Okinawa Hai fallback


Eli, my oldest boy, turns three this week which is odd because I’m pretty sure I just had him a couple of months ago. Three years is an impossible and shallow way to sum up the time and energy and heart-aching, back-breaking love that is Eli. You know how it goes.

Before we came to Okinawa and we were making our good-bye rounds I kept repeating something wacky about how Eli would be over three by the time we came home again. Three years old was about as tangible as owning a moose which, incidentally, would have been an excellent birthday present for him. Oh, how he’s loves the moose.

Yet here we are at three and I can picture it now. Everything about three is extremely tangible and in focus. I know what he looks like when he’s pretending to be a piece of corn or flailing, wailing over a broken cracker or singing about Rudolph and that “one froggy night”.

Three is as clear to me as our remaining months in Okinawa. Months that I can count on my own fingers. Like three years old, these months will be priceless and speedy. Or as Eli says, “fast like a bug”. Therefore, I will make mad lists and cross things off countless times between now and whenever.

Yeah, whenever, because that FULL list is out and somehow Joe and I haven’t gotten to it. Despite our readiness and willingness to move on to our next chapter, we cannot seem to sit down and get specific about where to move next. I had wanted to have that conversation before writing this tonight so that I could chart some sort of tidy progress between episode one and two. But I didn’t which is pretty much how I roll. Plus maybe you’ll come back for episode three if I don’t give you everything you want right away. As if you’re dying to know.


I love this blog. I love that a team of us have pulled this off and so many of you have piped up and joined in and helped each other out. I so badly wanted and needed this blog when we arrived here and I want for other people to have it in the future. And the future of this blog is a big, fat question mark. I won’t bore you with all the details.

Not ALL, just one. This blog runs on Typepad for a 15 dollar monthly fee. I happily pay it because this is a hobby for me. But when I leave Okinawa and let go of the blog and give it over to lovely people who will shape it into bigger and better things, I don’t really want pay for it from afar. In an attempt to offset that cost, we put up all those Google ads you see around town here. They don’t bring in enough to cover our monthly fee unfortunately. Not yet anyway, maybe never. Not sure.

Then we added a tip jar in the top left side bar. At first I put a BIG tip jar and finally chose the smallest icon possible because it makes me break out into a hot then cold then hot sweat just at the thought of asking to be tipped. But that’s what I’m doing because I’d love, LOVE to see Okinawa hai! carry on for as long as you all want it to. Maybe this blog is worth a bit of cash to you. THERE. I said it.


I’m worried about my dog. There has been a lot of great chatter on the blog about how to get animals TO Okinawa but I have no idea how to get home with Maltsby. Somewhere I have stored a fact or rumor that there are days when animals cannot fly due to the heat in the un-air-conditioned belly of the plane. I keep imagining a situation where we have everything in order but our departure day is a scorcher and Maltsby can’t fly with us. What then? I cannot leave without him. He’s my Maltsby. My Rick Maltsby P.I.


We’ve got polls! My creative juices were not flowing with this one. And yet it kind of tickled me. As of right this second 39 people have weighed in AND 32 is the most popular age to be. Anyway. Surely you can top me with a better question to toss out to everyone. Dazzle me.



All the posts in Meredith’s “Me & My Big PCS” series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai.  However, we have closed comments for future readers.  If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.


  1. The future of this blog will carry on! Perhaps you and the rest of the team can set a date for all of us to meet? Let’s resolve that “big fat question mark.”
    Kandy (Pham)

  2. Mere – a friend here told me that they wouldn’t put her dog on a plane because the DOG’s body temp was too high. So I guess keep him in the A/C until the last moment? Hm. Just wanted to share that in case you can ask about such things in advance.

  3. Shelly, Suzy & Mishka!

    I appreciate your help with this. What a relief to hear that I’ll really only have to worry about temperatures state-side. Maltsby is a hairy dude so I may shave him bald for the trip just in case it heats up. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Tara with an H, I am so happy that this blog has been helpful for you as you start your travels this way! Really feels good to know that we can help paint a picture of this life for those of you that haven’t gotten here. And maybe for those that are here, we can just help each other get to know the island better. And a HUGE thanks for your tip, Tara. Really big thanks.

    You know, I have been floored by the response to the tip jar. This whole venture is NOT about money. I’m happy if we break even in terms of the money that we invest in getting the word out there and what not. We’re already working with over a hundred bucks from your donations! So groovy. I need to do some math and figure out what my goal is and make that clear to you all. Don’t want you all to think I’m trying to fatten my wallet.

    But thanks for not making me feel bad about asking for your support. You are good people and that color looks stunning with your eyes.

  4. I moved my cat back from here last time I was here. AMC will fly animals regardless of time of year and/or temperature. We have moved our cat(s) here and back and here again in summer months with no issues on AMC. Once you hit commercial airlines in the States, it will become an issue so if you are planning to fly rather than drive once you hit Seattle, then you might need to look into your options. The only trick with AMC is getting on the flight early enough for pet space (and the fact that you are limited in how many animals you can move). They’ll let you off the plane in Yokota (if your flight is not direct to the States) so give them water and see to them, so that is a bit reassuring.

    I never noticed the tip jar either…but I’ll try to help where I can. You will want to keep posting for us at least on the move back situation, because for those that haven’t done it, it could be a great resource.

  5. I will arrive on Okinawa around April 10th. This blog has been a blessing to me. You my dear military wives are my Tylenol PM. I don’t lie in my bed at night till all hours wondering what to pack,where will we live, what will we do, schools. I don’t wonder, because I KNOW. Thanks to you, my little tanned island angels. I already have trips out in town planned, my kids are excited. How great are you guys.
    So I left you a tip in hopes it keeps the blog going. I will help in any way I can.
    Plus I will be there soon so if you need anyhting from the states. LET ME KNOW!

  6. I met a really sweet lady at the onbase vet when I first arrived to the island. She started a business where she helps pets PCS back to the states when there are unforseen problems that pop up. Here’s her site… So, even if the heat becomes an issue you still have options:) Oh and I never noticed the tip jar! What a good idea!

  7. We moved with our 2 cats there and back again. I was also worried, because we moved mid August and when is it NOT over 80 degrees in Okinawa then???? I think that the temps in Okinawa and mainland aren’t going to be a hold up, but rather the temps in the states at the time you are landing/transferring. Again, that’s just my opinion but I think the US carriers are more sticklers for it than JAL or ANA. I kept checking the forecasts for where we were landing in the US, and luckily San Diego’s weather cooperated. Boy, were the girls (kitties) glad to get out of that plane after flying through a monsoon from a typhoon somewhere over Japan…me too! Try not to stress too much!

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