We Didn’t Get Lost in Turkey


Hey guys! As a result of preparing for a dinner guest yesterday, and doing a good job of cleaning as the night went on, I walked in to a clean kitchen, and just happened to have a sleeping baby, and I thought…”I think I would like to blog a little!”

 Life has been hectic, as is always the likely excuse when a blogger seemingly falls off the face of the planet. I love my little blog space because it gives me a chance to clear my head, focus my creativity at times, and document all the crazy places our lives take us. But unfortunately when life is too busy there isn’t only the lack of time to write, for me there is often a lack of inspiration. Who has time to be inspired when you barely have tim to take a shower? 

When Will took the job of Area Defense Council here in Turkey, we knew we could expect him to have to travel often. The guy before him traveled 27 weeks out of the year, the year before we arrived. However, he was also single, here unaccompanied, and often volunteered to handle cases away from Turkey. And somewhere in my delusional mind I thought Will obviously wouldn’t be doing that, and therefor probably wouldn’t be traveling as much. And to take the delusion further, I thought even if he did have to travel that much, it would be every other week or so, which seemed totally doable.

The reality was a bit different. He didn’t travel too much for the first six months (<–I can’t believe we have already been here 6 months!!), then all of a sudden he had cases back to back in locations every from Germany to Afghanistan. There was one stretch when he was going to be gone for almost a week and a half, then home for less than 24 hours before leaving for another week. Because I had been back in the states during his previous trips, this was the first time I had been left alone here with Aubrey and the dogs. The first few days were ok, but then it started raining which took away our daily walks (which I relied on to get us out of the house and keep us sane), the dogs were (and myself) absolutely miserable with cabin fever, and Aubrey rebelled against all the crazy feedings I was putting her through, and eventually one night I found myself rocking my screaming baby in the middle of the night…sobbing because I just didn’t know what else to do and I had no one there to even offer a little support or throw me a tissue.

Will surprised me two nights later by walking into the nursery while I was nursing Aubrey before bed. He came home a whole day early and if felt like the best gift in the world. I realized I was shaking and a few tears escaped when I finally got Aubrey down and was able to give him a hug.

It’s hard to explain because even on a normal basis when Will is home, he still often doesn’t get to the house until Aubrey has already gone to bed. So it’s not exactly like I was having to take on anymore responsibility, but for some reason the knowing that back up support was not coming played bad tricks on my mind.

I’m happy to say that we recovered, and have since made it through many other weeks with Dad defending the world, one airman at a time.

One of the questions we get asked most often is “So how’s Turkey?” I’ve still not come up with a very good answer (it’s really hard to adequately explain this place), but this experience of Will being gone has helped me to find a little better way to describe life here. The city just outside of the base gates is huge. Like 1.89 million people huge. There are more restaurants and stores than you can count, and it would probably take you years to navigate through all the things there are to see. BUT, it’s really just not safe for a woman and a baby to venture out and just waste away hours downtown. Designated trips to a specific store where you are in and out and on your way home are perfectly fine, but it’s not like in the states where you can go to Target and spend hours and the requisite $50-100 on things that you absolutely need, while you slurp down a Starbucks coffee. Man how I miss those days sometimes.

So that basically means, if your husband is away, you have the option of going to the BX for the Nth time that week, taking a walk (if it doesn’t rain), and if you’re lucky working in a play date with another mom or even better, a quick outing into town. The isolation kicks in fast. One of the things I was most excited about when we found out we were coming to Turkey, was the vast amount of things that we could see and do being in such an unfamiliar place, and so close to the expanse of Europe. And when Will is here that is exactly what we do.

 It’s just the other 95% of the time that he’s gone that I feel like I might turn into Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Aubrey and I’s days are relatively the same whether it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday when Will isn’t here, and the monotony can be killer.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. A lot of the same. A lot of trying to survive while Daddy is gone. A lot of looking forward to the Turkish Riviera vacation we have planned in May, and galavanting through Europe with family in June. A lot of hoping that July and August don’t get too crazy busy so we can go to beach near here a few times and let the dogs run. A lot of daydreaming about living back in NC, in a little farmhouse, with our kids, dogs, chickens and goats running around…and maybe a husband that gets to hang out for a while 🙂

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