Yesterday Ray had to attend a transition class. It’s basically so now that you have to leave the island, here’s what we want you to do…Sigh. Did you know Easter is in exactly 88 days? Soon I won’t me talking about MY little island. I’ll be talking about transition. 

A little while ago a nonmilitary friend asked me what a “pack out” is. It made me giggle. I guess it was nervous laughter at what we are about to face. You’d think with all the experience that I’ve had, it would get easier. Um. No! It seems like it gets more difficult. We won’t leave until the end of June. In the next couple of weeks Ray will have to turn in a packet. The packet will include how many cars we want to ship, when we want to leave, where we want any cars we ship to go, where we want to fly to, when we want to fly, what dates we would like to have movers arrive, when we want to be out of housing, where we plan to be when we no longer have housing on the island… etc. and etc. and etc. 

So I have to have all that information even though a change of command hasn’t been scheduled. (When Ray hands over his duties as the Officer In Charge for all you nonmilitary folks.) We haven’t found a house to rent in D.C. Apparently people don’t want to rent to a family with four kids and 2 dogs. We rent out our house in Virginia. Can I just tell all you people who rent homes, my kids are FAR MORE destructive than my dogs. Let’s just be honest. Ray is a bit fanatical about trimming dog toe nails. Haole is a spaz but we clean up after her. I have one messy boy, one nerf gun wielding girl, an artist and a poster hanging fandom loving teen. Heaven help me they are much worse to control to than 2 sleepy puppies. I guess I’m not helping my cause here. 

So while Ray is forced to make plans with so many unknowns and a wife who isn’t very helpful because any orders that weren’t Hawaii is no longer where she wants to be… I will begrudgingly be checking off a list that looks like this.

1. Clean out all closets. Decide what stays and goes.

2. Tell my big girls that they can only take what will fit in their small suitcase when they think they NEED more make up, hair irons and spray dodads than Tammy Faye Baker had. I literally arrived in Hawaii with 2 suitcases for 6 people. It’s how we roll. 

3. Sell as much as I can of all the junk that needs to go to supplement our time without a home. If I have to leave the island, I might plan a trip to Disney Land. 

4. Downsize in the extreme. We have things in storage that will come out and most likely a much smaller house. This is no small task since Bria is the ultimate hoarder. 

5. I think I’ll have to organize legos and I don’t even know where to start.

6. Stop buying cleaning supplies and start using them. Upon checkout our house will have to be cleaner than it was when it was first built. It’s just the navy way. I always think it will never happen and then it does.

7. Paint all the walls I insisted on painting. (What I was I thinking especially in Arleigh’s room?)

8. Decide what to do with 400 body boards and beach chairs. I refuse to let them go. The ocean is calling and I must go…

9. Get physicals with shot records attached for all the kids. This is tricky since I won’t know where we are going to live. I will actually print out physical forms for multiple school districts  just in case. It’s impossible to schedule an appointment just before school starts. So I need to do it now. 

10. Get grass to grow in the back yard. 

11. Pressure wash everything. 

12. Clean out closets again because I’m sure I didn’t get rid of enough.

13. Plan our route from Hawaii to DC. Do we island hop before we leave? (Yes please.) We could fly the mom mobile to CA and make the cross country trek I’ve always wanted to do. (One kid is adamantly opposed to this considering she gets sick just driving around the island.) Do we go straight to Grandma’s? Straight to DC? We need to use our time share. There is no availability close to Disney Land. There is some availability in San Diego. How far a drive is that? How many days at each stop? Drive through NM to see family or go north to see things we haven’t seen yet? *Note to self… this should maybe move up on the list a smidge. 

14. Say aloha to a number of friends. 

15. Get in the rest of my bucket list for this island anyway. 

I’m sure I’ve left of 3 or 423 things. The kids are making their own list. Ray has his too. Here we go… Time to get moving. Literally. All I want to do is stay here…


On my board…Sigh.

Susan Sukols… any advice? Anyone? I’m open to suggestions on how to go from island living to city life.