Monday, December 15, 2014

Home Leave Begins

Let's see if going backwards gets me blogging more regularly!

After a whirlwind and absolutely wonderful seven weeks of training, I am finally home in NH for home leave. I'm sitting in the kitchen at my parents' house, one cat curled up by the woodstove and the other surveying the veritable buffet of birds at the backyard feeder, spectacularly visible against the snow. Don't worry, these are strictly indoor cats, so no birds will be harmed this home leave.

My friend D, of so many Uganda adventures, was in DC at the same time, and she very kindly offered to supervise my UAB packout on Thursday while she had a free afternoon and I was a prisoner of FSI's 100% attendance policy. That's a little harsh since I really enjoyed my FSI classes, but let's just say the contracts with the moving companies being restricted to work hours M-F makes it very hard on single folks, especially those whose consultation days were frontloaded and reserved for actual consultations.

Anyway, the entire pile of UAB must-gos fit, and then the entire pile of if-possibles also fit, with a few pounds of spare for wrapping! I was ecstatic. I proceeded a lovely FS blogger dinner with Nicole, Kelly, and Gretchen at a favorite Thai restaurant with a big sense of relief that my car wouldn't be packed to the gills.

Friday evening D came over to help me pack the car, which went much better than expected. We got 90% of the stuff packed that evening; I just had to add the cats in their carriers and the last couple bags. Easy peasy. Then a final goodbye and a good night's sleep.

Saturday was a perfect day to drive up the East Coast - 45 degrees, sunny with scattered cloud cover, no precipitation, and - most importantly - no traffic. I made it home in nine hours exactly, which was not a moment too soon with two very unhappy traveling companions.

The cats settled into the house with familiar ease, having lived here during a previous home leave and recognizing my parents who they'd seen in the previous months. They spend their days busily exploring every nook and cranny, gazing out the many windows at actual views that a fourth floor apartment with a concrete balcony doesn't offer, and learning the wonders of the warmth of a woodstove.

I'm enjoying not waking up to an alarm (except this morning when I forgot I still had it set to 6:00 on M-F) and general relaxation. I'll ramp up to visiting and shopping and making plans in the next couple of days, but it's quite enjoyable to just being for the first time in many, many months.

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