Friday, January 30, 2009

I Had a Dream

That I was eating bbq with the new Commander-in-chief and the First Lady. We were chit-chatting about how down to earth he was, how I voted for McCain and about Sarah Palin's maternity pictures that they (for some reason) had up on their wall. We were eating pulled bbq pork and ribs and just having a good ole time.

Yes, I am weird. I do not know why I was dreaming about our President or maternity pictures of Sarah Palin. Oh, it could be that I made a comment to John's cousin yesterday that if we moved to Alaska that I could commingle with Sarah Palin. HAHAHAHA! But what that has to do with Barack Obama, that just baffles me.

Speaking of moving to Alaska. I found out yesterday that that was an option for us. John was told since he had 2 deployments under his belt that he basically got his choice for his next duty station. There was a wide array of options including Germany, Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, Ft. Jackson (where he is now), Indianapolis, and Rock Island, Illinois.

There was nothing in Virginia or California or Colorado (that wasn't set to deploy soon). He knew I didn't want to go to Germany, and he didn't really want to either. I always joke about moving to Alaska because there are no bugs in Alaska but he knows I really don't like the cold. The other 5 were his top choices. He called to run them by me and I was thrilled (which I believe is a slight understatement) to finally know where we would be going next.

He rattled off the top 5...

Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Indianapolis, Indiana (most likely a recruiting position)
Ft. Jackson, SC (which is where he is now)
Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois (situated on the Mississippi river between Iowa and Illinois)
Ft. Hauchuca, Arizona

I quickly listed them in order from most to least preferable, putting Hawaii at the top and Ft. Jackson at the bottom. I just really want out of the south and Columbia area schools are nothing to brag about. Ft. Huachuca was another bottom dweller since I really didn't want to move to the middle of the desert in the middle of July. Not my idea of fun. That left Rock Island and Indianapolis. He didn't really want Indianapolis since he suspected it was a recruiting position which he didn't really want. So there went three of our top five.

I was then put on the spot. I had to decide between Hawaii and Rock Island, and soon (like 15 minutes soon). Now I am sure most of you are screaming at your screen, "DUH! NO BRAINER!" and I must agree... it was pretty much a no-brainer. In fact, I wanted everyone to tell me to go to Hawaii. When does an opportunity like that come around. Who wouldn't want to go to Hawaii on the military's dime. However, we have two cars. The Army would only pay to ship one. The cost of living is extremely high and we are just making ends meet now trying to take care of 5 kids in Savannah. I researched the schools in the area and let's just say they were comparable to the Columbia schools I researched previously. We would be thousands of miles away from family and not able to go home for Christmas. Have you ever tried to find a flight for 7 people? And have you ever seen how packed our car is when we drive to and from Ohio? Yah, that would cost us a fortune (oh, and you can only make a flight reservation for up to 6 people on the same reservation... we have 7 people in our family).

So after calling a few people and going back and forth, mostly with myself... I called John back. He said he was talking to his dad about it. I asked what his dad had to say and basically, everything I already knew. We could live in Bettendorf, Iowa where the schools are excellent. We would be within a school's day of home, just 6 1/2 hours (depending on traffic, that is... I mean, you do pretty much drive through Chicago). The kids would get to see (and play in) snow again. If we wanted to go home it wouldn't cost us 7 plane tickets and extra baggage fees.

The answer was right there, right in front of us. It really was a no-brainer. We would be moving to Iowa. The cut John's orders yesterday and it is official. He reports on July 16. We are going back to the Midwest! Iowa, here we come!

P.S. Come next winter when I am complaining about the weather, just remind me... I do it for my kids. Iowa is a better opportunity for us as a whole. It is not all about nice weather and the perfect spot for our vow renewal. I do not and will not regret my decision.


C. Beth said...

Sounds like a GREAT choice.

I remember a friend of mine in HS who had lived in Hawaii (because her dad was military.) She hated it. :)

From what I've heard...great place to visit, not so great place to live.

Bri said...

Thanks Beth! I have heard the same things about living/visting Hawaii.

Pixel Queen Photography said...

Wow! What an adventure! Good luck with the move - I can totally see (and agree with) your reasoning.

Becky said...

Good luck! I bet you are glad to finally know where you're going to be. And just remember, when it's really cold least it's not Minnesota. :-P