We received orders about 10 days prior to PCSing (PCS = permanent change of station) to Fort Belvoir. While we knew there was a chance we could be sent to the Washington DC area, there was little time to prepare by the time official word came our way. But we managed to schedule the packers and movers, find a property manager and rent out our house that we just bought eight months prior, and say goodbye to our 18-month experience in Oklahoma. We trekked halfway across the country in two cars, found a townhouse to rent, lived in TLF (temporary lodging facilities) on Fort Belvoir (horrid condition) and Joint-Base Anacostia-Bolling (very nice condition) for a month while waiting for said townhouse to become available, and began living life in northern Virginia.
Life has been good to us here. Our neighborhood is great. Weston loves his preschool. Clay’s job is demanding but fulfilling. And Violet arrived this past summer, pushing us into ‘family of four’ territory. 15 months after receiving orders, we’re happy and we’re settled. Which can only mean one thing in the Army world – it’s time to introduce some uncertainty into the picture.
We’re now approaching the time of year when a lot of military families find out whether or not they’re PCSing the following summer. While we’re not slated to leave here until the Summer 2015, there is a small chance we could be leaving earlier than planned. Which means that we’re officially in wait and see mode. When it comes time to leave the Washington DC area, whether it be the Summer 2014 or Summer 2015, it will be difficult to say goodbye. As with every place we’ve lived thus far, we will leave a piece of our heart behind. Although I am extremely thankful we won’t be leaving behind any real estate this time!
Violet was a stowaway.
We hope to know after the holidays as to whether we’re staying another year or moving on this summer. From this point forward, three years will likely be the longest at any one place we will live (the Fort Drum assignment currently holds the record at 3 years, 5 months), at least until retirement. So the notion of moving again isn’t of any surprise to us. We’re trying our hardest to instill a sense of adventure in our children, if anything to cut down on the sadness that accompanies every move.
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot. Little Gidding, Four Quartets
So here we are, in a holding pattern. It’s not impacting our life in a negative way with the extremely minor exception of the fact we’re refraining from planning our summer vacation until we know a little more about our future. And that’s okay. There is no need to fret about the unknown, for we still have a lot of living left to do in northern Virginia.