March 18th Update

6:58 AM

Things are all sorts of interesting here!  We are all safe and thinking of this as the adventure it sort of is, so here is a recap of our day for those following along.

This morning there were base-wide meetings regarding the voluntary evacuations for dependents.  Obama has approved the voluntary evacuations, but something of this scale and magnitude has never been orchestrated before.  Organizing such an effort has been monumental and taxing, especially since all of the forces located in Japan are actively involved in Operation Tomodachi as well, and our base is a major hub for the relief effort.

The meetings this morning described to us how the process will work as far as evacuations, and we had to sign up on the list if we were interested in being evacuated (if situations heighten and get worse, it would become mandatory at some point).  We are all assigned a category according to our youngest child's age, and that is how we are prioritized in regards to flights.  People who are in charge of putting this all together have been phenomenal, and I cannot imagine the stress that they and their families are going through having to figure out how all of this will work smoothly.

While I was at the meeting, Lance (who had no sleep after standing a midnight - 8am watch, and has been running on 1-2 hours a sleep for the past week or so) and Alex took the dogs to the Army base a few minutes away from us to get our dogs' health certificates and vet records for whenever we do fly out.  He had his own adventure having to wrangle a Miniature Schnauzer in heat, as well as a Great Dane who is positively out of his freaking mind thanks to his raging hormones.  Why haven't I got either of them fixed yet??  Add that to my to-do list…

After my meeting, Lance Jr and I walked over to the clinic to check out our medical and dental records in preparation for our "move." (We are supposed to be transferring back stateside in June, so if/when we do get evacuated, we will not be returning to Japan).  I said goodbye to the few people working at dental today, and I am truly saddened that my time with them has been cut short! I have never in a million years thought that I would be working in the dental field.  For one, I am a pansy when it comes to health stuff.  I can tough it out for my kids if they are hurt, but I just cannot handle "stuff" and always brushed off the idea of working in the health industry.  And two: I hate the dentist.  Loooooaaathe the dentist… almost to a point of a phobia, but I have grown so much since being a part of this program, and I'm glad that I'm facing my fears in such an unconventional way.  The group of people I've had the honor to work with has been absolutely amazing, and for the first time in my life, I had the honor to work with people I felt like I really belonged to.

Off of my tangent: the rest of our day has been gathering personal records, packing suitcases, then UNpacking and REpacking them as the rumor mill went crazy over how much we were allowed to pack (thankfully official information finally came out, stating that adults are allowed one 50 pound bag; children 30 pound bags.  Not much for a spur-of-the-moment "I'm moving!!" type of packing, huh?).  The kids and I ran errands while Lance napped; I had to close out the kids' school lunch accounts, return school library books since they will probably not be going back, set up a forwarding address, and a few other things that had loose ends.

Lance slept off and on all day, but the poor guy kept getting phone calls probably every 30 minutes or so, and I feel terribly for him.  As I've said before, he's been my rock and has been so strong for me, and all I wish for him is to finally get some rest so he doesn't get worn down.  He is set to leave the area as well, but he could leave in an hour's notice.  He is all packed up and ready to go for whenever the call comes in.

All in all, we are all doing great and are safe at the moment.  Things are very fluid, and nothing can change that fact since we are all operating under what is the priority at the moment.  For family reading this, we honestly are doing fine, and just keep the people who are really suffering in your thoughts and prayers as well.  So many people have perished, are lost, or homeless.  So many are risking their lives in order for the greater good, including the men and women in our military and in my community.  In retrospect, we (my family) are very fortunate and have suffered hardly any hardships, and I feel selfish complaining because there is so much out there that is so much bigger than me.  Please keep praying that those involved in cooling the reactors at Fukushima can do so quickly and safely, as so much depends on their efforts (and yet they will be punished severely for being so heroic).

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