Friday, December 29, 2006

You'll always be my friend . . . you know too much

I'm almost embarrased to write this blog because I feel very selfish. I just returned from a trip with my 3 best girlfriends. We've been friends for about 8 years now and we've always talked about taking a trip, but just never had the time. With SgtDub being gone, I seem to have alot of time on my hands, and the timing was right for all of us to scurry off and enjoy a quick trip. Our trip began 7 weeks ago, when we visited a little town in southeastern Oklahoma quaintly called "Hochatow" pronounced "Hoocha" town. We stayed at a cabin and visited a whinery called "Girls Gone Wine". The whinery offers packages where you can actually make and bottle your own wine. At the time we took the trip, we didn't realize that we would "have" to return in 7 weeks to bottle the wine (duh!). I guess I just assumed we would make it and take it the same day. So, we made the 4 hour drive, arrived at the cabin, changed into our comfy clothes and watched a chick flick. It started to rain during the night, and it was so relaxing to listen to the rain on the tin roof. Although I'm having a great time with my friends, my heart longs to be enjoying this trip with my family (SgtDub & MissDub), and I hope and pray that we will have the opportunity to take this trip together very soon. SgtDub is so supportive and encourages me to spend time with my friends - I guess he knows just how important their support is to me (especially at this time). Family is the most precious commodity you can own, but friends are certainly at the top of that list as well. I've been through good times and bad with my friends and through it all, we've been there for each other - to laugh, to cry and to just be quiet. I saw a quote the other day that says "A friend knows when to talk, when to listen, when to pour you a glass of wine, and when to shut up and just give you the bottle". To SgtDub, MissDub, NaNa, Papa and our good neighbors, thank you for allowing me 24 hours of quality time with my friends. SgtDub, hurry home, so we can park our rears on the banks of the Glover River and watch the water flow! That's all for now, I'm exhausted from my relaxing trip.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Captain's Log Stardate 12-28-06 . . . this is the maiden voyage of the blog site "MrsDub". It's one year mission (or whenever I get tired) is to try to keep up with my better half (a/k/a SgtDub), who is currently stationed in Afghanistan with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. SgtDub's been posting for some time now and has a fairly large fan base. He's even been picked "Bestest Blog of the Day". I thought perhaps I might post a few comments from the military spouse's point-of-view. This is our second deployment, and hopefully our last. SgtDub's been gone this time since February 2006 and we're hoping to be reunited sometime this summer. SgtDub's hoping to be home before July 4th, so that he can play with fireworks. Many counties in our state have outlawed fireworks inside the city limits, but our little corner of the world still allows and encourages fireworks. In fact, there is a fireworks warehouse on the outskirts of town and people come from all over to make their purchaes. Funny thing is, the warehouse sits right on the county line and if you turn left after making your purchase, the local police departments are there to escort you back across the road (after seizing your purchase and imposing a penalty). I don't know that for sure, but since SgtDub is a police officer in his "normal" job, he's spoken before of having to apprehend fleeing felons who are transporting illegal fireworks. He also has trouble with people stealing beer and donuts. I will now try to find a topic and stick to it. A little background on me (and my family) . . . I'm 40 something, work outside the home, have a 13 year old daughter (MissDub), been happily married to SgtDub for 15 years (officially on New Year's Eve). We live on 5 acres in the "burbs" and have 2 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Although all pets belong to our daughter, I am the official caretaker (i.e., feeding, scooping the liter box, etc.) The arrangement with MissDub is that I feed in the morning and she feeds in the evenings - although this rarely works out, and I get stuck with the chores. We moved to the "burbs" two years ago, just after SgtDub returned from his first deployment. Had I known he would be going back to Afghanistan, I would have thought long and hard about being stuck in the boonedocks with a bunch of animals and lots of grass to mow. He did at least buy me a used riding lawnmower before he left (thanks honey). MissDub and I have managed so far thanks to the help of family, friends and good neighbors. One neighbor in particular is priceless! He keeps an eye on our place and lends a hand when needed. We are very grateful for his help while SgtDub is away. My parents (Nana & Papa) are also priceless. They still live "in town", but are always there for us when needed. They help out with MissDub, invite us to dinner and provide moral support. I also have terrific support from my girlfriends and co-workers. I have a very exciting job, but can't disclose what it is - let's just say it's never a dull moment. Since SgtDub's been gone, I have had to learn to do a lot of things on my own. My biggest fear was hooking up the horse trailer and actually hauling the horses to the areana. I was very independent when SgtDub and I first married, but I quickly decided that life is easier when I let him handle things. I discovered quickly during our first deployment that I had to be responsible again and it was up to me to keep our family operating on a day-to-day basis (paying bills, making repairs (hiring them done), keeping MissDub in line and most importantly, keeping SgtDub encouraged that we were fine. This is the hard part -- while you want your soldier to feel comforted that the family is doing fine, you don't want them to ever feel like they're not needed. It was ackward at first when SgtDub returned home - as he was trying to resume his role as head of the household - it's hard to give up control and it's hard to step up and assume control. But he did, and we did, and we're all stronger because of it. The separation is difficult, but we are fortunate to talk by phone twice daily and email on a regular basis. I cannot imagine what it was like for past generations during war time. Sending your solider off to battle and not hearing from them for months or years and the fear of not knowing how they are and relying solely on a letter. I have no complaints about being a military spouse. The military's been good to our family and has provided (and continues to provide) an education for SgtDub, good pay and good benefits. This has not always been the case with the military and I am so glad to see people supporting our Troops (even if you don't agree with the war), it's our duty to keep the home fires burning and encourage our soldiers that what they're doing is making a difference. I'm proud to be an American, I'm proud to be an Okie, I'm proud to be MrsDub and I'm especially proud of SgtDub for his willingness to serve his country -- sleep well - SgtDub's got your back!