Phone rings. Mother wipes sleep from her weary eyes. Alarm reads 8:40 am (uh...yeah..we were still sleeping). N: Hello? G: Hi! I'm in Atlanta. M: NO SHIT!?! Really? For real? G: Yeah. I'm on flight... N: Really? Wow. You're in the States? G: Uh..yeah..I got on an earlier flight. It's flight Delta... N: Great! G: Delta 9... N: Wow! G: Delta 94... N: Could you repeat that? G: DELTA 940
I checked the flight schedule. That gave me around 45 minutes to get up, get ready, dress the Peaster, eat, feed, clean the bathroom toilet, grocery shop, remove donation items from the entryway to the house, finish decorating for the holidays....did I mention grocery shop?
I expected that he'd be landing sometime in the afternoon if I was lucky...but most likely in the evening. So I thought I'd have time to do a few chorelike items. HA! So, I skipped the shower and just brushed my teeth, took care of the Squirt and we were out the door to PICK UP THE DADDER!
I was so excited I could hardly bare it. Seemed like quite a bit of emotion was stored up just waiting for R&R to pour out. I feel so blessed to be picking him up, to be spending the holidays with him. Word could never do justice.....But this picture explains it all:
He's amazing. He's a clown and we've both fallen in love with him (alllll over again!).
Geo and I came home to Old Mother Hubbar's house. Thankfully he wasn't really hungry for lunch and the lovely neighbors invited us for dinner. We enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast (which included Geo's first Lager in 10 months!). The food was great but the company was even better. This family has been so generous to us since we've moved into the neighborhood. They are what neighbors should be and we'll forever be in their debt.
Hope you and your family have a wonderfully warm holiday.
As I type this Geo is preparing to fly out of Afghanistan. He's headed home for some rest and relaxation.
Rest and Relaxation? If that is what you could call meeting your daughter for the first time, catching up on a year's worth of kisses with your wife, gossiping with your family, squeezing in "real" pizza, hot popcorn and sushi and celebrating all of the 2007 holidays in two weeks. Wow. sounds tiring just thinking about it.We've invited our families to our house this weekend for a delicious meal but as of now these are the only guests that we plan to entertain (and the only day we plan to entertain them). My hope is that we spend most of the time locked in the house, rolling around the carpet playing with Sophia and getting to know each other again. I look forward to the little things:
Tea on the night stand in the morning, Enjoying the NYTimes together (he always picks out the good articles for me), Listening to Car Talk, Bumping bums in the kitchen as we wash the dinner dishes, George Schwartz Special Breakfast Sandwiches, Watching him blow raspberries on Sophia's belly, Our first walk downtown together, Brushing our teeth together in the evening, Having a set of warm legs in bed next to me (so I can rub my ice cubes on them!), and Being able to see his eyes when he laughs.
An email circulation the net currently, as well as part of a letter in the Morning Call on Nov. 13th is giving some incorrect information. Walter Reed Army Medical Center no longer is accepting packages, letters and holiday cards addressed to ''any wounded soldier'' or to ''a recovering American soldier.''
This decision was made to ensure the safety of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense in 2003-2004.
I can't say that I wasn't warned about how fast children grow....but I have to admit that I could have never imagined just how fast!!! She eats. She sleeps. She laughs (a lot). She sits up. She crawls from room to room. She can find and catch me. Then she eats. She sleeps. She laughs. ... .... .... And then she laughs some more.
For the first time in six months, everyone in the 1st Brigade is back together at Camp Darulaman.
This does not include our team mates, LT Mitchell and MSG Bittenbender, who have been working on the Police Mentoring mission at Camp Faez. It does include -- very happily -- LT Yartz, who returned to the team on Friday. Yartzie has to watch his diet, but looks great. We are all very glad that he is back, and everyone is also looking forward to seeing Mitchy and Bitt over Thanksgiving.
Despite this being the end of the Eastern Zone mission, we have been very busy back at Darulaman. We are guiding the ANA through "recovery" to make sure that weapons, vehicles and other equipment are maintained, soldiers are medically examined, and inventories completed.
We are also starting the process of turning over the brigade adivsory team to our French comrades. Due to this transition, our CPT Junguzza and SSG Kramer are now being reassigned to "Logistics Support Teams" working with French-advised kandaks. They will stay in these roles until our US replacements arrive next month.
Yes, I said that our replacements arrive in December, in about a month and a half. I have been corresponding with the team leader; the team is at one of our "favorite" places -- Fort Riley.
As we get closer, our patience is beginning to wear thin, and today I was about ready to send SPC Maritato home early and I almost succeeded but my lighter was out of fluid! We stopped for fuel at Pol-e Charki today, and near the fuel point there is a collection point for old Soviet vehicles, including these old SCUD launchers. I hope the week goes by quickly for everyone, bringing us that much closer to coming home!
GEORGE M. SCHWARTZ LTC, AR Team Leader/Senior Mentor 1st Brigade, 201st Corps (ANA ETT)