Welcome to 2016. Here’s to a productive year and keeping your New Year’s resolutions. I also hope you are having a more relaxing ease back into the routine of classes than I am.
My break was a mob dance of reunions and surprises. My mom’s side of the family capped off Christmas with the return of my cousin from North Carolina and my Uncle from Washington. It was nice to finally have everyone back around my grandmother’s long dining room table in comparison to the Thanksgiving dinner my parents hosted a month before.
Now, for the surprise part. My sister got married in October but was living with my parents until she could legally move to England with her Air Force husband. She was planning on leaving at the end of January.
On Christmas Eve, Carly told my mom before she left for work that afternoon that was leaving for England two days after Christmas, on my mom’s birthday. My mother was less than thrilled to hear the date, but we were all excited to see Carly finally reunite with her husband.
The day after Christmas, my dad made some trips to the grocery store and the beer distributor to throw a “farewell” party for Carly. Unfortunately, my mom and I were taking the post-holiday shift at the pharmacy, so our guests were faced with my dad’s hodge podge menu of scalloped potatoes, honey ham and cheeseburger dip.
Despite the menu, our extended family and Carly’s in-laws were able to enjoy the company and old home videos of Carly. The next day, she finished packing and we drove two hours to the Pittsburgh Airport for a proper send-off.
It was my sister’s first time flying, but it wasn’t her first time experiencing Murphy’s Law. When I planned her bridal shower, we had to change the venue at the last minute and scramble to accommodate the potential disaster.
This time, her flight got delayed and she spent a night in Philadelphia. Once she got to England, she found out the airline lost her luggage. The silver lining was being able to move in with her husband.
Patients at the pharmacy get us confused, so it was funny seeing people’s reactions when I told them I was not, in fact, Carly, and Carly was in England.
Besides my sister moving to another continent, I’ve had a couple other surprises. Some month-old letters from my boyfriend in boot camp showed up in my school mailbox on the first day of class.
If that’s not a good way to ring in a semester, I don’t know what is. I will have the privilege of seeing a Marine Corps graduation on Friday and riding to South Carolina with Jason’s siblings Thursday.
The downside is I won’t be there for any of the family week events where recruits tour their parents and whoever around the base, but there’s a silver lining, here, too. I won’t see Jason again until he is completely free of the jurisdiction of the Drill Instructors who have essentially owned him for the past three months.
He will have the official title of a Marine, but he will also be a newly “freed” man, and that’s something even more exciting than a reunion.