Saturday, February 25, 2012

If you miss the train I'm on...

You will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
A hundred miles, a hundred miles
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles...

I'm sitting on my couch with my daughter in my lap and my wife at the other end. Christina is playing with her computer; Squeak is almost comatose, up past her bedtime, blinking wearily at the ceiling. We're listening to "Cabin Pressure," a BBC radio comedy she picked up because it features Benedict Cumberbatch - the actor who portrays Sherlock Holmes on the BBC show, "Sherlock," with which she's been quite obsessed of late. "Cabin Pressure" is hilarious, but it's not doing much to help my mood.

We've just spent a lovely evening with the family; dinner at my parents', with my aunt, grandmother, brother and future sister-in-law, and my mother-in-law. Plus, of course, Chris and Squeak. Dinner was Mexican; Chris made enchiladas, my dad had the fixings for tacos/nachos/burritos set up, plus a rather tasty chili. Conversations were had, mancala was played, and many laughs were laughed.

The clock ticks ever closer to midnight, and my departure.

We're gone early tomorrow morning; not too early, within the ordinary working hours, but I'm expected aboard early enough to make it a hassle for Squeak and Chris to wake up, drive in with me, and then drive the car home. Likewise, it would be a major hassle for them to have to come retrieve my car from the base if I drive myself in tomorrow morning. So... tonight it is. I'll spend my last night at home, sleeping aboard. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Perhaps that should have been the Peter, Paul, & Mary song I chose for this entry's title; but since I'm not leaving on a jet plane (this time), I figured I'd go for another classic. I'm not leaving on a train, either, but I've used some of the best 'sailing away' songs for previous entries. One of my favorites: The Wanderlust by Heather Alexander. Used the last time I deployed on USNS Supply, four and a half years ago.

Squeak is asleep. So are my legs. I hate to wake you up to say goodbye...

This never gets any easier.

The Bear departed the ship's company a week or so ago, and last I checked I haven't acquired a new cubemate - snoring, or non. I doubt this situation will last, but it least it means I might actually get some sleep tonight, if my mind and body calm enough to let me sleep. We've got a busy couple of weeks ahead of us before we depart the U.S., most of which I figure I can't discuss on an open forum - enough to get a jump start on restoring my bank account to a healthy balance, and certainly enough to save money at a time when gas prices are spiking. I keep telling myself this is a good thing, and sometimes, I can even feel it. I tell myself I'm looking forward to this, and that's a little harder to swallow. I tell myself that my time abroad will fly by just as quickly as the last few months here at home have, and that's the roughest one to believe.
Here we go again.

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