THe Harting Family

THe Harting Family

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Military WifeLots of moving...Moving...Moving...Moving far from home...Moving two cars, three kids and one dog...all riding with HER of course.Moving sofas to basements because they won't go in THIS house;Moving curtains that won't fit;Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours.Moving away from friends;Moving toward new friends;Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.Often waiting...Waiting...Waiting...Waiting for housing.Waiting for orders.Waiting for deployments.Waiting for phone calls.Waiting for reunions.Waiting for the new curtains to arrive.Waiting for him to come home,For dinner...AGAIN!They call her 'Military Dependent', but she knows better:She is fiercely In-Dependent.She can balance a check book;Handle the yard work;Fix a noisy toilet;Bury the family pet...She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts.She can file the taxes;Sell a house;Buy a car;Or set up a move........all with ONE Power of Attorney.She welcomes neighbors that don't welcome her.She reinvents her career with every PCS;Locates a house in the desert, The Arctic, Or the deep south.And learns to call them all 'home'.She MAKES them all home.Military Wives are somewhat hasty...They leap into:Decorating,Leadership,Volunteering,Career alternatives,Churches,And friendships.They don't have 15 years to get to know people.Their roots are short but flexible.They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.Military Wives quickly learn to value each other:They connect over coffee,Rely on the spouse network,Accept offers of friendship and favors.Record addresses in pencil...Military Wives have a common bond:The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique.He doesn't have a 'JOB'He has a 'MISSION' that he can't just decide to quit...He's on-call for his country 24/7.But for her, he's the most unreliable guy in town!His language is foreignTDY PCS OPR SOS ACC BDU ACU BAR CIB TAD And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.She is the long- distance link to keep them informed;the glue that holds them together.A Military Wife has her moments:She wants to wring his neck;Dye his uniform pink;Refuse to move to Siberia;But she pulls herself together.Give her a few days,A travel brochure,A long hot bath,A pledge to the flag,A wedding picture,And she goes.She packs.She moves.She follows.Why?What for?How come?You may think it is because she has lost her mind.But actually it is because she has lost her heart.It was stolen from her by a man,Who puts duty first,Who longs to deploy,Who salutes the flag,And whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her Military Husband,She will remain his military wife.And would have it no other way.--Author Unknown

Monday, January 25, 2010

A House is a House of Course.....

Except when it is your home......

So as you all know I started this blog a short time ago to write about our PCS, as well as getting myself prepared for the inevitable empty nest and well, of course everything else.
This will fall under the everything else part. For the past few weeks we have been working really hard to get our house on the market, washing, scrubbing,painting storing and the much love de-cluttering. In essence erasing any hint of the family, my family, that lives here. Mostly it has been frustrating. The fear of trying to sell the house is overwhelming at times. Those of you who know, it is almost impossible to PCS and still have to pay a mortgage at your old duty station. It can be done but who wants to go through your savings that took years to build because you can not sell your old house. Not me.

We have been through more moves than I can count, across continents, 4 to be exact in our first 12 years of marriage, from Japan to Spain to Africa and back to the USA with a 120 Lb dog, yes he is a Spanish Duel Citizen..and it all went pretty well. So I am sure if it were not for the sale of the house this move would be going much easier..maybe, maybe not. It has occurred to me, to all of us thanks to our son (out of the mouths of babes) that this isn't just our house, this is our home and it is going to suck when we leave.

He is right, we have been in this house the longest we have been anywhere, 5 years. This was the first home in the US that my son has any memory of, we came here when he was in the 8th grade and now he is going to graduate High School here. This is where we were for 5 birthdays, 5 anniversaries and 5 Xmas's. This is pretty incredible for a military family, for ours especially because we had moved so much our first 10 years in the military. I also realize for us military folks that home is basically where they send us and as long as we are together we are always home...but sometimes a house becomes a part of that story.

