Changes over time

For starters, I feel like I have been moving forever! In reality, it hasn’t been more than 18 months, but that is long enough. It all started when I was laid off from my long-term contract. Bitter disappointment followed.
In the midst of coming to terms with my situation, my husband’s company notified him he would be out of work at the end of 2017 as they were moving to Colorado and he hadn’t been with them long enough for consideration. Great! Just what I needed to hear!
I am really proud of us! We didn’t let any of this news actually get us down. We became incredibly pragmatic. We had a date that our whole world would change, now what could we do to be ready when the calendar counted down? We created a list of things we needed to get in order and started working down that list.
I found a new job! It took me a couple of months, but I found one. Turned out to be the best job I have ever had! The drive blew, but at least it was a reverse commute! This was quite a relief and gave us an alternative for when my husband’s job would end. We were blessed!
We had a lot to do before the end of the year.
My eldest child was getting married in New Mexico. Check! I am mother of the bride there is no way I would miss that!
We started packing up our belongings in preparation to put our house, my beautiful house that I planned to die in, on the market. An analysis of our financial situation identified we could downsize without much effort and get out from under the only debt we had – the mortgage.
We are good homeowners. We have a set of basic maintenance tasks that we do every year, which helps to keep the house nicer and definitely increases resale value when you can produce the records. Not knowing exactly what was happening next, we went about taking care of our ‘annual fall maintenance’ tasks, scheduling them around my daughter’s wedding.
Upon returning home from my daughter’s wedding, my husband was asked if he would be interested in keeping his job, the caveat being we would have to move to Colorado.
After that everything went F-A-S-T!
Stuff moved out of the house.
Deep cleaning ensued.
House listed.
House sold.
Halloween.
I quit my job.
Find an apartment in Colorado.
All of those annoying things you have to do to move into a new place.
My mother passes.
Truck loaded.
My best friend rides with me as I drive from Bellevue, WA to Denver, CO. It took a couple of days, but I needed to get home. 25% of why I wanted to be in Colorado has just left this earth and I needed to be there for my father!
As I sit here, I realize this all happened a year ago and I am still trying to settle into my new normal.

Thinking about Father’s Day

I am blessed. My father is still alive and I have the pleasure of calling him every day. It would be nicer to live closer, but that isn’t my reality, so I have to be satisfied with being able to talk with him.

My father is a remarkable man. He shouldn’t be alive. If he had looked at his circumstances and let them rule his life, he wouldn’t be here and neither would I. Some will think that is an exaggeration, but it isn’t.
My father was born and raised on a small farm in the heartland of America. He lost his mother the same year he graduated high school. I believe this was an experience that fueled many of decisions that formed the life he built.
He was drafted toward the end of World War II, but was inured prior to being shipped overseas so he didn’t serve. Years later, he was called back when the US was entrenched in the Korean Conflict. In boot camp, his extreme intelligence shot him to the top of his class. He excelled at trigonometry, interesting as he had been educated in a one room schoolhouse near his childhood farm.
This exceptional math ability changed the trajectory of military career. Rather than be shipped to the front-line, he was selected to participate in Guided Missile training and teach trigonometry to his fellow enlistees.  About this time, our government was experimenting with atomic energy and needed guinea pigs. For reasons I will never understand, the US military chose the best and the brightest to use as testers.
Early May 1953, my father was one of those chosen to participate in Operation Upshot-Knothole. Lucky him. He was subject to an experience none of us can imagine. He had the ‘pleasure’ to climb into a bunker to witness the explosion of an atomic bomb less than a mile away. The group he was serving with was ordered to stand and absorb the full shock wave of the blast with their bodies then climb out of the bunkers and walk toward the impact sight to take measurements and record their observations.  These are the men who are now acknowledged as Atomic Veterans.  My father is an Atomic Veteran.
This was the bomb changed our lives. The hospitals were ill equipped to diagnose the illnesses that beset my father following the bomb. The irony is they didn’t diagnose him with radiation sickness, which is what he had, they continued to take more x-rays trying to diagnose him with tuberculosis. The poor man would endure daily x-rays in a machine that was built somewhat like an iron lung. How he survived all of the radiation he was treated with, one will never know. I am just grateful that he did and that he has continued to live his life with that same intestinal fortitude. I am hoping just a smidgen of it has worn off on me.

Happy Father’s Day!