I start the morning trying out our new blender and realize that the tinier ice cubes will melt faster than the large ones that don’t break, and the blender didn’t go up in smoke so I look forward to doing this more often. I get in some steps as I walk to the phone counter upstairs in the shopping building on base to reload Caleb’s data card, but on the way, I hear a gate guard talking about Montana and his plans to retire after ten years active duty and find a city large enough, but somewhat close to his small-town home that can give him a job in the big country so he can avoid desert islands.
Our retirement will look a little different as we go in search of deserts to drive, islands to dive, and mountains to climb so that we can train for a six-month hike, possibly once or four times on one or three continents before we hit our over-the-hill age (though Caleb’s body is already trying to accomplish this feat). I look forward to Caleb being able to sleep in for a week straight and planning for things more than a month in advance. We will get to build our hobbies together regardless of the size of the city, state, or country that we find ourselves in any given year.
While Caleb is busy patrolling the construction site that is his work (and trying to keep the Captain from coming into work every chance he gets) I’m on foot towards Adliya in search of McGettigan’s where there will be a tree lighting and mulled wine, serving to start at 6:30 and hot from what appears to be a witches cauldron. There are also mince pies, chocolate-covered marshmallows, and Rice Krispie Treats. As if the night couldn’t get better I get to catch up with Hanan and his wife, wear Santa hats that were passed out to everyone, and chat about some upcoming travel to Tbilisi.
We parted ways and I was invited to join a group sitting along the side of DePart, a temporary pavilion, with a phone projector watching a cartoon film on the next building. I would’ve loved the camaraderie and conversation that would’ve ensued but I had a friend, Princess, to get to at Jim’s Restaurant — only to find out she didn’t know the guys in the band, but within seven degrees of separation, they somehow knew a guy she was being casual with. We met a bunch of kind and older British guys that kept us entertained until the show stopped and a group of Irish lads took to dancing on chairs (with help from the manager) to songs from their native country on the jukebox.