We got word that our household goods will be delivered on Monday!! This is wonderful news and we CANNOT WAIT to get our house set up and organized. We went back yesterday to go through the inspection with the housing office and sign the "lease", so it's officially ours. The thought of being somewhere for three whole years is overwhelming to both of us...neither Zach nor I have lived someplace for that long since we graduated from college. Stability will be nice. We are even allowed to paint the walls; can you imagine?! So spoiled. I am also happy to report that there were no gangs of ruffians (or even individuals) hanging around town this time. Big relief.
We've planned a trip to Ikea on Saturday to get some rugs/curtains for our new home. The downstairs is all hardwood and no carpet, so we need something to keep our feet warm and insulate some of the sound. The curtain "rods" aren't really rods here in Germany but more like tracks that run above the windows. Thankfully the German Ikea will have curtains that are made for these tracks, so that solves that issue. I did some googling and learned I'll either have to sew or safety pin (let's be honest, I'll be safety pinning) to rig our US curtains to work with the tracks...so another thing to keep me busy in the coming weeks.
Other than the house, not much to report. Z goes to work every day, although he's still doing in-processing as well. I hang out and visit the mean German swans and watch movies and read. I've spent a good amount of time on base this week, using the coffee shop internet. This has been a very good experience for me, Army-life wise. Before I met Zach, I had little to no connection to the military, other than a few extended family members that serve. When Zach and I started dating, he was already well into his military career, so it wasn't like we were learning/experiencing things together. The thing about Zach is that he is in military and it's a part of his life, but it is not his life. If you didn't know him, you wouldn't know he was in the Army. There's just really nothing about him that is "typical Army". This is rare, at least in my interactions and experiences. So I kind of took for granted being "disconnected" from Army life. I always joke that I'm a terrible Army wife because I never know any acronymns, I can't tell you what the different patches on the uniform mean with perfect accuracy, I had never been to a PX or Commissary before coming to Germany, and I haven't been involved with any of the activities on base (mostly because I've had a full-time job and we don't have kids). Oh I've googled and read a lot of books and keep up with a lot of milspouse blogs, but I'm not fully immersed in military life. Not even close. And Z isn't one to talk much about it unless asked directly. Sure, he'll tell me about his days or his coworkers or what he's working on, but I just don't know a lot about the ins and outs of the military. For example, yesterday we happened to be on base at 5pm. I'm sitting in the car waiting for Z to come out of a building and suddenly I hear a bugle play, followed by the sound of a cannon going off. What the?! Zach comes out and I'm all "Was that a cannon? Did a cannon just shoot?" And he's all calm and casual like "Yeah, it does that every day, once in the morning and once in the evening". And I'm all "you mean to tell me that someone shoots a cannon every day? Actually goes and shoots a cannon...this happens...every day?" He says it's a blank round or something like that, and of course it is, but the point is...someone goes out at 5pm every day and shoots this thing. It blows the mind.
Another example: today I was sitting in the cafe and there's a group of slightly older officers sitting at a table nearby. I can tell their rank because they're a rank above Z so I'm familiar with those patches because I've met Z's bosses and coworkers in the past. So they're all chatting and then another officer comes up and sits down and suddenly it's all "sir" and respectful and professional. So I covertly glance at his chest and see an eagle symbol. Great, I don't know what that means. TGFG (thank goodness for google). I immediately google "army rank" and see that it's a colonel. I'm pretty sure most Army wives don't have to google ranks. But whatever. I texted Z to let him know I'd had my very first colonel sighting. It was like seeing an elephant in the wild. Rare and awe-inspiring. At least for me...maybe not for anyone else. Whatever.
The Army is still a pretty foreign world to me...but that's ok. I'm learning, slowly but surely. I still get excited when I walk across base and see soldiers preparing for a change of command ceremony. I still love seeing Z in uniform and in his element and one of my favorite things ever is to see him salute and say "hooah" (I've only actually witnessed this about 10 times ever; it is my Halley's Comet). I like learning about the little quirks and big traditions of the military. And I also like that it's not Z's life, or my life, or our life. I like that it's a PART of our life, but not either one of our identities. All of that to say: I've really enjoyed being on base the past few days and getting a bigger taste of the day-to-day military life. It's been a good experience
Oh, just a heads up, when we move into our house, we'll be without internet for a full week. So I'll be on a blog break for a week starting next Monday. Thanks for keeping up with us!