We turned in the keys to our townhouse today then drove away from the town which has been our home for 14 months. My dear friend had us over for dinner Wednesday night, it was perfect - the kids had time to laugh and run and play and climb trees outdoors with their very close friends before enjoying the stuffed baked potato dinner she had prepared for us. I was surprised and pleased that there were no tears from the children when it was time to go. But I cried the whole way back to the hotel. Never in our ten plus years attached to the military have we had so many friends in one place. We are obviously going to miss family too, but we'll always come back to family. Friends, especially those in the military, will likely be scattered to the wind when we come back from Japan in three years.
Tim handled the inspection with the landlord this morning. All his hard work from yesterday paid off, as she was pleased with the condition of the house. It was immaculate when we moved in, having only had one tenant since it was built - a dual military couple with no kids who kindly put up fresh white paint before they left. I was worried about the amount of wear and tear we had put on it in the six months we lived there (the boys room and the stairwells especially looked like war zones), because of the contrast to the condition after the other tenants' three years. But Tim really did an awesome job overseeing the hired housekeepers and carpet steamers, plus patching the walls (the movers were not as careful as tey should have been) and touching up the paint and spot cleaning the carpet. We left the programmable thermostat (acquired new from our local freecycle), plus Tim offered her some leftover acrylic and oil artist's paints that the movers couldn't pack. She was obviously impressed, maybe even surprised, because she ended up giving us back more than the half of the deposit we were entitled to according to our lease (if we leave early, for whatever reason, she keeps half.)
We had to leave Tim behind in Virginia this afternoon, to finish up a few details at his office. If all goes well tomorrow morning, he should be on the way here to my sister's house in NC by noon, then we're off to my MIL's for a few days. The kids were great, as usual, in the car on the way here. But they had some trouble settling down for bed. We haven't stayed here in a while plus Daddy not being here and all our 'stuff' having been scattered in several places and no where to call 'home' for the time being. I think I'll have trouble settling down tonight, too. Mia told my BIL tonight very excitedly that we are living in a hotel. I doubt she'll be so excited when we are still living in a hotel in three weeks.
Thanks for checking in!