Life as Lou

Why We Aren’t In South Dakota

  • August 20, 2010 4:38 pm



The past few weeks have been quite the exercise in rolling with it and taking change in stride. We have been jerked around so many times that I no longer feel pain or have any emotional response whatsoever. It has been sucked out of me by this move, and that may be a good thing.

To sum up:

Chicken Little: The sky is falling!
Leah: WHAT? NOOO! Wahhhh!

Chicken Little: The sky is falling!
Leah: Well, Crap! *shakes fist*

Chicken Little: The sky is falling again!
Leah: Eh.

Chicken Little: The sky is still falling!
Leah: hmm. That’s nice.

Chicken Little: The sky, it falleth!

That’s where I’m at.

You see, when we left California, in a haze of things going wrong, we assumed that we would be in Utah for roughly four weeks. We had made arrangements with the housing office and with our movers. All was on schedule, every T was crossed, every I dotted. We did our part, and we were satisfied. The floor plans of our new house looked pretty good, and the movers had us booked. Smooooth sailing. (This is where you should laugh, because this is the military we’re talking about- all images of smooth sailing should probably be replaced with a panoramic view of Pearl Harbor after the Japanese visited).

So about five days before we were set to move, Chris calls up housing and asks when he can get the key to the house they told us that they gave us. Turns out, they gave our house away. Um. Okay. They said they had no idea why we thought we’d get that house, so we sent them the e-mails stating that this was our house.

Tough noogies. You weren’t here, so bye bye nice house, hello mediocre house.

Enter Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth.

Enter Getting Over It.

So we called the movers to give them our new address, and to find out what time on the 16th we should meet them.

Movers: What are you talking about?
Us: We confirmed for the 16th. Moving in?
Movers: Ohhh, we had that down as a tentative confirmation.
Us: What? We had it down as a confirmation confirmation. You know? Like the meaning of the word “confirm” and the solidarity that implies.
Movers: Well, haha, bad on you. The soonest we can move you in is the 30th.
Us: You’re joking.
Movers: Nope. 30th.
Us: How are we supposed to live with no stuff for two weeks?
Movers: Sucks to be you hahaha!

So there you go. We called housing back a few days later, explaining our situation. You see, with the threat of our house being taken away yet again, we were pretty hesitant to not fill out official paperwork on this house. It is not unheard of for military families to live in a hotel for months before housing becomes available, so we would like to avoid that. However, you can’t live in an empty house, and I can’t really afford to live in a hotel for two weeks whilst paying rent on my house. No. Can. Do.

Housing was surprisingly nice about this situation. They said it would be fine for us to move in later, so we shifted our date by about 10 days (running out of leave here, people). Because of the date shift, my parents, who were planning on coming out to visit and help us unpack, had to cancel their plans. This means I don’t get to see my family, and my help is gone. It has been disappointing for everyone involved.

The good news was that since we were moving in so much later the house we had been given wouldn’t be available, but they had other homes for us to choose from. They sent three floor plans last Friday. I’ll call them Good, Bad and Worse. Obviously, we opted for Good. We felt good about Good. Good had extra space! Good was one level! Good had storage! Good had decorating potential and much more natural light than the others! GOOD!

The weekend was happy.

Then Monday arrived and with it an e-mail saying, “Oops! That’s the handicap unit, and even though you are suffering emotional disabilities after being jerked around at this level for this long, that doesn’t count. You’ll need to lose a leg to get this house.”

I rolled my eyes at this change, and we said we’d take Bad. Bad was, after all, better than Worse, and some nice handicapped person would probably really need Good. Sigh.

So we’re looking this floor plan over during the next few days, trying to figure out just how many lamps it will take to light a cave, and how in the world you arrange furniture in a room spliced with carpet and vinyl dividing the room. This time was spent Being Positive. Also, there was much therapeutic perusing of the Pottery Barn catalog.

Then yesterday, housing e-mails us with the news that we could have the handicap unit if we wanted it. Military housing is required to have handicap housing, but can rarely fill it will people who actually need it, so occasionally it is open to just anybody.

Apparently, now we get the house we want. There has been much more joyful pouring over of the Pottery Barn catalog this time, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not holding my breath on this house until we’ve signed the lease.

Housing giveth, and housing taketh away.

We plan to get there a few days prior to the 30th, so we will get to live out of an empty house for a few days. It isn’t ideal, but it also isn’t two weeks. Chris is nearly out of leave after this fiasco, and he will have to get back to work as soon as possible when we arrive. This means that I will be unpacking and setting up the house pretty much on my own. I did it by myself last time we moved, very pregnant and with a deployed husband, so I figure I can do it again.

Queue My Military Wife Motto: BRING IT!


  1. Dawn says:

    stay strong Leah, stay strong! HUGS!!!!

