Monthly Archives: January 2014

Are We There Yet?

Well, I was starting to think flights didn’t work the way they used to. You know, where you fly from point A to point B to point C, all the while getting closer to your final destination.

I can’t even imagine the hassle it was to get tickets for all of us with less than 24 hours notice, but it was nothing but chaos when we got to the Charleston airport. We were almost late for our flight, that 7 of us were supposed to board…but only 3 reservations had gone through. Luckily I was one of those – I’m really not sure I could have put up with another night in the hotel. We hauled butt down to the gate, with only 20 minutes to spare, but turns out the pilot had noticed an expired inspection sticker on the plane’s fire extinguisher. No can do, he said. Has to be reinspected before takeoff, he said. Shouldn’t be long, he said.

Almost 4 hours later, during which time we missed our connecting flight from Dulles to Oklahoma, we boarded. Got to Dulles, of course there weren’t any other flights until the next day (today), so they put us up in a hotel…we got lost in the airport, got to ride the shuttle train (which was THE best part of the whole trip, I was so excited that we had to get back on it this morning, even if it was only 4 am), and the hotel was the nicest one I’d ever stayed in and I didn’t have to share a room! Other than being starved and frozen, it wasn’t too bad. At least until the alarm went off at 3 this morning.

Finally we weren’t rushed for time, but even though we boarded on time we were late leaving because the plane had to be de-iced and it took forever. We were taxiing into Cleveland at 815 and our next plane left at 836. Yeah…we’d given it up as a lost cause but ran for it anyway and actually made it. I was starting to think maybe it just wasn’t meant for me to go to Oklahoma! That plane was late taking off too, and had to be sprayed with enough de-icer fluid to completely ruin the view out the windows for the 2+ hour flight.

Alls well that ends well though, right? We’re waiting on someone from Ft. Sill to pick us up now. I’m feeling a little nervous again but I’m so ready to get this show on the road.

Might be able to update this again during reception but I doubt it. Really worried this entire week of delays is going to push graduation and AIT dates way back. Guess I’ll find out soon enough. I’m going to try to send my little brother some letters to post for me during Basic. 😉 No promises though, I think I’m going to be pretty busy.

The view out my window at Cleveland this morning.

20140124-122308.jpg

Advertisements

Off We Go

A few days late, but we’re off regardless.

I got to the Beckley MEPS on Monday, only to be told that night that MEPS would be closed Tuesday due to weather conditions. So, along with about 30 other shippers, I spent most of that day and all of the next day bored out of my mind. Too much time to think about all the stuff that’s coming in the next few weeks. But, I had a nice roommate and we survived.

Wednesday morning MEPS ran on a 2 hour delay, so we just got to sleep in a little longer (which was great). The weather was still kind of nasty…we had ended up with about 4-5 inches of snow and some ice, and the temp hadn’t risen above 7 or 8 degrees by the time we left. Everyone piled onto a Greyhound style bus and we took off…only for the bus to get stopped at the bottom of a hill near the MEPS building. Near, but you still couldn’t actually see the building. “Sorry kids, but you’re gonna have to walk.”

Did I mention most of us were leaving for parts south and had nothing more than tennis shoes and hoodies? So we walked about half a mile in ice/snow, carrying our bags…which, yes of course we’ll have to do in training, but at least there we would have had some warmer clothes. By the time we got to the building we could barely feel our ears and fingers, but we made it. One girl passed out almost as soon as she got inside (guess who DIDN’T get to go anywhere?), but other than that it was great.

Got inside only to be told the doctor HADN’T made it and we would have to go BACK to the hotel for another night. So after hours of waiting for one minivan to make multiple trips back to get us all, we got back. It started snowing again, and everyone moaned and groaned about how bored they were and how badly they wanted to leave. The nervousness about Basic and everything else seemed to have disappeared in all the free time we’d had, everyone just wanted TO DO SOMETHING.

More processors came in that night, mostly high school juniors and seniors taking the ASVAB and getting their physical. Since we’d checked out of the hotel that morning we got new roommates – my second roommate sucked. I swear that girl brought more makeup for a one night stay than I even own. And she insisted we sleep with a lap on. AND she needed extra time to get ready in the morning, so her alarm went off at 5:50…and every 5 minutes after. I could hear her moaning and tossing around but she never did get up, so at 6:30 I gave up on more sleep and went to take a shower. You snooze and wake up your roommate in the process, you’re definitely gonna lose.

So this morning we were up to 75 people going to MEPS, and they were still running on a 2 hour delay. They brought in 2 buses to hold everyone, and thankfully everyone made it, including the doctor. Paperwork is done, flights are scheduled, everyone is sworn in, orders are in hand, we’re ready to go!

So yeah…basically this whole week has been practicing “hurry up and wait.” I don’t even feel that nervous anymore, just ready to get this done. Or at least started.

Family

I’ve been thinking a lot about my family lately. Not just my “real” family but the people who support and love me like family, too. A lot of times I take them all for granted. In the past few years I haven’t been in their lives as much as I should have been – partly my fault, partly difficult circumstances I was dealing with that I couldn’t control. Family is very important to me. In the past few months my family has expanded, as people I didn’t know have welcomed me into their hearts and homes and basically adopted me as part of their own family.

I feel like a part of me has come alive again, not only because of that but because through listening to my heart (making myself happy, someone told me), I’m free to love and care about people again. It’s kind of scary…a lot of these emotions are new and yes, it’d be a lot easier to leave in a few days if I didn’t care so much. But I think caring is worth it. And I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate the people that have been so supportive and loving as I’ve made some huge changes and decisions in my life in the last 7 months. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, even though a lot of people think I’ve totally lost my marbles. 😛

I’m really, really happy to have my family back, and to have some new additions. I love you guys. 🙂 This post took me 4 days to write because I couldn’t figure out how to say this…and I still feel like it doesn’t express how much I really feel but it’ll have to do.

Goodbye, Red Cross!

This week was my last with the American Red Cross. It was really bittersweet. I’ve learned so much, grown as a person and professionally, and had a lot of changes in my life during my almost two and a half years there. I have honestly really enjoyed my job there, 60+ hour workweeks, 3 hour one-way drives to get to a site, last-minute schedule changes and all. I learned more about blood and blood collections, managing people and crises, and really about myself, than I ever thought possible. My confidence has grown – a lot. My tolerance for bs has been greatly reduced. 😛

I’ve worked with some amazing people, people that I’m going to miss with all my heart. I’m going to miss the amazing donors who give their time, their energy, and of course literally their blood. Overall it’s been a great experience, minus all political maneuvering and drama that goes on in the office/regulation crap. I feel like I made a difference in people’s lives, however small. I’m kind of sad to leave that behind, even though I’m excited about what I’m going to be doing.

Goodbye to all the friends I made there, it’s been great!