Yesterday brought some interesting news. Kerry called me and blurted out, "We're not moving to Virginia, we're moving to Illinois." I didn't say anything for a minute. The words wandered around in my brain for a minute looking for a place to stick.
"Wow, I've rendered you speechless," said Kerry.
I really thought there was more to the story. I was expecting him to add something along the lines of, "But then I called someone important and they did something magical and yes, we are moving to Virginia still, but for a minute there I was quite alarmed."
But he wasn't joking. And there isn't more to the story.
We are moving to Illinois. They come to pack up our house in ten days. And we are moving to Illinois.
I didn't have my heart set on Virginia; I had my concerns about it. There was no housing available on post and we were going to have to rent. Renters aren't often open to the idea of a huge dog on their property (it's a liability if he bites someone, and no one cares that he would pee on himself rather than bite an intruder, it's a fear of his size). I knew we wouldn't be able to live very close to the base which would mean a bigger commute for Kerry and we would see him less (and we would burn up a lot more gas at a time when gas prices are high). It looked like a huge city and that means a lot more driving to get to anything and a lot more traffic. Actually I did have my heart set on Virginia, just not the area of Virginia where we were actually moving. All of our family lives on the east coast and we were really excited to be near them again.
And I had everything set up and ready for Virginia. I had registered the girls for a scout troop and had been accepted as a leader in the troop. I had joined a homeschooling group and had already nailed down a Biology class for Emily and found art lessons for both girls. We have friends and family we were planning to visit with in Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina. Ben had sent his ACT scores to three different colleges in the area and he was particularly happy to be in Virginia because his girlfriend will be moving to New Jersey. Her mom even gave Ben a train ticket to go see them when they bring her over at the end of the summer. The problem is that the ticket goes from Virginia, not Illinois. I don't know if it's refundable.
So now all those plans are scrapped and out the window. We do have one set of friends who lived at the same base in Illinois where we are being sent and they loved it. Loved it. They say it was their favorite duty station ever. I also have several friends who have winced when they heard the news and said, "That's in the middle of nowhere!" Very encouraging.
On the plus side, we looked at the housing and it's big and beautiful. And it's available (which is a big plus!) The area is not huge and congested but is only about thirty minutes from a huge congested city if we want to go experience urban life.
On the minus side, it's in Illinois.