We've been moving toward this day for twenty years, and now that it's here, it feels a tad anticlimactic. That's okay. We've had too much excitement over the last oh, seven years, we are welcoming a bit of calm transition with open arms.
At long last, after what seems like a lifetime of preparation and paperwork, Pete signed the last of his military forms today. Walking out of the transition office with a HUGE smile on his face, he said simply, "I'm done." And with that, his military career ended. Like I said, it was anticlimactic. We then went over to the post exchange and purchased that all-important "Retired Army" baseball cap that is standard for retirees, and picked out a "US Army Retired" window cling for each of our vehicles. You could say he's just SLIGHTLY excited. I have lost count of the times today he's said "I'm retired!"
What's pretty funny about today is that when we left the house this morning, he had an odd look on his face; offering a penny for his thoughts, he obliged and told me, "This feels like I'm stepping off the edge of a cliff into a fog, where I can't see anything below my feet but I *know* that the ground is just a couple of inches down under the fog". Pretty heavy stuff all of a sudden. I think that's the most philosophical he's gotten in several years! Needless to say, he stepped right onto that ground and will take the first few steps into what other retirees have described as "a whole 'nuther world" on Monday, when he starts his job a few miles from where he's worked for 18 months. This time, his work day is fixed; he will have a real, dependable schedule, but he'll have to choose what to put on when he dresses himself. Big changes!
As if ONE huge life change wasn't enough, our son added yet another BIGGIE to our day when he showed up unexpected with a "gift" for his girlfriend...Grandma, sit down. Our not-so-little boy, all on his own, went and picked out a beeeeutiful 5/8 karat diamond, set in white gold, and proposed tonight. She. Said. Yes. In a year or so, after he comes back from Afghanistan, we'll be gaining another daughter! He's done pretty well for himself this time, and we couldn't be happier. Now to introduce her to the complexities of being an Army wife!?
I am really beginning to understand Pete's cliff/fog metaphor!