A Mother of two living, eating, cooking and writing as a Foreign Service Trailing Spouse.
Friday, May 14, 2010
What a Week (plus) it's Been...
I'm still spinning...
Eight days ago, we were in New Jersey and this whole Foreign Service thing still seemed something distant and intangible. Now, a week later, we're here and fully in the throes. Stef has completed a whole week of training. We are calling our Oakwood apartment "home." I have attended (most of) the spouse/partner orientation. Best of all, we have the much anticipated "Bid List" in our hands...
Of course, I can't tell you anything about it. I can't tell you about all the wonderful places where we might end up living nor can I tell you about the few god forsaken places we might end up living. But I can say it's a great relief to have the list in our possession, so we can begin the process of processing all the possibilities and doing the necessary research on each destination.
As those of you who know us well would guess, our biggest concern is getting the "boys" to our new home, safely and without having to quarantine them (as you can see in the attached picture, they too are quite comfy in the Oakwood). As the girls get a little older, I think the available education will probably trump the comfort of the Labra-dudes, but for now, they are still the kings.
When we first began talking about the logistical aspects of FS life, my biggest concern was for my dogs. It still is. Otis is nearing 12 years old, so it makes sense to think a very long journey could be dangerous and overly taxing for him. We also need to go to a place where there is adequate veterinary care because in these later years, medical issues arise almost monthly. It's a lot to consider, but I still stand firm that I won't go anywhere Otis (and Rudi) can't come.
I will never forget the day I picked little, six week old Otis up from the breeder. He was the last of the litter to go home and boy, was he ready. When I got there, he was hiding under an end table from his mother and auntie, who were relentless in their rough-housing. He was so small and scared, but grateful to see me and to be carried off. We made an instant connection. We were fast friends.
Since that day, I have taken Otis everywhere. First, I took him back to college to finish my senior year (yes, I have had him since college!). Next, we went to New York for my first "real" job. Then, we went to the Hamptons, for my first "restaurant job." Then we drove cross-country for the first of many trips to the West Coast. We lived in Massachusetts, Montana, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, New Jersey, and now Virginia.
When I look at the bid list, I look for mainly one thing: in which of these fascinating cities will Otis be most happy and comfortable? For some, this probably seems irrational and to others, it probably makes perfect sense. Despite all the wonderful people I have met along the way, there's only one who has always been there and always been very, very happy to be.
Otis has gone everywhere with me since the day I got him. And as long as his heart is still beating, he will continue to, for he is truly the best friend I've ever had and I won't go anywhere without him.