My fellow Internet denizens, I am just here to say that yesterday was the absolute, most Mondayest Monday that ever did Monday. I’m sitting here in my downstairs office with a cup of coffee and piles of papers and stacks of items on my to-do list, and just kind of staring at my coffee and feeling a little shell-shocked.
First things first–everyone here is well and healthy (and I just took the plague test to prove it, which will make sense if you read to the end of this digital primal scream.) But yesterday was testing every single last nerve, and so, in order to move on with my life, I’m just going to give you all the run down and then try to get back to work.
But first, sip of coffee.
Ah… Much better.
Okay, so Monday morning I wake up about a half hour after the bus has already come and gone. In fact, I’ve got about fifteen minutes to not only get out the door, but to actually drop the kids off at school. Adrenaline spikes, panic kicks in, and in a flurry of sneakers and book bags and barking dogs and slammed doors we make it to the car and down to the school in time to drop everyone off where they are supposed to be. I get back to the house and sit in the car for a moment, listening to myself talk about my new podcast.
“Well,” I thought. “Got the kids to school, and this doesn’t sound bad at all. Guess we got Monday out of the way early today!”
Ha … hahahahahaaa… Poor, sweet, unknowing me…
Then, I checked my email on my phone and realized that A Woman Unbecoming had, unfortunately, not made it onto the preliminary ballot for the Stoker Awards. It was kind of a long shot, as the Stokers are basically the Oscars of the horror world, so I wasn’t too crushed, although it’s always kind of disappointing when something like that happens. Still, I sent a note to my co-editor: “Maybe next year!”, and proceeded with Monday. Nothing’s gonna get me down!
Anyway, the day proceeds apace. I hadn’t yet taken down my Christmas decorations, so I decided that today was the day. We have a lot of cleaning and decluttering and organizing to do before the Army sends us to our next duty station, so I decided to tackle one of the big tasks. I threw on my podcast app and listened to a couple of shows while I got everything where it was supposed to go in our X-Mas bins, and stacked them upstairs to go into the attic.
Moving right along, I powered up my laptop and got ready to lead Co-Working with The Writing Tribe, when I got a message from my spouse. Don’t forget, inspectors are coming.
Truth be told, I had forgotten, but no matter. They showed up and in between co-hosting the session, I showed them around and explained that we have some cracks in the walls that have been getting worse lately. We’re getting ready to move this summer and wanted to be proactive and take care of the issue prior to either renting or selling the house when we move. (Look at us not waiting until the last minute! So proud of us.)
So, they started around on their inspection. Meanwhile, I got a call from Lowe’s customer service. The door that was supposed to be delivered in October, got delayed until late November, arrived and turned out to be the wrong size, got sent back, got re-ordered, got delayed, was supposed to arrive around January 20…has been delayed and will show up some time in February. Okay, not a problem. Eventually it will show up. Par for the course for a Monday.
THREE HOURS LATER…
The gentlemen doing the inspection invite me to walk around the house with them. As they begin pointing things out, they start gently. A little too gently, if you know what I mean. They start with a general caution that there has been some, ah, moisture, and the drainage is not what it could be. Oh, and here are some cracks in the foundation. Some are vertical. Some are horizontal. Whee! So much fun.
The kids get off the bus, and we all go inside. They start getting ready for after-school activities, and I sit down at the table, where the inspectors proceed to show me the photos from under the house. After the second or third one, my attempt at “hunting the good stuff” – Well, at least we’re finding out now rather than right before we move! – starts to take a few hits. By the end of the session, we’ve called my spouse and put him on speaker and made another appointment to get together and discuss in-depth a way forward.
“Wow,” I thought to myself as I saw them out the front door (the old one that hangs crooked on the hinges and doesn’t lock all the way and lets in the cold air.) “What a Monday this surely has been.”
But Wait, There’s More!
So, I get the kids in the car, and we head on out. I drop my oldest and her cousin off at dance, and then my youngest and I hit Kohl’s to return an Amazon purchase that was delivered bent in half, and then to the library, where I returned some books and renewed some others.
As we are listening to some upbeat music and turning into our street, I get a call from my spouse. I answer the phone.
