Monday, July 28, 2008

Midway and More

Halfway through Beast Barracks, and the hotly anticipated Ice Cream Social has joined the ranks of West Point memories. But it's actually more than halfway over. Four weeks finished, three weeks to go. It really is going fast, even for M.

Ever since we got on board for West Point we have been looking forward to our phone call from the legendary Ice Cream Social. It had been drilled into us that we would have ten minutes to talk to our nc, if we were lucky: there could be ten other nc's waiting for their turn; there could be one oh-so-homesick nc that might go past his ten minutes into your nc's ten minutes; or your kind-hearted, well-adjusted nc might donate his call altogether to someone that needs it more than he does; or your nc might be the one that is so homesick he is afraid to get on the phone and break down; or, yours could be the one that sleeps the afternoon away and never calls at all. How easy it is to borrow trouble!

But all that worrisome speculation was for naught, because not only did our boy call, his 10-minute call was a 45-minute call! We listened fast, in anticipation of some 'higher' counting down his minutes, but time kept passing and we kept talking. Maybe this was an exchange for the abbreviated 90-second goodbye we didn't get on R-Day...?

We had already been coached to listen much and say little, and we mostly complied, though every now and then I could not help asking him a question, and gentleman that he is, he would stop what he was saying. Then we would waste a few minutes trading a few "go aheads" before we would get back on track. It's a hard thing to cram weeks of missed daily conversations into one phone call, even a 45-minute one, so a lot of things went unasked and unsaid, but before we hung up, M opened the call for questions, of which we had many.

Later we discovered email from him, also written at the Ice Cream Social. How very accommodating of his host/sponsor, and how thankful we are.

Now that The Call is behind us, we have one more ten-minute call to look forward to in two weeks, and then A-Day, after which he will be allowed to rejoin the unlimited world of e-communication.

Meanwhile, things here are oh-so-quiet, except for the days when the Blue-Eyed Boy comes and fills the spaces. This empty nest thing is pretty, well....empty....

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