustion and mental blurriness. And look to the future...and the new experiences and friendships to come.

Several of my very closest friends are also experiencing this time of transition right now.  It is such a blessing to experience it together.  My dear friend, Wendi, recently wrote a blog post about their family's time of transition.  Wendi is preparing to move to the Azores with her husband, three children, and their dog, Scrubs.  I'm sharing her blog post with you, because it captures the emotions and craziness so very well.

No matter which way you slice it ...

... moving = exhaustion.

You try to plan ahead. You try to not leave too much for the last day. You try to make concessions. Adjust readily. Stay flexible. Think positively. Limit expectations.

Moving across the street would be one thing. Across the state another. Across the country yet another. But across the world? For the second time in two years?


Here we are, mostly moved into the Hodja. And we are just ... plain ... exhausted. We still have odds and ends at our real house. We are still making trips back and forth. It's only a few blocks, but without our van, we have to recruit friends (thank you Tina and Bri) or walk pulling a wagon (again, thank you to Bri) full of stuff.

We could rent a vehicle but there really aren't any to rent that would fit our whole family. So what's the point?

Believe it or not lodging put us in the exact same room we stayed in when we moved onto Base. Seriously. Talk about everything coming full circle. It's nearly eerie. I feel the same fog. The same dichotomy of emotions. The same fatigue.

The only differences? This time there are three children. And this time (game-time decision) there is no dog.

We were planning on having Scrubs with us. But it was actually Stebbs today who said to me, "You are a better woman than me. I'd just put Scrubs at Pati Pet instead of adding to your responsibilities."

Picture a big light bulb popping on above my blonde head. Pati Pet? Why hadn't we thought of that? It's a wonderful facility off-Base. A non-traditional kennel run by Americans. Of course! Taking Scrubs out on leash every time he needs to use the bathroom while chaperoning three tiny children is a lot. Add to that the fact that this little two bedroom is already quite tiny without an eighty pound dog, and Pati Pet it is!

In the meantime, we are settling in for about a week. The exhaustion is so thick. But thick is good because thick doesn't allow other emotions room for visitation. Early this morning I sat in Tina's van. My gardener told me how sad this all was. "You say hi. Then you say bye. Again. And again," he said. I nodded. I started crying.

But that was this morning. Before I was so tired. Now I am too tired to cry.

The kids are very out of sorts. Scrubs is really out of sorts. He has no idea what is going on. Just knows the house is getting emptier. And his people are getting crabbier. And he has no idea where he fits in. Everyone who stopped by the house was met with Scrubs jumping into their vehicle. Four different people. I kid you not. Each time, you could tell, he was wondering is this who is going to take us to our next place? If so, make sure I'm going with you!

Home stretch. But still a ways to go before we settle into a normal life again. Your prayers for stamina. Stength. Peace. Appreciated

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