Okinawa Hai fallback


My house is quiet. And quiet is better than chocolate these days. The last thing Eli said to me before collapsing into a boneless pile of sleep was I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP, IT TAKES TOO LONG! I envy that passion to be awake and roaring until the tank is empty. The way I look forward to sleep makes me feel geriatric. But I have been productive since last we spoke. Not the same as riding my scooter up and down and up and down the street but fulfilling nonetheless.

Here goes.

1. The Dozo Box didn’t go over too well. The first night I put it out and then went to dinner. Then it rained. Then the box was full of rain. I dried everything off and washed the clothes and put it out the next day and the day after that and then one more day after that. Nothing was taken. I’m not sure why it depressed me that no one wanted my junk. I thought it was nice junk.

2. We have tickets leaving the island on June 27th. Now don’t you fret. Maltsby has a space somewhere on the plane too. I have more investigating to do in terms of figuring out exactly what happens if it is too hot on June 27th. Will Maltsby be parked on the curb while we file onto the plane? Gulp. I cannot handle that. In other dogly preparations, Maltsby is getting re-introduced to his crate. He receives his meals and beverages in the comfort of his crate now. Like a king. Additionally, I have bought him melatonin for his delicate constitution, a water bottle that won’t spill and food bowls that can be filled easily by someone outside of his crate. Just in case he’s sassing at his flight attendants and all. All of this wisdom was gleaned from Mary. Mary has lots of answers.

3. I have one swell mother. The swellest of all! She made a project of finding us a new home. She scoured for houses in Montclair, VA which is close to TECOM where Joe will be working. She worked with two local realtors. She talked to people on the beach. She went to yard sales and asked questions that only she can get away with asking. She took notes and, behold, we have a home waiting for us. This morning I faxed our housing application and a few minutes ago, the lovely owner of the house officially offered it to us for the next three years. Stop by for tea and crumpets, won’t you? Is it cheating to have someone help you out to this degree?


4. Today I had my TMO meeting. I get nervous around a lot of uniforms and the room was mostly full of them. I don’t get all the acronyms and sign language and stars and stripes. I broke into a sweat before I even sat down. I distracted myself by taking out the 12 copies of our orders that they asked me to bring. Actually I made 57 copies because I have problems with numbers AND technology so the marriage of the two never works out. You’re welcome to a copy if you’d like. As I counted out my copies and shuffled papers from this pile to that, an active duty woman sat next to me. She probably regrets that now because I went ahead and asked her every rookie question in the book. I barely understood what happened during that hour and a half. I do know that I have asked for dates for our Household Goods shipment and our Unaccompanied Baggage shipment which is another word for Express shipment. Also, magically, this meeting and whatever papers I signed release our Non-Temporary Storage from wherever it resides stateside. That’s right, Non-Temporary Storage. Probably also Non-Permanent Storage also just known as that stuff you stored but didn’t take here. Now opening those crates is bound to be like Christmas!

So that leaves me with about 46 days left in paradise. I’m not really prepared to talk about that nonsense though.


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. Dion, if you’re coming here with AAFES, does that mean you are NOT military, but civilians? I’m sure there are some different rules there,so I thought I’d ask 🙂 I didn’t bring over a dog, so I don’t know about that, but I do know that you are not authorized to bring a US car over here. Again, maybe that’s different for civillians? I doubt it though since we drive on the other side of the road here! All Post housing have washers and dryers, so you wouldn’t need to bring your own. Not sure about off post housing though. If you have the option to use gov’ furniture, you may want to do that if your stuff is really BIG! My husband is Army and when we got here we did NOT have the choice for gov’ furniture since we were allowed our normal, full weight allowance. So that meant spending lots of time and money in furniture stores replacing what we’d left in storage! My particular on post house has very good size bedrooms and a fairly large living room/dining room. But I’ve seen my share of very tight living spaces on and off post. I know this didn’t answer everything, but hopefully it helped some!

