The absolute worst part of living in Germany is being far from family. Two of my big boys were here most of the summer, wednesday night, at 11:00 pm, Soren came bouncing into our bedroom; “A Spangdahlem flight just went UP!

Quick review… our kids fly to Germany using Space Available, aka SpaceA, aka Mac flights, aka free-to-us.  The military has planes flying all over the world, every day.  If there is room for people, on jump seats along the outer walls, after cargo is loaded, then space available seats are released to military members and dependents.  There is a very complicated, tiered, formula for getting these seats.  Needless to say, injured soldiers come first, followed by active duty soldiers, etc.  Our kids are just dependents so they are fifth on the long list.  It makes it very hard to get flights, especially during summer when everyone tries to fly home to the states to see their families.  Being away from family is hard for everyone, not just us.

On wednesday my sister, caretaker of Sorens aquarium, called: his salinity had dropped.  His corals were in danger.  Soren went into panic mode. He is a man of many hobbies, but his current favorite is his salt-water aquariums and his corals are his babies. We still had a good week of high-volume SpaceA Travel, military kids were still out of school.  Nobody after Cat III was getting a seat.  But Spangdahlem is a little more out of the way, not many people drive the extra hour to depart from there, and they’d been having trouble with their flight availability listings all week, and it was 5 hours till roll call.  So at 11 pm on Wednesday  night, Dave stumbled out of bed, Soren frantically packed (half his clothes were still wet and hanging to dry, again, I have no dryer).  A quick hug, a quick wave and I watched the van drive away just before midnight, holding my baby and leaving my house a little bit emptier.

Soren got to the states safely, his hop taking him all the way to the west coast, to McChord air force base in Washington. From there it’s a short plane trip back to California.  The hard part was telling the little ones that their brother left while they were asleep.  Soren did try to wake them, but with my kids it’s either On or Off, and they were Off at midnight.  Poor Dane was heartbroken, he idolizes his big brothers.  The only thing that cheered him up was Christian.  Christian is still here.  Until tomorrow.  Christians orders came in yesterday, his flight leaves tomorrow morning.  My heart is tight and aching.  How I hate goodbyes.