I’ve tossed around the idea of writing a book in my spare time. Not that anyone other than Sam and my family would ever read it, in fact I probably wouldn’t even try to get something published. No, it would really just be to write a book for the sake of writing a book. For fun.
Most of the time, it’s a thought I can easily dismiss. Not having any desire to create a fictional book, not knowing anyone famous to write a biography about, and not being anywhere near smart enough to write a how-to- or textbook…It only leaves one option. A book about life. My life. Boooooorrriiiiiiiiing.
Well…most of the time, anyway.
Lately, I’ve begun to wonder if I could indeed write a book.
This week, for instance, my husband and I entered the wonderful world of the military TDY – temporary duty. For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, I will explain. Sam will periodically receive orders to go on a TDY for training, or for an assignment outside of our local area which he has to complete. This time, he’s on a TDY assignment for training and I got to come with him. Sounds like fun, right?
Well, two days before we were supposed to leave, our transmission decided to go haywire on us. Got it into the shop and…dun dun dun…can’t drive it. Absolutely not, no way, no how. Must be fixed…and PRONTO. Which meant hours on the phone and back and forth with many, many different people in an attempt to figure out how to get to where we were supposed to go. (Note: for the sake of privacy, our location will remain undisclosed). Anyway, we were supposed to be leaving but couldn’t drive our car.
To make a very, very long story very, very short, we got a one-way rental car and headed out. A bit of a rough start, but, we shook off the stress and headed on the road. Our first TDY…this’ll be fun, right?
When we got to…er…our location, we found out that they were not expecting for me to have come along. It didn’t matter that we had the email correspondence proving our confirmation for “accompanied” lodging. At that moment, I was a complete surprise. And I experienced a complete surprise myself when I found out they had booked us to stay on a hall with other guys…and a shared bathroom. My eyes widened and I looked at the lady with a gaze that was supposed to convey: “No way no how am I sharing a bathroom & living quarters with a floor full of other guys.”
They understood my side of things, thankfully, and we were placed in temporary lodging quarters for one night. The next day, Sam left at 6:00am, or 0600 in military-speak, leaving me to get things squared away. As it turned out, it was an easy fix. I just had to move all of our things out of where we were and to a different location. By 11:00am. I had an hour and a half. No biggy. That morning I got all of our stuff moved out, packed in the rental car, and moved to our new place.
A few hours later, I noticed that we didn’t have any hot water. Later that night, still no hot water. When Sam woke up at 5 the next morning…yep, you guessed it. The water was freezing. He left in the morning without a shower and I called maintenance. Come to find out, we don’t have a high enough occupancy in our building to actually get to the water in the hot water heater. Their solution: “let the water run for as long as it takes to empty the cold water out of the pipes. You’ll get hot water eventually.” Which means a good 15 minutes of water-running most times, even to wash dishes.
But then things got even better. I brought some basic spices with me, and included in those spices was a paper packet of taco seasoning mix. You know, for when you have limited kitchen space & supplies and need a quick, easy meal. We had a couple of other lieutenants over for brunch one morning, and when I opened the spice cupboard to get the salt and pepper, I found that the taco seasoning packet had exploded all over the inside of the cupboard. It didn’t make any sense to me that a paper packet, obviously not under any compressed pressure or connected to any explosive substance would have spontaneously combusted inside our cupboard. Upon closer inspection, we realized what had happened. A mouse (or some mice) had apparently wanted a spicy snack in the middle of the night. The guys found this way more amusing than I did.
Sam set up traps before he left, and I sat cringing, pausing to listen to any strange noise and glancing over my shoulder often, wondering if I’d seen a glimpse of our very unwelcome furry friends. For hours, there was nothing. Not even a squeek. At 4:00 I was sitting at the desk, absorbed in photo editing when… SNAAAAP!
Scared the living daylights out of me. Rather than opening the cupboard to see if we’d caught it, I did what any rational woman would do, left it there and went for a walk. In fact, it was still behind the closed cupboard door when Sam came back at 9pm that night. Dead mice are his job. Plain and simple. Peeking around the corner into the kitchen area I grimaced as he checked the trap (and, yes, he was laughing at me for leaving it there all day). Sure enough…we got it.
We disposed of the mouse, Sam got some food, we set another peanut-butter trap and then we crawled into bed. We talked for a few minutes about our days, snuggled in, and turned out the light. We were just about to enter that blissful state of quiet slumber when….
We both jumped at the sound, a bit perplexed until we realized we’d just caught another mouse. Only this time, the poor thing didn’t die right away. So, we laid in bed, staring at the ceiling and listening to it slam the trap into the sides of the cupboard for a few minutes, until it was finally quiet.
Ahhhh…welcome to your first TDY. We hope you enjoy your stay!
I’m not complaining, though. Not one bit. I get to be here, here with my husband, on an adventure. And to be honest, I would rather live with him in a little suite with tepid water and some small, brown, furry occupants than anywhere else in the world – no matter how cozy and mouse-free it is. When you know other military spouses who’s husbands are deployed oversees for months on end – and how much they would give anything to be together, even in a little mouse-ridden apartment, it really puts things into perspective.
So, bring on the adventure!
It’s me and you, babe! (and the mice…)