Come Home Safe: Come Home Soon
Barbara, an academic posting at bgblogging , spoke of her break from regular blogging as an “every-once-in-a-summer-while” pattern, and I can relate to the sentiment. Home again in northern Minnesota, I feel myself finally adjusting to patterns of another place, a process I doubt will ever become routine for me. Twelve weeks of summer vacation have already become ten, and I am ever more pushed by the demand of papers to write, course instruction to plan, and books to read before returning to Purdue in August. But such thoughts are not on my mind right now … not this week! Tommi is coming home.
I’ve learned that members of Tommi’s unit in Iraq are furloughed on a rotating basis, and Tommi’s turn came early on the list. I’m grateful for the opportunity to see her, spend time with her, rest with her while I’m home for the summer weeks of a school year. We already have more planned for ten days than twenty could hold, but that’s to be expected, even when great care is being taken to protect “carpet time” – those minutes for digging toes into the blues and greens of home or cat-lounging in front of picture windows or teasing music memories from a piano now too long silent.
Tommi’s coming home, and there’ll be fires out back, deck movies, glasses of wine, guitar time, and conversation. Then she’ll be gone again, and I know it already … I know it too soon.
I’m told transit is one of the more dangerous aspects of life in Iraq, so worry sits in balance with anticipation as I wait on word to hear that Tommi has arrived in the States. What had been expected to be a couple of days en route has already been riddled with delays. Thanks to Pat and Rich for their encouragement along the way, to Stormy for the bed, shower, and shuttle in Kuwait, and to Northwest Airlines for the first-class upgrades given to active-duty personnel on leave from wartime duty. All things as they should be from this point forward, Tommi will be on the ground in Bemidji tomorrow. She will be home.
There’ll be red, white, and blue flying in various forms as the first U.S. holiday weekend of the summer rolls up to Memorial Day on Monday, a day for set aside for remembering those who have died in service to this country. Along with others, I encourage us all to add remembrance of those citizen-soldiers currently serving in active duty posts around the world. I am grateful for their sacrifice, courage, and dedication to service with honor. Thank you all. Come home safe: Come home soon!