Monday, November 26, 2012

Sorting, tossing, caring, moving on.

Well, almost everything from our household goods has been sorted. Last night I finally gave into feeling bummed out.

Our stuff was very quickly put into storage a year ago. I had great unit friends supervise and do the whole thing for me, but they could only do so much. I don't think I could do any better than what they did for me. Of course, though- military packers proved that if you don't supervise every aspect of what they're packing, they will ruin your stuff.

All the important things made in through. I had told my friend what mattered and she made sure that those things were packed well. We barely had a broken dish, and even a stapler received good wrapping. There were some broken and damaged pieces which pissed me off but nothing too bad. I have yet to unpack my porcelain dolls because I'm afraid I will flip out if any are broken. I will do that next week to complete the damage claim. But other than that, it's not so bad.

But then there were the epic fails: my wedding dress was shoved down into the bottom of a box, under many other things. Almost all of my shoes were ruined, since they were thrown into a box like stuffed animals and left that way for a year. A lot of stuff felt and smelled as if it got damp at some point and never got a chance to dry out well. The blankets smelled really funny. The towels for pet messes and cleaning were mixed in with bath towels. A lot of things went to Goodwill or the dumpster. We managed to sell the nice Whirlpool Duet w/d set for half of what we paid. We used it for barely a year, and then it was stored for a year. I thought we'd wash baby clothes in that set, and yet we barely got to wash our own in it.

But what did me in was our mattress. Our $1000 first wedded bed isn't working for Aaron. It is memory foam (Serta, I think) and... say it with me now... hardly used. We bought it in Germany in May or June after we were married. It is definitely not what Aaron needs now (hot, he sinks, and isn't supported correctly in it) and I'm fine with getting a new mattress. But how much can we sell it for? I don't want to pay for storage because it will be a very long time before we will have a guest bedroom big enough for a queen again. I also have my mattress and boxspring from before I got married, which while not nice isn't in bad shape. I can only pay so much to store stuff, hoping to sell it, before the cost cancels out the potential gain.

We have lost so much the past year. We have adapted and reinvented. It's fine. But seriously... is it ever going to end? I don't drive a sedan, I have a cute sporty SUV but I really wanted a sedan. My husband can't load himself in a sedan when he's in the wheelchair, so that was out. We have to have two microwaves in the new place because the range top is over his head and is a bad hot soup accident waiting to happen. All the linoleum floors in the new place have black tire marks and that's not going to get better. The ivory carpet will be dead by the time we're done with it. We donated our electric blankets that we only used one winter. Then hell, our expensive mattress doesn't work for us. All of my flat shoes are gone. It is all so random and weird. I know it's just stuff and it doesn't matter, but when you lose and reinvent constantly like we have had to do it gets old. I just want shit to work right out of the box (metaphorically speaking) for once. Clearly, we're still adjusting to our new lifestyle. I'm still working on acceptance. What happened on September 7th last year affects every single aspect of our daily living and that, in turn, makes totally moving on a little difficult.

But we're happy, healthy, not poor, and have a beautiful new home with a lot of new furniture we love. Our Christmas decorations are up. We will be done with the hospital apartment soon and fully transitioned to our outside world living. We will be a little closer to normal. This is huge and awesome, and no amount of ruined flat shoes or a wrinkled wedding dress can dampen our joy. I'm not ungrateful (how many times I can say that this year?). I'm very blessed. It's just a lot of hard work and every now and again I wish it was a little easier.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shiny and new...

Yesterday, I made a video of our new home and put it up facebook. Everything was empty, and the carpet was fresh with the tracks of a steamer. It sparkled. I opened the patio doors; squealed when I talked about candles around the garden tub. We went out with a good friend and bought a TV and new shower heads. Occupational therapy got Aaron a new shower bench. Today, household goods came with the things we haven't seen in a over a year (20 months for Aaron) and Haverty's delivered our new furniture. The piece-of-pie shaped coffee table (they call them cocktail tables now) won't fit so we'll cancel that. We had to rearrange everything and rent a storage unit. Everything's a mess right now and it's so incredibly wonderful.

But there is so much hope in those carpet steamer tracks, the sparkling kitchen, the ice maker in the fridge. It's our first "new normal" home. New normal. I am almost sick of that phrase. It is used more for people after deployment than it is over here. I like "post-blast" better. This is after the blast, right? We can finally start living it. These are our first steps out into the regular world, the one that kept spinning when ours nearly stopped. It definitely began spinning in a new direction, but we've adapted. We can spin backwards and do flips. We can run with chains on our waists and drive without the petals. We chose this new condo not because the Army told us to live near a certain city and base. We have decided to settle here after he has reached full potential with  rehab. If we were going to find a new home in another state, we'd stay in the building at the hospital, but we have decided this where we're going to be. So we stepped (rolled) out, did the research, and made our choice.

The future is bright. And we're wearing sunglasses.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Not Too Long Now...


A dog. My dog. In our apartment. Not the Army's apartment. Not snuck in, no in a hotel room, not at someone else's house. But Charlie Buckles will be coming home with me. I am so nervous, too. He's been around other dogs for over a year now and I don't know how he'll adjust. I will have to take him back out to the farm for play dates with Scooter and his terrier girlfriend. We are also beginning the service dog application process, so I will take the 6-8 months in between training Charlie Buckles to be a very obedient, loyal pup. Later on down the road (when our situation is more stable) Aaron wants a hunting dog, which will probably be a beagle. That's fine. But for now... our little brown pug/terrier/chihuahua is going to come sit at our feet and on our laps all through our second winter here, and beyond.