In the military lifestyle, the curse is a known fact: within days of your loved one leaving, something is going to break. Usually an appliance. Maybe a vehicle. It’s a variation of Murphy’s Law.
Of course, Martin isn’t gone on a deployment, but the curse still applies. He left, and three days later, one of our toilets clogged. After consulting with my Facebook posse, I used dish soap, let it sit for awhile, and sporadically attacked it with the plunger.
But who else is going to do it now?
Fortunately, the rest of our weekend was pretty good.
The best thing to happen, of course, was Martin calling us Monday evening. I was putting new sheets on the girls’ beds, yelling at them to get their pajamas on and the phone rang. Usually, the only person to call our house that late is my sister and if I’m in the middle of doing something, I ignore it until I can call her back later. But something told me to answer, and sure enough, it was Martin.
The girls got to talk to him for about five minutes, which was awesome. They huddled over the speaker phone, telling him all about their weekend and asking him a few questions. The call couldn’t have come at a better time. I could sense the both of them were really feeling his absence in the last day or so.
I also got to talk with him for awhile.
He said that over the weekend, the TI (Training Instructor) pulled him into a room and said, “Hey, I know about you.”
Martin was given the choice, and he agreed to be an element leader. There are four element leaders, each responsible for about 10 guys, and they report to the dorm chief. At the moment, only the TI and the other element leaders/dorm chief know about his background. A dorm chief was already selected by the time Martin arrived, and Martin’s hoping he (the young man) steps up his game a little bit so there’s no swapping positions later.
Martin has no interest being dorm chief. He’s already experienced a ton of push-ups, flutter kicks, and jumping jacks thanks to those who make mistakes within in his element. Such as spitting on the track during physical training.
Martin also didn’t realize it was a holiday on Monday, and he wanted to know what happened in Russia, as he only heard tidbits.
Out of the 55 guys in his flight, only 10 are considered fast runners: he is one of them.
He sounded incredibly upbeat and normal. I told him if he’s having such a great time down there, I am more than happy to send three children his way. He laughed and said he’s written me a few letters already.
I look forward to getting them.
As for the rest of our weekend, I had enough leftovers that I didn’t really need to cook very much, and when we did venture out on Saturday, it was to IHOP for pancakes. The kids were remarkably well-behaved while in public, enough so that I also ventured to a home-improvement store for a few items, too.
We ran more errands on Monday, and once again, the kids were awesome and I congratulated myself on such success. However, as soon as we got home, it seemed like I was constantly on my feet, moving from child to child, room to room, yelling after the girls, trying to be in two places at once, making sure the girls weren’t teasing each other or the boy digging into something he shouldn’t.
The only activity that ever got them to sit down and be quiet was writing to their father. I’ve set aside cards, paper, envelopes, and stamps for them to use whenever they feel like it. Martin honestly has about 10 letters on their way to him already.
After the kids went to bed, I spent most of the evenings and early morning hours painting our bathroom and bedroom. They are the only two rooms Martin absolutely refused to paint the entire four — almost five — years we lived here.
Previous owners painted the walls — and ceiling — this awful brown color.
The rest of the house was covered in pretty atrocious paint color, too, so our priority was to get the “public” spaces — hallways, living room, dining room, kitchen — repainted first.
But by the time all those areas were painted, Martin was completely burned out by the process.
So it just never got done.
But now it is getting done. Why? Because I’m doing it my way.
You’ll noticed that I said Martin did all the painting. It wasn’t because I’m a slacker. I would be happy to help Martin paint, but it’s one of those household jobs we simply can not do together. It’s because he and I have drastically different ways of painting. And it drives Martin nuts. And when Martin’s going nuts, I go nuts.
His way of doing it involves removing all furniture from the room or area, taping off all the corners, putting newspaper or plastic on the floor, painting one wall at a time, one coat at a time. It’s no wonder the guy burned out.
I just freakin’ paint the walls. I gather everything I need, I shove the furniture into an opposite corner, and I flippin’ paint. I just do it. I pay enough attention that I don’t drip — and when I do, it’s cleaned up fast — and I free-hand the corners and any other area that needs a paintbrush versus the roller.
The bathroom is completely done and it looks awesome.
I’m still not done with the bedroom, though. The ceiling threw me for a loop. I assumed the ceiling was white and was just reflecting the awful brown walls, but nope — they painted it a lighter shade of the walls, but still brown. Blech.
No wonder I’ve had insomnia all this time. (Ha. Ha.)
PS – Martin, we miss you.
You can write a letter (or note) to Martin. Just leave your comment below and it will get printed and sent to him. 🙂