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!