Best TDY Ever! (Shhh…Don’t Tell the Kids)

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August 10, 2014 by comhomflt

Long ago and far away
I dreamed a dream one day
And now that dream is here beside me

Long the skies were overcast
But now the clouds have passed
You’re here at last!

Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

I found out in late June; my LT would be spending a brief time stateside to address some issues in person, and we could spend a weekend together. I could hardly contain myself and cried at the thought of seeing each other again. I couldn’t tell the kids anything more than that I was going to see a “friend,” because they’d be devastated. The day I left, I was a bundle of nerves. The poor guy on the plane next to me; I never explained my sudden tears, my shaking legs, my halting conversation. Finally, I managed to collect my bag from the bin without clunking anyone on the head and walk off the airplane and past security – and there he was! My LT in his khakis, wearing a big smile and a few extra ribbons, waiting to wrap me in his arms.

I threw my arms around him, suitcase and all; and with people streaming past, we shared a long-awaited embrace. There were tears and smiles and a bit of nervousness. It was wonderful. We held hands and laughed over how odd our real voices sounded to each other after months of tinny internet calls, and we weren’t quite sure how to react to being together again. We drove off together – in a Volkswagen Jetta this time, no Grand Marquis or Town Car, thank you very much! – and went to dinner. Somewhere between the parking garage and the restaurant, the strangeness of sharing life in person vanished; and, if it weren’t for the nagging thought of another “good-bye” at the end, it became like any other weekend away we’ve shared.

We spent the next two days palling around together as we like to do. The nearby base had a coffee shop that sold Starbucks beverages, so, naturally, we started off there.

Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)Like the two history and science lovers we are, we filled our days with stops at Arlington, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Air and Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Center, and as many monuments as we could reasonably visit. There are many great pictures of the things we saw, even some artistic ones, thanks to my hubby; but my favorite pictures are those of us, even if the quality isn’t always the best.

 At the Iwo Jima Memorial
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

At Arlington National Cemetery, outside the Custis Lee House
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

My LT, in his classic cracker jack pose, at the Navy Memorial
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

The two of us, by our respective plaques at the Navy Memorial
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

We aren’t in this picture, but it is my favorite of all the photos taken at the monuments – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

At the Lincoln Memorial, with the Washington Monument in the background
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

At the Udvar-Hazy Center, by the SR-71A Blackbird – very cool!
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

One other picture that doesn’t include us – the Enola Gay
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

Next to the shuttle Discovery
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

A highlight for me – a P38 Lightning
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

On the mall with the Capitol behind us
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

Outside the Mexican restaurant where we spent our last dinner together
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

Our last photo together the morning I left…at the base coffee shop, naturally!
Best TDY Ever! (Shhh...Don't Tell the Kids)

It was hard to say our good-byes again, and I keep replaying our reunion in my mind. The next time, it will be for good and all; but for now, we have these memories. A dream come true, a gift from God, a foretaste of the real deal. To my LT, Happy Anniversary! May the Lord give us many more years to spend together. And to my in-laws, thank you! We could never have done this without your keeping the kids. To anyone else who may talk to our kiddos, mum’s the word, please – at least until the actual homecoming!

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One thought on “Best TDY Ever! (Shhh…Don’t Tell the Kids)

  1. Mr&Mrs Sh says:

    What a wonderful wonderful blessing!! The pics (esp. of you 2) are Great! I’m sooo thrilled for you both! What a nice booster for you till reunited again! <3 Mr&Mrs Sh

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