|2004 started with barely a whisper. Gizmo was fine, I was okay. I was lonely but the Lexapro I'd been taking, now at 20mg dose, kept me well mummified. After my nightmare house sold in Williamsburg, I bought a townhouse in Newport News and rented it out, so I was back up to three houses again. I finished my website after four years and thousands of hours of work. But soon something would happen which would change everything. In mid March, I received an assignment to MacDill, Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. I could go there but I'd have to extend my enlistment past 20 years and do a completely different job than the one I was enjoying at the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Center. I liked the people I worked with, I liked the work. It was challenging but not smothering and we rarely worked weekends. It was high-visibility with an important mission...to take care of our people and to take care of the Air Force. I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to go back to a hell job with long hours, nasty bosses, nasty subordinates, and have no life like I did in 1999, 2000, and 2002. I'd had enough. If I turned it down I'd be forced to retire at 20 years, just nine months away. I had until May to decide. Was it the dawn of a new life or the end of an old one? And just to illustrate the concept I added some photos I shot on February 26 and March 2 in my neighborhood. |
In March I was picked to attend a school in Montgomery, Alabama to learn new skills in Air Force deployments. During those two weeks I had a chance to think over my future before I made my decision. My motel was on a hill with a perfect view of the Alabama sunrise. I used to set my clock for the perfect time and watch the sun come up. One morning I even shot photos of it.
On the way home I dropped by Asheville, North Carolina. Since February I'd been thinking of settling there because my friend at work, Ken, told me the weather in Asheville was ideal. He should know...he was a former weather forecaster and used to live there. I needed to begin planning my retirement, whether I was going to retire in December 2004 or 2006.