TDY Lemonade

Does not contain Will Smith or Bill Pullman
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

So the Air Force sent me TDY the weekend of the big air show back home.

For my non-military readers, “TDY” means “temporary duty” in the Air Force. Different services call it different acronyms, but it simply means you go somewhere else and do your job there for a short (or long) while. A six-day trip like mine is pretty short.

Of course, that leaves my wife home with four children and a zoo’s worth of pets.

And I miss the air show. I love airplanes. I particularly love the variety of fighters we’ve built over the years. There were supposed to be F/A-18E/F Super Hornets this year.

But such is life in the military, and we’ve grown accustomed to short-notice changes. The plan for this trip changed literally ten times or so. First we were going to England, then we were not, then we were, then maybe not, then maybe Washington State, then maybe not, then we found some rooms maybe but not enough, then no really there are enough rooms… you get the point.

My wife’s family lives in Washington State. My mother-in-law, Karen drives three hours one way every weekend to visit her husband, Jim in a care center where he stays while dealing with the effects of emphysema and the other ravages of a life-time of smoking. This weekend, Karen brought him a surprise: me.

We had a chance to play some Scrabble (Karen cheated, I maintain!). We chatted about how big my four children are now. We attempted to get a phone connection for FaceTime but reception out there was horrible. So we looked at the videos and photos of the kids that I have on my iPad and iPhone.

Convenience!
It DOES make shopping easy! (kidding)

Here’s Jonathan in his new glasses…
Here’s Teenager Deborah trying to be patient with Justin climbing on her…
Here’s Judah smiling…
Here’s our rabbit and our parakeet that we just bought…
Here’s Judah in a hand-held shopping basket…

I don’t know how well Jim does each weekend, of course. I only had this one to judge by.

But Karen said he seemed very happy to see me and seemed in good spirits as a result. We shook hands (he still gives a firm handshake), and he said, “You’re a good son-in-law.” I told him, sincerely, “It’s an honor.”

He let me give him a hug and even let me snap a picture for my wife and children.

He even smiled
Jim at the Care Center

All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday in a place I didn’t originally want to be.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 NASB

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