Wednesday, February 23, 2005


The kids and I went with my friend Amy today on a USO shopping tour to France. We started off with a couple hours at Cora, which is basically like a French Super Walmart, and finished off the day with a couple hours looking at pottery in Soufflenheim.

Cora was a bit of a disappointment. We started off with a terrific pizza lunch in their restaurant, but after that we were decidedly underwhelmed by the merchandise. I bought some chocolate and some cheese fondue, and the kids talked me into buying some squirrel food. They have visions of luring squirrels to our yard by the hundreds.

We enjoyed Soufflenheim more, although the pottery doesn't do it for me like Polish pottery does. In fact, I made it out of town without buying a single item. It was fun though, strolling through the quaint little streets and smelling the smoke from the woodfired kilns. We stopped in at a little cafe for a Fanta for Annabelle and hot chocolate for the rest of us.

When we got home this evening, I was delighted to discover that Fred FINALLY has access to his email. We emailed back and forth for a while, which was really nice.

I'm feeling a little blue right now though. As you know, Fred came out on the promotion list for colonel back in December. The Senate has been dragging its collective feet with confirming the list. I know it's been making Fred nuts, but I have secretly been enjoying it--the longer it would take them to confirm the list, the later his promotion date would be, and the greater the likelihood would be that it would happen after his return from Iraq and that the kids and I could be there for it, right?

So what happened? I guess the Stupid senate must have finally done their thing, because now Fred has a tentative promotion date. Of May 1.

I was so hoping for June. I figured if he was eligible in June, waiting for July wouldn't be any big deal. But May? I don't know if he'll be willing to wait, and I don't know if it's fair for me to ask.

This is the last and biggest promotion for him. I knew he would make major. I knew he would make lieutenant colonel! But full-bird, eagles-on-the-shoulder colonel? That was never a foregone conclusion. We have known some incredibly brilliant and talented people who have not been fortunate enough to make this step, and the thought that I will probably miss his promotion ceremony is killing me.

He asked me in an email how I would feel about attending via video teleconferencing (VTC). We have a special room here in Mannheim that is open 24 hours a day and that is dedicated to setting up VTCs between families here and their deployed soldiers. I have NEVER been the slightest bit interested in doing such a thing. The idea of seeing him and not being able to touch him makes me cry on plain old normal days. To think of doing such a thing for something as important as this is unthinkable to me. Why not just have somebody take pictures or shoot some video that we can watch later? Because wiring us in with a camera does not change the fact that WE ARE NOT REALLY TOGETHER FOR THIS!

I know I have no right really to whine. After all, there are fathers who are missing the births of their children, which is way more important in the overall picture.

I thought it was so cool last summer when high schools over here managed to VTC their graduations. I still think that was cool.

So why do I feel so crappy right now?

As I always say, knowing that someone else is more miserable doesn't make me less miserable about my own disappointments. Jennifer Lear
Comments? I got your stinkin' comments right here! Yay for comments. So many times I wanted to respond, and comments are so much more immediate; so much more satisfying. Yes, I'm a comment whore -- and I go both ways.

I'm sure the promotion thing will, ultimately, work out for the best; whether live or by VTC. We did a VTC while I was in Haiti, and yes, they are extremely underwhelming. But, better than nothing, right?
Cora a disappointment??? That's my girlfriend's favorite place to go get some quick French shopping done! The cheese. The seafood. The wines and beers.

Oh, she's going to be pissed when I tell her.


Responding to several comments at once:

Jen, thanks! :::smooch:::

Chris, know that I was thinking of you when I took the plunge and enabled comments.

Alex, WHY does she love Cora so much? I didn't really see where it was much better than my Super Walmart. Do you have a Super Walmart near you?
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