This house holds so many stories for us. We purchased it on the Internet from West Africa. As soon as I set eyes on it I had to have it..and I got it. This is where we have been together, apart and laughed and cried. This is where friends from out of town just happened to "pop" in to cheer me up after my hubs left on one of his deployments. This is where we walked on the beach and watched the sunset. This is the house where I cursed the yard every time my hubs left because I just couldn't stand maintaining it and this is where I ultimately hired a landscaper. But there were sad times too. This is where we received bad news of the death of friends, of family, and 3 deployments and countless training separations. But this is also where we welcomed great friends, were our last memories of some of them will forever be encased , gone to soon, before we were ready to say goodbye. This couch is where I was sitting when I got a call that my husband had hit an IED in Afghanistan and realized that however prepared I thought I was to get that kind of news, I was wrong, dead wrong. And this is where I was sitting when he called and I was shaking from my head to my toes and this is where I sat and was supported and kept sane by friends I never met in person but that saved my sanity on more than one occasion. This is where we have laughed, cried, and were a family like we never will again after this move. After this move my son will be off to college, and once your kid leaves for college it is never like it was before. I am sure our new house will have its share of memories, good, bad and all the things in between. We will have Xmas's and birthdays, and anniversaries and good times, with good friends.
But now it is clear to me, this house is a house of course, but mostly this is our home. I will miss you home...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Memories and Heartbreak

Today has been a tough one for me. Usually I will be on twitter all day talking to all my wonderful supportive friends and engaging in a lot of debates and just generally having a good time. Today was a hard day for me. My husband and I lived overseas for about 9 years of his 15 year (so far) military career. During a small part of our time overseas we were posted in a third world country, excuse me..PC time (country on a road to development). A small country in West Africa called Togo. I learned a lot about things there, I learned what it is to see the meaning of "poor". I learned mostly about myself, about my priorities and I really learned not to ever complain about material things. I also learned more about the human spirit than I ever thought I would. It is really hard to explain but trust me when I tell you. I have seen true human spirit, in the face of nothing, the spirit is hard to kill. While I was in Togo I worked as a Consular Associate at the embassy. I refer to this job as the most rewarding and soul killing job I ever had. One of my jobs at the embassy was to be in charge of what we call the "Warden System". This system is part of American Citizen Services. When you travel abroad or live abroad you are supposed to register at the American Embassy, that way when things go to hell like in Haiti they have a way to locate you and get you to safety or instruct you in what you need to do. It is a very big job, with tons of responsibility and no one I ever met in the State Department takes ACS lightly. It is never more evident in its importance as it is in Haiti at this very moment. I have to tell you that from my experience I would venture to say of the 45,000 Americans in Haiti a huge portion of those will be children living with grandparents. Today I was feeling so much heart ache for all the Haitians as well as the 45,000 est Americans in Haiti. As a country as far as our immigration is concerned, once you are a citizen you are a citizen, we don't have duel citizens, all we recognize is you are an American. The mission of the embassy above all else it to serve the Americans in that country. I know right now there are many State Department Consular Officers/associates and Foreign Service Nationals doing everything they can to find all Americans and get them to safety. I had word today that a Public Diplomacy Officer was still unaccounted for, I hope by now they have been located. The Foreign Service Nationals will work tirelessly without even the knowledge that their own families are safe. Many Americans don't know what goes on in the Embassy we have overseas and right now I can tell you what is going on is a desperate search for survivors, and wounded and the worse, the lost. Please take comfort in knowing they are doing everything they can. My heart is breaking for all in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Did I Sign Up for This???

Ok so here is a rant about our upcoming PCS that rolls into my whole rant about selling our house in this market. Ok ... so I am excited about the PCS, so I am trying not to rant too much but of course when the Marine Corps gives you exactly what you asked for, it always comes with a catch. That catch being, "yes, you can go to 29 Palms" followed by, "but you have to be there in May."....Ok so anyone that has school age kids knows May is NOT when you want the monitor to tell you , you need to be somewhere else. And guess what, my son is a Sr. so none of that pulling him out of school a bit early (which all military parents have done or will do eventually to their kids). You see he needs to attend commencement. I figured he would want to walk at his own graduation, at least, right? Of course he does and it is more for us than him so he is doing it if I have to move all the heavens and Earth and my husband will be there, if he has to fly out in the morning and fly back in the afternoon. My husband missed Michaels first day of school because he was overseas, he is not going to miss his last day of highschool.

