Our remaining 18 days are meticulously mapped out because I would much rather doodle important events onto a calendar than make decisions about what to do with this and that and this other pile of nonsense that cannot POSSIBLY be mine. I am dangerous around a garbage can in this frame of mind. Nothing at all is safe. I may also leave treats in your purse or bathroom or refrigerator without asking. As Nae-san, our cleaning lady, left today I forced a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream in her hand. An already opened bottle crunched and flaked when I opened it to give her a sniff. I mimed something about putting it in her coffee and passing out on the couch. It was an awkward moment but that is one less piece of junk I have to reckon with.

Look how busy I am. I have no time to pack with all these happenings.

6/11: Joe flies home in his red cape and saves us from otherwise certain demise. And I in my hat will do my best to feel sexy after six very un-sexy weeks. Maybe I shouldn’t have given the Bailey’s away.

6/15: Father’s day. More like Mother’s day because I’m thinking Joe can take the boys for each of those 24 hours. This is my calendar, I plan it like I want it.


6/16: Our electricity, internet and phone are getting cut off. That is thanks to a lovely Japanese woman who continued to reassure me that “things are going REALLY well” throughout our 30 minute conversation. I would like to hire her to sit on my shoulder for the rest of my life and whisper sweet nothings like that all the live long day.

No electricity means no AC therefore we will move into the top floor of our friend’s house. She will regret saying yes to this. Although I’m not sure I ever asked so much as told her that it was happening. My manners are gone. I’ll be lucky to have any friends left when I leave this island.

6/17: Our government furniture will picked up sometime between 7:30 and 18:30. I need to be here for the duration. WITHOUT ELECTRICITY OR PHONE OR INTERNET. Stop by with cold drinks, please. I’ll be busy removing Dora stickers from the kitchen table.

6/18: Henry’s school is throwing him a birthday party. Something that I, his mother, am not even doing. It promises to be better than anything I could muster up anyway. Especially when you consider that on an average day these people paint eyebrows on their dog, Happy, with hair dye. These are the very people you want planning a birthday party.

6/19 Our Unaccompanied Baggage heads out. Bon Voyage.

6/20 Our Household Goods set sail. Also our house will get inspected. Say a little prayer that the damage done is less than or even to the security deposit. This will be our first of seven nights at West Pac. Last time we were there, we made Henry. Maybe we’ll be lucky again.

6/22 A big-bang good-bye party in the sun. I’ll be drinking fruity cocktails through straws. Don’t leave your drink unattended. I steal things.

6/23 Maltsby gets his last fecal test while also losing his last thread of dignity.

6/27 We leave Okinawa and arrive in DC. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

You know that moment on a roller coaster when you’re inches from the top and you can’t jump off or change a single thing. You just have to be there and let it all happen. That’s where I am. I’m waving at you.


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. Trish,

    I detailed some of my experience here but there is also information on Hai Society ( If you aren’t a member of the forum, please consider joining. You can get much more timely and immediate help than I can give you since I am no longer in Okinawa. In the forum there are many threads already started on pets.

    Here are two:

    Hope this helps! Good luck.

  2. Hi! I could really use your help! 🙂 I PCS from Okinawa in 60 days and I don’t know where to start!! I’m overwhelmed and confused. Who do I call to get the ball rolling? I also have a dog. How do I get her ready for the trip? Was getting your dog back to the US time consuming? I live on Foster. Any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!! If you could, will you email me at aidra_corpse at yahoo dot com?

  3. Great post, as usual. I am losing so many of my friends this summer to PCS that it is amazing me. Reading your posts really gives me insight into all that they are experiencing (especially since I have also PCSed from here before).

    Wanted to note that if you have your furniture from the warehouse out Gate 3 of Kadena, you might be able to call them on the afternoon of the day before they come to pick up your stuff to get an AM or PM timeframe….just a thought so you are not sitting there all day.

  4. So excited for you, Mere. Joe has another person who is anxiously waiting for his return. You mapped a plan really well. I have to do the same. Thanks for the guidance. 🙂

  5. Murray Head, thats the name of the singer.

    I love you guys, sounds like my dh and I would talk.
    MORE to him

  6. Ohh music trivia fun! The song is
    One Night in Bangkok
    but I am not sure who sings it. I do know that it is from a mucical called Chess which is wonderful. Now I am going to have to find it so I can listen to it. LOL!

    Good luck with your move and all that leads up to. I am so glad your hubby will be back in time – life is so much more bearable with them around!

  7. Joe, husband o’ mine,

    One town’s very like another
    When your head’s down over your pieces, brother

    Quick! Without googling, who sang it and what’s the name of the song?

    I had this number on a 45 back in the day.

    Zip up, hot stuff!

  8. i am so happy to hear that joe is on his way. those father’s day plans seem perfectly reasonable to me as well. i am so sad we haven’t gotten together yet, but you do not want to spend your last days battling the germs that my family is currently putting out. cael just had a birthday without party. it made me feel terrible . . . i should have contracted out. happy birthday to henry and all the best for coming days.

  9. Oh, um also. Despite what you may think, you will be plenty sexy to me…

    Can hardly wait, though don’t think that has lowered my inhibitions on my one night of Thailand liberty. I can wait that long. Two nights? Well, let’s just be glad it is only one.

  10. Nice to know the pup my friend photographed several years ago on Okinawa is not alone!!! Best of luck with the move. Enjoy the ride!!! You’ll only feel like you’re going to hurl for a little while, I promise. Then you’ll be dying to do it all again–within 2-3 years. At least that’s how I rationalize it for myself. 14 days & counting until the packers arrive on my end.

  11. I’m hoping this is as fun as a roller coaster…I have my doubts.

    See you soon! You will have everything packed, cleaned and ready to be shipped out by the time I get there, right?

Comments are closed.