Every three years Military folks get their PCS (Permanent Change of Station). Every three years we get a new group of friends. Every three years we say goodbye and my heart breaks.  This week we said goodbye to our last friends PCS’ing this year.  As promised, My Boys, Dane remembered the camera.

We went to the new Schönbuch Brauerei in nearby Calw, the original is close to base & Mercedes HQ in Böblingen. The Calw one is perfectly situated along the Nagold river and on a warm end-of-summer evening the breeze is icing on the cake. It has fabulous food, including Tess’ favorite chocolate lave cake (or a schokogugelhupf, say that 10 times fast!). It is a beautiful location to make a sad moment a little bit easier.

I actually did really good all dinner. I had a wonderful time chatting with my friends, remembering some of our fun moments, and there were a lot of them. We’ve been to too many Oktoberfests, Weinfests,  all kinds of fests, to count.  Amber & I have been on girls trips to Amsterdam, they are our boardgame competition, Nate taught Dane to swim and they’ve both been back-up parents for my kids those very few times Dave & I went somewhere alone.

It was only as the food was cleared away, and Dane jumped up to get the camera “because you are forgetting again” that I started struggling.  We didn’t get very many goodbye pictures, but I am so grateful Dane dragged out the camera and documented the moment.  When my tears started, I made him put it down. I hate goodbye’s.

I grabbed my things, my kids, I gave Amber and Nate one last, sobbing, big hug, and I walked away before bursting into an ugly cry. Halfway to the car I could hear Amber shout “Just walk away! Don’t look back!” and I laughed through my tears. I am going to miss them both with all my heart.

PCS season is officially over.


Appropriate that the last beer for Amber is an Amber Ale


We all look so happy, but really, we’re very, very sad.


Nate can’t fake the happiness anymore. He’s sad. Goodbye’s suck.


Toiny & Amber