The hubs is currently running around the house, gathering most of his worldly possessions, getting them ready to load onto a C-130 pallet in the morning. He's heading out to "Man Camp" (aka AVSUPFAC Cordova) for another exciting week of remote SAR duty. On a side note, "remote" is relative, I guess... I'd call Kodiak remote, but Cordova is remoter (No, that's not a word, but I'm using it anyway.). But I digress... He just got back from his first week out there last Friday, and, after a short week at home, is going back for round two. During his 7 days home this week, he also had 2 duty nights after picking up an extra one for someone else.
As I shared this week of weirdness between two trips with a friend of mine (I really don't feel like I saw much of him this week, even though I took some leave Monday to spend time with him), she said to me, "Well, at least he was home a little bit." The context to her comment is that her husband is underway right now, and she's hoping he'll get home as scheduled in order to make it on the ferry that's taking them away on their PCS from Kodiak. She had three different sets of packers to organize, a house to clean, check out to do, and she's in a hotel room with a toddler... alone. Now there's some perspective.
But it got me thinking... Which is better? One long trip? Or a couple short trips? What about a couple short trips with a crappy duty schedule in between? My answer? It depends, and it's all in your perspective.
For some reason, the hubs's first week in Cordova hit me, well, "hard" isn't the right word, but, I guess, just harder than normal. Which is weird. I mean, I've been doing this for a while now, both being left behind and being the one doing the leaving. We spent three years not living together, and we once saw each other for 8 hours between the end of my patrol and the beginning of his, for Pete's sake, why was a week so hard? I can't really answer that question, but I can say that it's not normally like that. I'm normally the person who'd rather just get used to being alone, get into a groove, and get on with my life. To me, having a "visit" in the middle just makes things worse. I get the fun of seeing him again after only a week (YAY!), but then the week at home is spent just getting ready to go again (running around the house at the last minute not-withstanding!). Who wants to deal with that?
My friend does right now, I'd guess. I think she would've been thrilled if her husband could've come home to deal with at least one of the packing days, or maybe to clean the bathroom before the housing inspection. I think she would've just taken any time they could've gotten together over the past couple months, and yet I complain about a crappy week between a mere two weeks of time away from home (at least this time around).
I won't say it's been all grumpiness having him home (who else was going to mow the lawn and get the fresh beer in the keg?), but it definitely bumped me off my game. The first week he was gone was weird, the week he's been home seemed like two days, and I'm just gearing myself up for another bad week (or not... I hope not!). Usually, he goes, I'm peeved the first morning he's gone because I forgot to set the coffee pot the night before and I have to get up earlier to feed the dog, and then I settle into a routine and actually enjoy the time alone (gasp!) But when I explained my perspective to my friend, she shrugged, probably thinking I was insane!
So, which is better? A long trip, or a couple of short ones? I really hope I'm not the only weird one who'd rather just get it all over with at once! So what's your perspective?