And so the "goodbyes" begin... We have been slowly selling some things we don't want to keep or store while we are overseas, and last night our list got down to the fish tanks. I put our big tank up online and within a matter of minutes it sold as a whole. I didn't even get to post the small tank, but there was so much interest in the big tank I mentioned I had another tank and pretty much everything inside the tank sold on the spot.
I was not prepared for it to go that quickly. A very nice woman, who tolerated my lengthy questioning about her abilities to care for our fish in her own tank, came to pick up our little 6 line wrasse (along with a snail and some rock and coral) last night.
I spent the hour before she got here taking photos of the little guy:
I figured now would be as good a time as any to update everyone on where we are in our moving process.
As for the people in our family, we have each been to our respective doctors and been medically cleared to live overseas. This involved three separate appointments at three separate doctors - civilian for Gunnar and me, military for Patrick. We then had to get cleared by dental as well. That had to be done on base. I was concerned with this part because we have to be totally cleared medically before we can meet with TMO (aka the office that schedules and plans our move - which we are supposed to do 7 months out, but we are 2 months out). However, base dental recently stopped taking appointments because they were so backed up. I guess they managed to squeeze the three of us in, and we went yesterday. Turns out that even though I have been getting regular cleanings every 6 months on the dot and have had 2 sets of x-rays done in 2 years, my dentist missed a pretty big issue in a tooth, and now I might be looking at a root canal. This means I am not cleared to move with my family until it is taken care of. Given my huge (and only slightly irrational) fear of the dentist (I have to be sedated) you can only imagine my reaction to this. So pray for me that my appointment in 2 days goes smoothly and it's nothing more than fixing a filling. Then I have to go back to dental on base, get rechecked and hopefully cleared. After that we have to take all of our paperwork to the overseas screening office on base and hope that it's all filled out properly and we will be done with that part of our list.
As for our furry family, we are still deciding if we are taking the dogs with us or not. It's a heart breaking decision, but it comes down to what is best for them. And even a direct flight from LAX is 15 hours. That's a long time to be under a plane. They are good travelers, but I think that's asking a little much of them. It's a lot of time for me to spend panicking above in the cabin as well. I told Patrick I would need to be sedated (that seems to be a reoccurring theme for this post...). As it turns out, that wouldn't be possible, because if we took them, I would have to take them (and Gunnar) over by myself in August while Patrick would go ahead in June. Sounds like a job even SuperWoman would turn down. The reason for that is because they have to be quarantined a minimum of 30 days in Australia, no matter what. But they also have to be quarantined a total of 180 days (6 months) from the date they get a certain blood test drawn. Well the date they were first able to get that test taken would put them in quarantine until September 8. If we had to pay for quarantine from June to September we would go bankrupt, and also it would be miserable for the dogs. The would be 10 hours away from us, in Sydney, in a cage, with strangers. We are getting all the necessary tests and shots for them to come with us (which has involved 2 vet visits on base so far, we still need 1 more off base, and shipping vials of blood off to a lab), but they might be staying with their cousins at the farm with my parents. We can't seem to bring ourselves to even discuss the topic.
After all that, I guess the next step is to sell more stuff, and then sort the rest between storage, household goods, and other things. The HHG shipment will be expedited I believe, and will take about a month? I'm going on what I've heard, so I'm not sure. And the storage stuff will be shipped off to wherever the military has space to store it (no climate control available much to my husband's chagrin). Then the rest of our belongings we will need down under (but aren't HHG) will be shipped, but take somewhere between 5 and 6 months? That's what Patrick tells me anyways...
Major things left on our list of "to sell" items are our cars. We still have Patrick's old truck (we have 1 interested party) and we have decided to sell the Tahoe as well. Patrick's parents will be taking the new truck. We spent so long looking for the perfect one, it would be a shame to have to start that process all over again in 2 years.
We also have sent off our applications for our government passports (which involved going to base for photos, and then a separate meeting with the base passport office). It's been over a month, so hopefully they will arrive soon (along with our important documents) so we can then apply for civilian passports as well.
If you're still with me (and not bored out of your mind) then thank you. It feels nice to vent about all this, and putting it all in writing makes me feel like I have accomplished something. There's still a lot more to do, but we're getting there (I guess) slowly but surely...