Ok so now that we have that out of the way. Selling the house. Where to start. I have a twitter friend that went through the whole home sale process last year, it wasn't pretty or fair or anything anyone should have to go through, especially with a husband deployed . Well I am a bit more lucky, my husband is now home to help, well as much as a 1stSgt can ever possibly help. By help it usually means, tracking him down at work somewhere, bringing him papers to sign, taking cell phone pictures and asking his opinion about something because there is no way a 1stSgt can not be at work all day everyday till the wee hours. In all fairness my husband just got back from deployment and he has a new company so there is a lot of mandatory fun going on right now, changes of commands, mess nights ...ya you get the picture. Anyhow today I left the house early, because the painters were coming to paint the living room. I felt confident because they did such a great day yesterday and I felt I could leave today and stay out from underfoot. Well bad idea. I came home about 12 and I have a bunch of painters on my front lawn, did I mention I forgot my cell phone, well I did. So I am informed they got the wrong mix of color and after they did some painting thought I might not like it. Wouldn't the first indication that I wouldn't like it be it wasn't the color I picked? Anyhow the pictures are the status of my house right now, wrong color to see. You see the new color wasn't too much different from the old color..see the problem? Anyhow the painters will be back tomorrow hopefully with the right color. I see messes....lots of messes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cleaning out the house and random thoughts


Today has been busy, cleaning out closets and cleaning out drawers. Ya it isn' I have a tendency to let my mind go other places when doing monotonous chores. So first thought of the day was while I cleaning out the inside of my washing machine since we are including it with the sale of our house, I want a new set and buyers really want a lot, and ya know what..they have the upper hand in this market so ...whatever.
So I am cleaning out my washing machine and I am getting annoyed by all the blue in my washer and dryer and I am thinking to myself, self, " I never seen anything like this before, growing up, in our house..crazy." so it occurs to me how crazy lucky I am to have the blue stains in my washer and dryer. Why you ask? Well it indicates that my son has had new jeans, a lot of new jeans ...and I am happy. Growing up I never really had new jeans, lots of hand me downs and stuff. It may not be the reason that I have blue stains in my stuff but either made me feel grateful cleaning out those stains.
Second random thought. I was dwelling on the whole Harry Reid thing, what he said, not really sure how I feel about it..don't want to really debate it, it is what it is, people will read what they want in to it. What it did make me think about is one of my "pet peeves" the statement "I am not your typical Military wife" I find that statement insulting...kind of like, "he is light skinned with no negro dialect" kind of insulting. Now I know some of you may think ..."this chick is nutsoutofhermind" to make that connection...but I am in my head a lot kind of woman that really spends a lot of time thinking about things. I have been around the military pretty much my whole life, I have seen pretty much everything there is to be seen, and I am pretty confident in my statement, "there is NO typical military wife" Now of course that isn't every ones perspective, just mine...but this is my blog and thought I would share that...ok back to cleaning .....

Friday, January 8, 2010

My reasons for waking up everyday....

I am in large part starting this blog because my son is going to be going off to college this fall. I am gifted with an only child. And when I say gifted I mean i I wasn't supposed to be able to have kids and "surprise" here he was. I think I am realistically ready for the emotions and changes that will come with empty nest. I am fortunate that I have a wonderful husband that is also a friend, that I actually like and don't mind being around, I hear that helps. But as you all know, things can't just come in singles, I am also going to be dealing with cross country PCS (permanent change of station) for all my civilian friends. All this the same week my son graduates from high school and not only that, hubs has to report earlier...ya you are starting to get the picture. But here are some other pictures, some of my favorites of my family (I am testing out this blog stuff..thanks @armygirlnay for the help!

Well Here I Go

Well here I go, attempting to blog. I have a lot going on in my life right now and a lot of great people told me blogging could be cathartic. I usually blog within others blogs, you know who you are..sorry, now I can do it on my own. I twitter regularly ... but sometimes 140 characters is just not enough to say what I need to say, even if it is 140 characters x 10..sorry for all the long post (jeez). I am not an English major, so if you expect perfection, well leave now, you are on the wrong blog..I will make a lot of mistakes grammatically..oh well. What I am hoping is that by blogging all these big life changes will become something I can share and get feedback on by those who have gone through it themselves, or who just in general care and want to help. We all know the only advise anyone cares to hear is the solicited I will from time to time ask for your help, but will always be willing to read your comments. I look at it like this, if you took the time to read my blog, I will take the time to read your comments. So please be patient while I set this thing up, I have lots to learn, hopefully I will be a quick study. Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me to do this!