EDIT: I finally got a USB cable! Here are the photos from our trip to Washington:
Wow...what an amazing feeling... Today was my last day at work. I have to say it was one of the more enjoyable leavetakings I've experienced. I am generally not good at goodbyes, preferring to vanish with a simply "cya". I got pretty used to leaving places growing up as a missionary kid, so you tend to grow a thick skin. But the outpouring of appreciation from my friends at work was quite touching. I hadn't thought I'd made that much of an impression. I rarely aim to be liked so it's always something of a surprise when people end up liking me. At any rate, the kind words were appreciated and I do wish everyone there the best.
I love to work, but it is an incredible feeling to walk out of a place that has claimed so much of my attention and energy for the last 2 1/2 years and just...leave it behind. That sense of freedom is heady and addictive...it's probably one reason we've lived our lives the way we have, so that we have the option of just walking away from it all. Kerri and I have both from the beginning wanted to be free to leave at the drop of a hat. Although we did buy a house when we first married, we quickly got out of that and have been working our way to smaller and smaller living spaces ever since. We have tried to keep few possessions, small, lightweight, cheap. Easy to get rid of if necessary. This last couple of weeks has proved that it was the right choice for us, as Kerri has already expressed...we were able to get rid of almost every piece of furniture in our apartment in less than a week. Kerri will take care of the rest later. She won't exactly be "moving" out of this place...there won't be much left to move.
I finally got my itinerary today! Just after getting home it arrived. In the typically clipped, military style I have come to expect from this company, it has directed me to take a flight next Friday at 6:15am to Atlanta. From there I will be transported to the "CRC" (conus replacement center) at Fort Benning. All sorts of stuff about civilian duffle bags and such. Good thing I happen to have one. Immunizations, briefings, sharing a room w/ 3 other people, 48 hour notification prior to leaving for Kuwait...it'll be an interesting experience. They still are reserving the right to send me home if something doesn't work out, and pessimist that I am, I won't believe it til I set down in Kuwait. But it is certainly good to have more information.
Tomorrow we'll be heading up to visit my relatives in the Aberdeen/Hoquiam area of Washington. My sister Milei will be accompanying us. I hear my grandpa is not doing well, so this may be the last time we see him (though I hope not). There are lots of people we may never see again in this life. Funny...as a kid I always viewed leaving as a kind of death. People were literally dead to me after I left them. Coping mechanism or what you will, it has always affected me that way. The odd thing is, if someone is dead, but in Christ, then the certain hope is that we will see each other again someday. This is the first time (kind of) that it's actually been true of several people here in the states. When my grandfather died while we were in the Philippines a couple of years ago, it was sad, but again...it's hard to be too sad when someone is liberated from the pain and misery that they were in, and when we know we will see them again, whole and perfected.