  2. Hang in there. We (ok me and my family) so appreciate the sacrifices military families make! Thank you and your hubby for all that you are doing for our Country. Me and my hubby (Marine Corps Vet) so appreciate it. So I say go get salsa and hug the Pottery Barn catalog and lets just hope they don’t give this house away too. Love the chicken little story too. =)

  3. < ![CDATA[Breathe......

    Phew! sounds like an ordeal alright... sounds just like the Defence Force over here as well (though maybe not quite as bad!). Hope you get sorted soon and resume a "normal" life - if you can call it that!]]>

  4. < ![CDATA["Hurry up and wait" is the official Military Motto. LOL. We used to laugh about it ALL THE TIME. Thank goodness we don't do the hurry up and wait dance anymore.

    hang in there, you'll be okay. ]]>

  5. Yikes! That is quite the run around. I hope that things start settling down and that you have some really nice neighbors and others to welcome you when you get there.

  6. LG Belarmino says:

    Hang in there Leah it will almost be over. I am happy thought that you were able to still get something that you want (in a way). You have managed to overcome those obstacles that I find so hard. You’re a tough lady. Sending more luck in the next couple of days

  7. Dang, girl! They are really jerking you around! Big hugs!!!!

  8. Cassandra says:

    Leah, Oh what you go through for your country. Wishing everything works out for you. Keep on rolling with it with such a positive attitude. All the best!

  9. brianne says:

    Good golly, woman!! I’m so sorry! I’ve felt your pain many times. Glad (yet sad) to be done with it. You’ll feel SO much better when you’re in and settled! I can’t wait for that post…WITH the Pottery Barn adornments, of course. Hehe. Love and miss you. Keep that tough girl attitude! ;)

  10. Ellie says:

    Housing. Housing. Housing. What is a house again? But at the end of the day, you will be alright. You are amazing. However, I am wondering how everyone can comment on August 20th, but my calendar still says the 19th. . . I know that I have lost track of the days, but what wis wrong with me?

  11. Veronica says:

    Oh my gosh Leah,suddenly all my troubles seems sooo small. I’m sending you lots and lots of energy and love, you can do it!!! And I am so impressed by your strength.

  12. amie says:

    OH my heck…see, this…THIS is the uncertainties of military life I could just not handle. You roll with it so well. A friend of mine just moved her family of 8 to Korea. Can you imagine dealing with all of this on foreign soil!? You all amaze me!

  13. Erika M says:

    I admire your fortitude!

  14. Chandler says:

    Ugh, military housing powers that be. I’m so sorry this is happening to you, and I’m crossing my fingers that you’ll A) have a house and B) it’s one that you want. I remember my family going through this when I was a kid—once we got bumped off of the waiting list entirely, in favor of some friend of the person in charge. My dad flew all the back from Sicily to scream at them in person; two days later we had our house. But what a nightmare! And to hear that things haven’t changed, and that YOU’RE going through it, well…it just makes me see red. Hulk smash.

  15. Nina C says:

    I hope that things go better for you once you are all settled in! Just think happy thoughts of North Dakota. :) You got where you wanted even if the house is less than perfect for now.

  16. kendra says:

    Hope all goes as “planned” for the remaining part of your move.

  17. Scrapycandy says:

    I am exhausted reading this. And there is nothing to say to make you feel better. But if you can make the story really humorous it would be a great one for Reader’s Digest. Reality is stranger than fiction. Hang in there!

  18. Jen says:

    God bless you Leah! This sounds very “deja vuish” to me! :) We went through something similar when we went to FE Warren AFB in WY! PSCing is so fun! Ack…this one we had a fire in our Uhaul. I know you will make your house fabulous no matter what state it’s in now. Good luck!

  19. Debs says:

    Hi Leah.. I came across your site on a bloghopping session and I wanted to send you hugs from the UK. I was born into the military, married the military and now we’re civilians, my greatest joy is choosing my own paint for my walls in my own house! One time, we moved to Germany. He was deployed so a colleague had to take over the house for us. There were no light bulbs in any room so I talked to the Barrack Warden, only to be told that I was just a ‘wife of’ and therefore not entitled to light bulbs. He had to sign for them on his return. So his colleague had to help me out AGAIN. On returning to the UK, the last guy had split from his wife and not bothered to clean the (horrible) flat. They’d fined him £500. But they didn’t use that money to get in the cleaners. Oh no. I had to do it. I did manage to persuade them to get someone in to skim the bath tub (yes, it was that bad!). Chin up, Leah. All will work out in the end. Hugs xx

  20. Erika Windemere says:

    Oh the horror. How dare the military make you endure a few weeks of inconvenience while waiting for housing. Be grateful y’all have housing, and employment. Sucks to be you.

  21. Dianna Torgersen says:

    Love your ability to keep on truckin’ and “BRING IT!” :)

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