It is time for transitions. Mike left the USA 5/22/08 for Iraq, with a stop in Kuwait first. I am not entirely certain how long he will be there. 12-15 months I should think. He's 18, old enough to vote, carry a big gun, and risk death, but not old enough to drink. The Army taught him something about the world he is entering, but I don't believe it taught him enough. He'll learn the rest over there.
Mike - if your reading this, Ali from the M Street Renaissance Hotel says Hello and hopes you come back OK. Jane at One Washington Circle also sends greetings and best wishes your way.
Graduation has arrived for Michelle and John. Each moves on to an unknown future, full of promise. I hope it is productive and one that brings them contentment. Being 18 has its charms, the world awaits and opportunity is usually your friend.
For myself; retirement beckons. As the time comes closer I find that I wonder how I will manage in a world where I am not on call for any reason, or viewing the world from a seat near The Power. There is some pleasure to be had knowing that you are needed and having access to the leadership, who are a lot less intimidating when you spend lots of time in their orbit. Whatever need there may be for me, it won't be what it was. I feel as if I am about to be reborn, about to undergo a metamorphosis, but into what?
I have half a mind to change my name entirely and leave this person totally behind. She has served me well over the decades and she informs my future. She certainly made retirement possible, which is a state others in the family may not be able to experience given the current economic realities we face. I took a cautious path to get here, but perhaps it's time to throw caution to the winds. Some of it anyway.
I said once before, elsewhere, that I felt as though a fog bank sat ahead of me. I can't see into it, but I hear a babble of voices. My new life is in there, somewhere, and once I enter there will be no turning back. So I'm going to hike up my virtual suspenders, rev the engine of my virtual Miata (auto tranny natch), take a sip of my virtual Venti Awake tea, pat the head of my virtual dog (a mix of Chow/Dobie/Rottie/Shepherd/Collie/Boston/Chihuahua and plain old Heinz 57), and roar off into the sunrise (that's not a misprint) and see what and who awaits me.
(with any luck a tall (taller than me -anyway) drink of water, with a personality that complements mine, his own pension (I'll spring for the health ins because nothing beats FEHB), will be among the voices I hear. It will be nice having someone to go exploring with.)
See you on the other side........