  2. Me and my family will be pcsing with AAFES this summer for the first time to Okinawa. for first timers what do you recommend as far as living on or off base, bring our US car, bringing our Akita dog 108lbs, bring our washer and dryer, our furniture(we are coming from TX and have big furniture). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  3. I’ll report back to my mother about your thoughts here, Sara. She enjoyed getting to know the town and the houses and finding something that worked for us.

    I hope you like what you found for yourself. Where are you headed?

  4. I would SO pay for the service of someone to do that for me. I have had the biggest headache trying to look for homes in the past month or 2. I eventually found something but I think the biggest obstacle is that even property managers and other ‘professional’ real estate people wanted nothing to do with me since I wasn’t physically there, and not even in the same country. According to one such agent I was the equivalent of a ‘ghost’ because they had no proof that I was actually interested or would ever show up.. In summation YES I would have paid good money for some one to go to properties and report back to me. I am not trying to stay in lodging for any more time than necessary!

  5. Okay, serious question. Would you hire someone like my mother, a NON-realtor, to do this kind of customized search for you? Like a hired set of eyes and ears and brain to do your search with realtors and militarybyowner?

    Mishka, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the tickets yet. Tomorrow I will storm IPAC and see what I can get my paws on. I’m dying to see what the pet regulations REALLY are for the flights. Will report back to you all.

    Yours in orange crocs,


  6. You are going to LOVE Montclair, we just moved here from Ft Belvoir area, north of there. A huge IKEA (really, what IKEA isn’t huge??) and plenty of shopping nearby. Best of luck to you, and please think of us (yes, the stranger) if you need help with Maultsby. We had to leave our dog in the states until the fall, and they just sent pictures of him, there’s a big hole in my heart.

  7. We found our home on also its a great site! We are leaving next week (to San Diego)good luck with your move. The only part I am not looking fwd to is the flight with 2 kids under 4- but well survive I keep assuring myself.

  8. In the short time that I’ve known you, through your writing I feel that I really got to know you. The way a fan gets to know a celebrity. “Hi Mere! Its ME, your biggest fan!” The house is BEAUTIFUL! And no, its not cheating. You are at a highpoint in this roller coaster ride…soak up the energy. In your happy orange crocs. 🙂

  9. Laughed and laughed at the copies of orders… and gasped when I saw the house — GORGEOUS! And you have a DATE. A date. Wow. That’s so big. 🙂

  10. Are you flying on a commercial flight the entire way or just once you hit the US. I have never heard of a pet being left behind. I have also never heard of anyone “attending” to them during the flight, so I wouldn’t worry to much about the food situation for the flight. Most animals seem to not want to eat or drink much during flights anyhow….nerves probably.

    On non-commercial flights, we were allowed to go down and visit, walk, and water(and she didn’t want the water) her during layovers, but I don’t think they even let you do that during commercial ones.

    Sounds like you are making headway…and that is all any of us can try to do during these moves. It is nice that you already have a house waiting for you on the other end…one less stresser to worry about.

    Congrats on your progress.

  11. That is awesome! Your Mom is handy, huh? Looks like a great place!

    You know, I bet those Crocs will sell on eBay if you bring them home.

  12. I have the same problem with numbers and technology, so don’t worry you are not alone, that’s why I can’t (or won’t) use photoshop, it stems from a really horrible maths teacher in high school, but that’s another story on psychologyforumdotcom.
    Have fun and put the orange crocs on your feet, they will brighten your days and zoom you into sunny Virginia days LOL

  13. WOW this all sounds very organized…is this you Mere? I think you should get a schooter and enjoy the rest of paradise. See you soon!

  14. The house looks fabulous! Strangely, as much as I hate moving, I’m feeling a little jealous while reading this post. If I put myself in your shoes, then leaving this temporary home of Okinawa and moving back to the States to resume my “real life” is so close that I can taste it. But I know you’re sad to leave here too, and I’m sure I’ll feel the same when it is my turn. Or even this summer during my first round of goodbyes to all of you leaving so soon. Good luck!

  15. Okay, you can give me the orange crocs…geez.

    The house looks great!! Is it a done deal then?


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