In October we learned we were slotted to move back to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Overall we were happy and excited. For the past several months we've been discussing plans on what we were going to do, being with friends, returning to our church, and other such things military families discuss when they actually know where they are going. We had the added bonus of going back to a place we already knew!
Well, that all changed within a 24 hour period.
After a busy morning and afternoon the kids and I returned home. Shortly thereafter Ryan gave me a call. He was contacted that day and asked if he'd be willing to take on a completely different job, working in a totally different department of the Air Force... oh, and it's at Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. Let's top it off even more -- he had to give his reply the next morning.
To say I was surprised is an understatement.
I asked if this is a better job or something he's wanting to do. You know, something he'd enjoy more.
This job is something that wasn't even listed. Not even on our radar. Not something that was even possible before. It has just randomly appeared.
Ryan asked me to look into the base, the schools, the medical available, housing, and the local area. Find out as much as I could to help with this decision.
I immediately informed him that friends of ours from college are stationed there. I contacted them first and talked for almost an hour about life down there. The pros and cons. Things to do in the area.
I also took to Facebook and asked for info from my military circles.
Additionally, we asked for prayers from friends and family for wisdom and guidance.
What we found out is that the schools are much better than what we would get in Albuquerque. The services Will needs are there and are of good quality. How readily available they are I'm still not sure about. There are large military medical facilities with mostly positive reports from people. We still don't know as much as we want about housing, but at least know the areas we would be looking in. There's some very good things close by and many things to see and do to keep us busy.
The main drawback everybody mentioned was the weather. We'll be trading our beautiful, dry, high desert weather for incredibly HOT and HUMID. That makes me sad. But at least it will still get us out of Ohio.
We agree to say yes to Texas.
There's still a chance Albuquerque will say NO since they were expecting my husband there and now they have to fill that slot with somebody else. It is unlikely we will be denied. There's also the EFMP to overcome, but from what we've heard, Lackland takes almost everybody since they have so much of the medical stuff already there.
So how do I feel about all of this?
I'm excited about the prospect of a new place and the adventure that awaits. I look forward to seeing our old friends. I also have a good friend here who is PCSing to Lackland too (she'll be my new running buddy!). Sea World is there. Six Flags is there. We're only about 3 hours from a beach. I've never been to Texas... and it's a VERY big state with a lot to explore. I'm so happy to know William will be able to receive good therapies and be at a good school which was our biggest concern about ABQ.
But I'm also disappointed and sad. I was looking forward to returning to the Land of Enchantment. I was going to be with my Best Friend again! That's the hardest part for me... I won't be with Tegan - my travelling buddy, my soul sister. We were already planning things to do and places to go once I returned. *pause now for a little pity party* New Mexico is beautiful and I have heard San Antonio is lacking in nature's beauty. There's no Balloon Fiesta. No Sandia Peak. No Santa Fe. Also, I was planning on beginning work in the legal field part-time and even had contacts lined up who were interested in me... now I have to start from scratch.
It's okay. My reasons for wanting New Mexico are mostly selfish. At this time Texas seems to be the better place for our family to re-locate. And who knows... it's not such a big Air Force. We may end up in ABQ again in the future... or maybe Tegan and I will someday be at the same base again.
I'm going to leave on this: Months before we knew we were going to Kirtland - even before the list of available bases and jobs were released, I had a feeling and was even telling people that I thought we'd be sent to Lackland. I just sensed we were going to Texas. When the list was released, there was nothing in Texas for Ryan. I shrugged and said, "I guess I was wrong." Turns out I wasn't.