A Wedding, a Good-Bye, San Francisco and Home Again

May 16, 2010

There were two things that happened in the last month that I had convinced myself would never happen.  Both I’m ultimately happy they did, as I’ll explain later, but both of these dates seemed sure never to arrive.  I was like one of the foolish passengers on the Titanic, I saw the lifeboats being lowered, I felt the water lapping at my feet, yet I just couldn’t imagine the ship actually sinking.  So to what events am I melodramatically referring? 

The first is my best friend since 5th grade, the person who’s stuck with me through some of my less flattering moments (I’m mostly referring to middle school, oh, and high school, oh wait, the year I took off between college and law school, oh, and that nasty break up in college, oh, and…nevermind, I’m totally negating the point of these parentheses) getting married.  Elizabeth found the love of her life and she went and married him.  Here’s the happy couple now:

This was also my first go (and probably only) at being maid-of-honor.  The only thing I really had to do was throw a bachlorette party, throw a shower, not lose the ring, and not fall asleep during the ceremony.  Done and done.  Which is more than can be said for the flower girl.  She was out like a light from the first hymn.  But the wedding was beautiful, my speech was a blubbering mess, and most importantly, my best friend is now happily married to a wonderful guy.  Mission accomplished.  Here are some pictures to show that she did it in style too (and some are just for fun):

The other thing that I thought would never happen bumped a little too closely into the tail end of Elizabeth’s big day.  Kurt deployed.  We’ve known it was coming for a while but somehow, in my mind, I never fully believed it would happen.  But it did.  And let me explain why it’s ultimately a good thing, and I think Kurt will agree with me.  The sooner he leaves, the sooner he comes back.  We knew our lives would go into slow motion as soon as the deployment started but even knowing that, we wanted that dragging time to start because until it did, we would never be moving towards the end.  But now we are and I’ve replaced my bathroom light bulbs with higher wattage light bulbs so that I feel a little more like I’m under the same bright sun he’s in in the desert.  Okay, that’s not true at all.  The light bulbs burned out and all I had was 100 watts to replace what had been 60 watts.  But still, it’s really bright and I kind of feel closer to him. 

So after a heart wrenching good-bye in the Quad Cities International Airport (explain to me again how that’s an international airport), my dad and I road tripped up to Minneapolis together so that I could fly to San Francisco and he could fly home…through Atlanta.  Turns out we weren’t very good at road tripping since we went to Wisconsin accidentally first and then were so late my dad missed his flight and I barely made mine.  I’d explain all that but it won’t save face for either my father or me, so I’m just going to leave you all (and by all I mean my mom, my dad and Kurt who are the only ones who read my blog regularly) hanging. 

I did eventually make it to San Francisco where I partook in the Company Grade Officers (i.e. lieutenants and captains) Annual Professional Development Conference.  My head, and certainly not my heart, weren’t really in it but it was nice to see the city, eat the foot (lots of it) and finally see Alcatraz.  The only other time I was in San Francisco the Alcatraz tour was somehow vetoed but this time the tour was an optional add on to the conference so I jumped all over it.  I insisted on doing every tour available once on the island (much to the dismay of Hotel Hell Hound, Capt Turner, who did not particularly enjoy the tour of the Alcatraz gardens).  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  Of course, since I had been wanting to see Alcatraz so badly, I definitely made sure to bring my camera…oh wait, no no, I forgot it.  In the end all I had was my phone which I think actually did a pretty good job.  See for yourself:

Although Alcatraz was definitely the highlight for me, despite the moccasin tan line and part sunburn that my North Dakota skin is now dealing with, there was another highlight that shouldn’t go unmentioned.  I was fortunate enough, though not at all deserving of any of the credit, to accept on behalf of the Grand Forks AFB Company Grade Officer Council (of which I am the secretary but again, not at all deserving of any credit) the award for Western Region (every AF base west of the Mississippi) CGOC of the year.  And then, I, along with many other Grand Forks attendees, accepted the award for (wait for it, this is going to blow your mind) the Air Force CGOC of the year.  That’s an international award and little itty bitty Grand Forks AFB won it.  Alright, well if you’re not impressed by that then you’ll never be impressed by anything. 

So to sum up, San Francisco nice, more than a little overshadowed by a missing piece of my life that’s currently in Iraq, and here are some of the San Fran sights, just because I think I should:

And now I’m home again and not looking at leaving anytime soon.  With that in mind, this weekend was mostly dedicated to getting my flowers planted.  Now of course this will probably mean that it will snow this week, but oh well, replanting them would just give me something to do next weekend.  I did a little more landscaping in my front lawn this year.  This brings me joy, so bear with me.  Here are the pictures from before I started yesterday:

And after a little elbow grease and an incident with the neighbor kid and an umbrella (that Mary Poppins thing is harder than she makes it look):

I’m hoping that as the summer progresses I can post new pictures where it looks even better.  I’ll add pictures of the back too, as that begins to grow.  I tried planting from seed in the back but I’m skeptical that I’ll have much luck since the squirrels and/or rabbits seem to think that by planting the seeds, I’m just making it more interesting for them to try and find them.  Fun game.  Maybe I can hire the little neighbor boy to stand guard.  He already offered to share a fudgesicle with me next time the ice cream man comes, I bet I could talk him into it.

Thanks for your attention everyone.  Grand Forks and my apartment are more than ready for the summer tourist season, so anyone looking to book an action packed vacation this summer, keep me in mind.  There’s stuff to do here, I’m pretty sure…

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