Michelle Hausman

Michelle Hausman

Goodbye Monterey, Hello Road Trip!

We had been living on the Presidio of Monterey for almost 3 years in an amazing historic home.  I added the Nomadés Presidio of Monterey charm – an adorable little otter to my story, which is a perfect choice for the Presidio! You can watch the otters playing in the kelp beds or you can get up close to them at the Monterey Bay Aquarium or kayaking at Moss Landing.

 

After 27 years, my soldier was ready to retire.  We put together an exciting plan – a year-long road trip!  This had been a long-term goal for a while, and we were excited to get started!  Change of command was scheduled for July.  Reservations were made on our dream route.

 

The Plan: Put our household goods in storage two months before we leave.  Move into our 5th wheel trailer, live locally until the change of command, and then begin our “Gap Year” touring the US before settling down for our next chapter.  Have a warm and meaningful retirement ceremony and farewells, host family from all over for a week-long celebration.  Go out with a BANG!!

 

The Reality:  3 weeks before the festivities, I fell in our 5th wheel and broke my right leg and my left foot. (I guess that was the BANG I was going out on!). Surgery 2 weeks before the festivities (on our 27th wedding anniversary!). 

 

My amazing military spouse family took care of us with meals, love, and babysitting me so my soldier could attend his events. My soldier had to cook and clean and take care of me during his work transition.  Our sons flew in to help with everything, as well as the rest of our families who were at my beck and call.  I learned how to scoot on my bum to get up and down the stairs in the trailer.  I had to do the most military spouse thing in the world and give up control of our plan.

 

But it was such a good plan!!!

 

Things proceeded without me there to micromanage.  Ceremonies occurred and I was able to attend.  Yes, I was in a wheelchair or using a walker to attend the events.  Yes, things didn’t get set up at the receptions the way I planned them.  Yes, I had to give up control and it was hard! Yes, it wasn’t the way that I wanted it to be.   But after 27 years as a military spouse, I got through it.  I “embraced the suck”.  I “managed my expectations”. I was “semper gumby”.  I was “Army Wife Strong”. I was standing (or sitting) next to my soldier as he gave up command for the last time and got to pin on his retirement award.  It was “all good”.

 

We said goodbye to our families and friends and hit the road.  Our “gap year” was still happening, even if was not exactly as we planned it.  Goodbye Monterey!  Hello Road Trip!

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Colonel Joanna Reagan  (Ret)

Colonel Joanna Reagan (Ret)