Thursday, January 28, 2010

Unexpected joys

I was hoping I'd be in Haiti by now.

The day after the earthquake, I volunteered to go down there with the Air Force, but was told that because of the category of Reservist I am, it's harder to deploy me, but they'd keep me in mind. It's true, I learned last year when working for the Inauguration Committee that the steps of paperwork to get me deployed wrap around the alphabet and go into double letters. They tried to be helpful and send me a powerpoint that explains the process. I thought it was a joke at first.

That's only the first slide. I wish I was making that up. Sigh...

Anyway, word got out that I was looking to help with Haiti, so they asked me to go help at the Air Force press operations office (aka "press desk") for 30 days. I thought about it, at first not wanting to because that's where I worked the last year I was on Active Duty (06-07). But, I prayed about it and decided I could use the money to do something more in Haiti later, so I called them to accept. But then, they just needed me for about 10 days including both weekends. Oops, I already have plans those weekends. Didn't really want to ditch my plans to work night shift at the Pentagon, know what I mean? So, they decide they don't need me that badly after all. Then, later that afternoon, another division wants to know if I can come help them write some award packages. They only need me for 3 days.

It's a far cry from helping the desperately needy in Haiti, but it's better than nothing. That started today.

Enter the weekend plans. My husband is a amateur (ham) radio operator. It's an incredibly nerdy technical and expensive investment-heavy hobby, but don't laugh. If the bomb drops, he'll still be able to talk to people in New Zealand. This weekend is a ham radio contest, where all the hams test out their equipment and try to talk to as many people in as many different places as possible in a 24-hour period. We were going to go out to the Shenandoah to a cabin in the mountains with some of our best friends. The guys were going to do radio/car stuff while we ladies were going to cook, eat, read, relax, whatever.


Then the cabin people told John the road to the cabin was impassible because of the deep ruts caused by all the rain. We could park a mile away and hike in. Eeehhh... maybe not. It's supposed to be high in the 20s this weekend with possible snow, not exactly the dream hiking-with-3-days-worth-of-gear type of weather.

Today, while I worked on the award package at the Pentagon, it seemed our weekend plans were unraveling. 

I really was enjoying the award package writing though, so I guess I'm as nerdy smart as John is. It starts with a 3-inch binder full of research and documentation which has already been boiled down to six pages and then four, then two. Now my job is to make sure the two pages reflect the whole of the binder and fit the requirements for award submission. 

It wasn't even close!

But this is the kindof thing I love. Looking at someone else's work, taking it apart and making it better. Throw in guidelines and a deadline, it's almost better than chocolate. I said almost.

Well, as I'm doing that, and our weekend plans are dissolving, one of the other wives' dad came through with another place near the mountains we can go to. And it sounds even better than the first cabin with real bedrooms and real beds. And the best part is we can bring Mocha. The owner who lives elsewhere on the property has a few labs she can play with. Win-win!

So, I'm not in Haiti, but life is good.

I'm going to unplug from the blog for the last few days of January. Join me Feb 1 as I log back into Facebook and see what a month away has wrought.

What are you doing this weekend?


  1. We're heading to the mountains too! :)

  2. Staying put and being covered in ice. :)

  3. Hey, don't be hatin' on the ham radio operators!

    I think I'm going to clean the apartment top to bottom, then get started on some tax stuff. Yeah, extremely exciting plans over here :)

  4. I love the fact that you are an "editor" at heart, like your mama!!! Enjoy the weekend w Mocha at a super cabin!!! I am just hopin' to stay warm!!! Love asmom

  5. oh my dang, that powerpoint slide is ridiculous!

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