July 6th: Bryan was approached about working at the Chandler, Arizona campus of Intel for 6 months. Even though we knew it would be a stretch for our family, we both felt like the benefits would be worth the sacrifice. We didn't have a firm departure date but had been told it would be mid to late August.
July 13th: Checking his voicemail, Bryan found an early morning message from the supervisor for the Arizona project confirming the late August dates. The time stamp was 6:20 a.m. At 10 a.m., his phone rang with surprising news. He called me immediately.
"I have a date. Do you want to hear it?"
Who knows what changed, but the crew begins training July 22nd. To further complicate our few remaining days together in Oregon, it was church campout weekend. It didn't take us long to decide that camping would provide the perfect opportunity for family time and was, therefore, worth the craziness that packing a family of 10 causes.
July 15th-18th: Family camp with HOFCC Milwaukie at Metzler Park outside of Estacada. A great time was had by all.
July 19th: The alarm sounded at 3:30 a.m. and, unlike most mornings, Bryan jumped out of bed. I don't think he was sleeping too well. Evie was just going back down after a feeding, so I followed him into the bathroom to chat while he showered. A cup of coffee, a hug and kiss and he was gone. I stood in the driveway waving blindly at his headlights as he backed out into the darkness. A few tears trickled slowly down as I turned to close the garage door and stumble back to my lonely bed.
He called with progress reports throughout the day. When he was nearing Mt. Shasta, we pulled it up on Google Earth to show the kids what Daddy was seeing out his car window.
I was his "eye in the sky" helping out with directions and hotel bookings from afar.
July 21st: Gavin left for the Boy Scouts National Jamboree in Washington, DC. We had to be at the airport at 4:30 a.m. Erring on the side of caution and because my van doesn't fit in the parking garage, we left extra early and arrived at 4:10! Oh well. Better early than late!
Bryan drove through Chandler to check out the Intel campus where he is to report for work on Thursday before finding his hotel. We found a corporate housing/extended stay place that is close to a grocery store and a Walmart. He can walk both places- if he feels like frying on the sidewalks. The low last night was 90.
The reality of this separation is starting to set in. He felt it as he was unpacking. This is his temporary home and it is empty. I feel it most around dinnertime. His arrival home from work is the only solid milepost in our days. Whatever else happens, Daddy comes home between 5:30 and 6:30 and then we eat dinner. It is "the event" of the day. Dinner time is feeling a little lost and lonely.
to be continued...