Friday, December 2, 2011

Get Back Up on That Horse!

Hats off to Jay Kirk. It was your "...eagerly awaiting your January 2012 post" that has spurred me to grace the halls of blogspot again. Couldn't help but chuckle when I read that. I've fallen into the much-easier "Facebook zone" of pithy one-liners and the occasional posted picture to vent my spleen and/or let friends know what's going on.

So, what has been going on?

Well, since my last post I've relinquished command of the 8th Airlift Squadron and moved my family to my next assignment as a staff officer at HQ US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. The new job is a big change of pace: Once responsible for over 110 men and women, now I'm responsible for myself and one other civilian co-worker. It's a big, big downshift and has taken some major mental adjustments to deal with the change. To go from something so rewarding and challenging and, at times, frustrating, to a brand new job doing something on which I have no experience. It's been pretty frustrating. Talk of eventual retirement from our US Air Force has moved from the distant, hazy future, to a much closer point in time. That's never happened before. This move has been very challenging. There's only so much unpacking and broken furniture a person can stand. We haven't had it as bad as some, but this move was our 8th in 20 years of military service. Don't know how many more I've got left in me.

I was promoted to Colonel in February of this year and expect to pin it on in March 2012. This was a big career goal for me and I thank God every day for the path He's put me on. The older I get, the more clearly I see His guiding hand in my life. "The steps of the righteous man are ordered by God..."

Went on another cruise this month. My wife and I took our 4 children on an 11-night, 10-day cruise to the Western Med. We checked off many new places we've always wanted to see: Barcelona, Marsailles, Malaga, Madeira, the Canary Islands, and Casablanca/Marakesh, Morocco. What a great trip! We travelled on Costa Cruise lines for the second (and probably last) time. Costa, I'm told, is Italien for "Old Grouchy People." This certainly held true on this cruise. Lots of grouchy, irritable Europeans with out-of-control senses of entitlement, especially about the buffet lines. A casual stroll by the swimming pool post-lunch with the sun shining brightly gave me a great opportunity to give me kids a history lesson about what Jonestown may have looked like after they handed out the koolaid. Don't take their chairs, either!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Has It Been 9 Months?

The Annual "New Year's Day Introspection" entry where I realize it's been 9 months since my last post. My friend Chuck said it best--it is much easier to type out a quick snarky status than to work up a blog post. To get the synapses to fire in sequence for more than 5 minutes at a time is becoming more and more a challenge, I guess

The year that was 2010 was pretty good, all-in-all. My Squadron's moved forward. We had a very successful deployment to Qatar from May to September. I went back for my 20 year Citadel reunion and got to see great friends from High School and my old stomping grounds in Columbia.

The year that will be 2011 holds much promise. I'll find out in February if I made Colonel. That will drive what happens next: Stay here in the Pacific NW another year or off to some other crazy place. I'll relinquish command to my replacement in July. It'll be tough to hand my command over, but the idea of not having to constantly check the Blackberry holds much appeal, I must admit. My oldest boy starts his Senior year of High School. That'll make you feel old, let me tell you. It is exciting listening to him contemplate where he'd like to go to college. He's leaning towards the Naval Academy (my savings account votes for that one), but he's taken a recent interest in Texas A&M (close to our potential retirement locale). My middle son William starts High School this year, entering the 10th grade. The whole world is open to this young man. Benjamin has given up his dream of becoming a Jedi--"No future in it." Clever...clever, though apropos considering it all happened "...a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." Isabella still wants to be a princess, though she will be 9 going on 16 this year.

So, a good year with hopes of an even better one this year. Happy New Year to all!