*Note - recently I have felt bad not keeping up on my blog aka my story to my posterity. I am attempting to (once again) pick up the proverbial pen and record my history because my kids tend to tell it wrong!
The Marine retired. My life as I knew it ended on 13 February. He was home. ALL the time. He has no troops. He had no office. I still worked. The problem is I work from home. We had to have a talk. I told him he was invading my space. He told me it was his space. I said I'm at work. He said your in the kitchen... I sighed. Loudly.
We had to have another talk. I told him he was bugging me. He told me I was inefficient. I told him stop watching. He told me he couldn't. I then made the mistake of asking why not. He answered, rubber necking at train wrecks or traffic accidents was part of the human condition.
I was not alone when it came to adjusting to the constant presence of the Marine. Recruit 3, now a senior in high school and only in school for a half day was also trying to figure out how to deal with the attention we were now receiving. The first few days of The Marine NOT going to work Recruit would come home, forget he had retired and ask "why are you here?" The Marine in a somewhat offended and annoyed tone would say "I live here, it's my house is that okay?"
Recruit 3 would sigh and cut her eyes, but wisely kept her mouth shut... most of the time.
Finally the day came when she could contain herself no more. The Marine needed troops. I refused to be his troop. By default and because she was home earlier than everyone else, Recruit 3 became his troop. It all came spilling out as she yelled in frustration "when are you leaving? Don't you need to go get a job?!"
The Marine calmly explained he had decided to extend his time at home. I remained calm, he refrained from laughing and Recruit 3 retreated to her room in deep despair.
Finally, March 24th arrived. Recruit 3 and I waved as The Marine left in his new Ford Fusion. The big grey truck was dying a loud, smokey death so we put it out of it's misery in exchange for fuel efficiency during our transition from active duty to the world of retirees. The Marine was leaving for Texas. He was on his way to Recruit 1's house to begin the job search.
I was ready for things to move forward but it had been a while since I had been home without The Marine in town. I hadn't seen much of him in the last four years due to his job with the Marine Corps and his church calling as the Bishop the last 21/2 years for our church. But he had at least been in the same 95 mile geographic area with us. I wondered if I was going to be able to manage all that still needed to be done to get our home ready to be sold, keep it up to show potential buyers (which I knew would be just truckloads waiting to tour my kingdom...)
What you need to understand is if I didn't want to do something all I had to do was look inadequate, flail around and whine. The Marine would, in disgust and annoyance, say "stop stop just stop. Move, just let me do it" and there you go. I could retreat to my room and watch my shows while whatever task I had decided I didn't want to do would get done. In record time and quite well. Four years of flailing my arms around and moaning was now looming over me. Had I lost my edge?
I went to bed wondering what the next few months would bring.
Sometime during the night the switch flipped. Just like that I woke up in deployment mode. It was amazing. I bounced out of bed, got the kids up, made it to seminary and started the next few months off with a bang. It was good to know the skills I accidentally developed during many separations from my Marine over the last 25 + years were not lost.
The adventure of transition had truly begun!