Okinawa Hai fallback


When I don’t get enough sleep because the stray dogs outside my window are having a turf war or I discover an ancient sippy cup full of something formerly known as milk or blood gushes from the foreheads of offspring or anyone at all, I react. Sometimes I implode. Sometimes I explode. I mix it up. Even I don’t know which way I’m going to go. And for giggles, sometimes I hardly react at all. Sometimes I am plain old calm. And every once in a while I hyper-ventilate. I’m a potpourri.

So do not invite me to your crisis. I will not be useful. I’m more likely to become another crisis than be an ounce of help. Once a friend and I saw (and HEARD!) a man get pinned underneath a truck. My friend immediately ran, got his adrenaline groove on and lifted the truck off of the man. That was the first time I hyper-ventilated. Now it’s one of my signature moves.

(Spoiler: this post will not end in any real hyper-ventilation)

This morning my father called at a totally reasonable hour. Three cheers for Dad! The boys were quiet when he called. He asked about where we were going next and I told him we still didn’t know. And as I spoke those words out loud, at that exact moment in time, I had had enough of not knowing.


I imploded. Done. Coincidentally the boys were also done being quiet. Something about a book that turned into a weapon that turned into tears and the loss of said book and ended in a thunderous time-out and one slammed door.

My personal implosion + Eli’s melt-down + phone conversation with suddenly silent, decidedly uncomfortable father = an urgent desire to wave a surrender flag at whoever is waging this war and crawl back into bed without the phone or the kids.

Instead I just sat down and checked my e-mail. There was an e-mail from Joe. Rather an e-mail Joe forwarded from his monitor. It went like this:

Your orders will be out next week to Quantico, VA.

As easy as a sentence. We have a destination, friends, and it is a good one for us because it is near family. Particularly close to my cousin, whom I love with cherries on top even though she got to meet and chat with Katie Couric last week. I will let the jealousy slide this time.

We can get a house with more space for running wild. We can shop at Target. We can go to a different grocery store every day of the week if we want. We will be the perfect version of ourselves, of course. Newspapers instead of TV. Oatmeal instead of Corn Pops. It is a good thing overall.

But I am also sad. My throat is tight. It’s high school all over again and you broke up with me and don’t want me to call again. Not even e-mail! My feelings are hurt is all. Tomorrow I might sob at stop lights or have to remind myself to breathe because my toothbrush went down the drain. Not sure.

I know you get it.

Now, how about Quantico? Where should I live?


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. COngratulations, RobiN!

    I would LOVE, LOVE to meet up with you and get an earful of what you see and what you saw. Please let us know when you’re here! Hopefully it’ll be before I leave…


  2. I got my grant!!! I just got the word and I’ve burst into tears and my heart is hammering and I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Thank you for all your support and well wishes! Thanks to you all, I’ve got a list a mile long of things to do and places to see, but what would mean the most is to meet you and give you a hug and thank you for supplying the unending list of reasons to revisit the place that won’t leave my heart no matter how long I live. Love, Robin

  3. I am so happy for you. I know my hubby would love to live in VA…that’s where he lived when he was young and his dad was stationed at the Pentagon. What an adventure! Love your post, too, so well written, it struck a nerve with me.

  4. Montclair sounds great — I 100% suggest living North of Quantico, even is just slightly. Rush hour on Highway 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway) is hellacious and it just gets worse if there is an accident on I-95. I didn’t know anyone living in Montclair, but since our husbands were all just there for training, we all lived pretty close to the base, mostly in Stafford or North Fredericksburg.

  5. Robin, It’s almost the 11th. Let me know what you hear! I would love to meet you in real life!

    Kim, 30 miles away from you! I am going to drive you batty with all the phone calls and drop-bys. THIRTY MILES AWAY FROM YOUR DOORSTEP!

    Andrea, so we’re doing the REVERSE move. What do you think of Montclair? Joe will be working in TECOM. Any tidbits of wisdom for me?! Pretty please!

    Kassia & Pam, Thanks for the links. I have done some snooping around but I’m still a bit shocked at the moment. Only three more months on OKINAWA?!

    Aviva, Come back to us!

    Daniela & Marisa, Thanks for your kind thoughts.

    I am happy to be leaving and broken-hearted to be leaving. The story of the military, isn’t it?

  6. So happy for you! I’m sure you are relieved to finally know something and to be able to start planning! It’s crazy how these moves can be so wonderfully exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. I wish I had some useful, great information on your new location but I haven’t lived in Virginia since I was a big haired teen with shiny braces.

  7. Huzzah. Hallelujah. Craig & I rejoice for the Novarios, albeit with a heavy heart.

    So happy you’ll be close to family. So happy you are happy. And SO impressed with $450! And I haven’t even gotten around to ordering my gear yet! Wow.

    Miss you, love you, will be “home” soon.

  8. Yay!! I’m so glad for you…we’re in the same boat (DEROS up in August, yet no clue as to what’s next) so I feel your pain! But now you’ve got some idea of where you’ll be and…what a great area! Some fun links if you don’t already have them: – Automated Housing Referral Network (sponsored by DoD, but with lots of listings for both house rentals AND homes for sale) – a new website for selling/buying stuff on Oki… it’s like a ramped up version of Japan Update (b/c you can post up to six pictures per ad). Great for selling your cars!

    Good luck!!! I can’t wait to continue following you on your next adventure…

  9. Yay! I have been following your big PCS (quite silently) and I am happy to know you have some solid plans! I am having similar implosion/explosion/melt-downs on the opposite PCS: Quantico to Okinawa. It’s good to know these feelings (and break downs!) are normal 🙂

  10. Now the fun part begins.
    The planning, the looking at the new area, the excitement of bigger and better things to come.
    I am happy you finally know.

  11. Three cheers for Quantico and for the peace of mind knowing brings. I couldn’t be happier for you, but on a purely selfish note, I’m getting out my black armband, as I’ll miss you so on Okinawa Hai!! Robin

  12. I am totally f’ing crying like a baby right now!!

    FINALLY!!!!! God, I’ve missed you.

    I’ll call you this week.xoxoxoxoxoxoxo


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