“I’ve got some news!” he says. “Notification of assignments have come out!”
“Oh, that’s great!” I say, thinking, yes–finally. This is the first step in the process of him getting orders to his next duty station, and those orders are the pieces of paper that allow us to put into motion all of the things on the checklist of Army moving (scheduling transportation, getting on the wait list for housing and schools and daycare), etc.
Let me add a bit of context here. We have really been looking forward to this move. The Army marketplace (kind of like a job board, but for the Army) opened up, and Rob listed this unit as his number one pick. After interviews and such, they listed him as their number one pick. So, logically, this meant that since it was a one-to-one pick, we’ve been planning on heading to Seattle for the past several months. I mean, buying winter clothes in large enough sizes for the girls to wear them through the next few years type of planning. Looking into Cons in the northwest and the local chapter of the HWA type of career planning (for me). My spouse was already tracking his first trip for his new job, etc. I’ve rarely allowed myself to look forward to a move with this amount of eagerness, but I was REALLY looking forward to moving to Seattle.
I’m betting that if you have any amount of familiarity with the Army, you will guess what’s coming next.
Ding, ding, ding!
You guessed it. Did that notification of assignment say Joint Base Lewis-McChord? No, it surely did not. Did it say, Fort Irwin, California, home of being smack dab in the middle of the Mojave Desert and equidistant from literally everything, being that it’s also in the middle of NOWHERE?! Yes, it did.
I won’t lie, I think I’m still in the first stage of the grieving process, namely “denial,” hoping that maybe there’s some way that this was all some paperwork SNAFU, and that it can all be sorted out so that we can go somewhere other than the ass end of nowhere. I’ve got a lot of emotions right now and no time to deal with them, and in the grand scheme of things, these are all very much solvable, first world problems. I’m already starting to look at job openings in California, as well as the fact that we’ll be close to my spouse’s family, and the desert is kind of pretty when it’s not 120 degrees in the summer. Usually these sorts of posts do have lots of things going on for the Soldiers and their families who get stationed there. And it’s the Army–you have to kind of roll with the punches. So, we’ll dust ourselves off, adjust fire, and move on to whatever is coming next.
Bad Luck Lagniappe
Which, come to think of it, sounds like a cool name for an indie folk punk band.
Anyway, I had a great conversation last night with my friend Cristel. We are looking at putting together an hour-long, conversation/interview-format podcast, and were having our first production meeting. That went really well (and about an hour longer than we expected), and so I turned off the space heater and the lights and headed upstairs to bed thinking that, you know, it’s not so bad. We’ve got this, and there’s lots to look forward to.
As I lay down in bed with my latest book on Kindle cued up to get a little reading done before I fell asleep, my phone buzzed.
It was a notification from the NJ plague center–apparently during my travels to and from Arisia, my phone and I had spent some time in the vicinity of someone who tested positive for the plague.
I checked that both my alarms were sent and went to sleep.
Always Look On the Bright Side
Okay, so, like I said, things could be worse. I tested myself for plague this morning, and there was no plague! So that was good. I got the kids out the door to the bus on time, and my coffee is hot and plentiful. I’ve got some things to do that involve sending out submissions, as well as reading some submissions, and writing new material for a contract that I owe my publisher (and, it shows that I’ve made it to a certain point in my writing and publishing journey to even be able to say those things.) I’m going to take a deep breath, drink a few more cups of coffee, and get on with the rest of the week. Here’s hoping your week goes well, and I’ll catch ya later!
Thanks for reading! If you like what I’m putting out in the world, and would like to help support what I’m doing, you can buy a book, leave a review, listen to the podcast, or share content. You can also tip me on Ko-Fi, which will help keep me in books and coffee and colored pens. Enjoy!
Well bless y’all’s hearts… (in the good sense of the phrase).
As Dorris has worked for the State over the years, she’s come in and asked me, “Do you know what the State/employer bureaucracy has done?”
And I’ve answered those questions with a surprising degree of accuracy.
When she asks me how I knew, I reply, “I asked myself what the stupidest thing they could have done was.”
So sorry y’all got bit by the Army version.