That was bad enough.
Then I was no longer in the US.. in less than a year and a half, Chuck had his long-sought-after job in Germany, unfortunately under an insane person, and we had something like two weeks to arrange for everything to go across the Atlantic. We took the cat by default, and now she's the 20-yr-old Trans-Atlantic Kitty of Mystery.
Enter a state of galactic freefall.
We were met in Frankfurt by longtime friends who will be friends forever, Andy & Joachim.
One met us and hugged us as we got out of customs and inspections, Andy, you saved my emotional life in Europe. You probably know that, as a longtime emigrant. That, after the fanny-pack incident. Will Americans never cease in their convenient inventions? ;-)
Joachim instigated my intellectual curiosity, simply by living in a building with holes in it.
My whole (tiny) hands fit in the cavities in the foundation of his apartment building.
"What are these?"
"50-cal holes from the Allies on their attack of Frankfurt"
If my hands could have cried in these stone cavities, they would have.
My hands have ever since been alert to historical information..
Then, we proceeded through the Frankische Schweiz, quite reminiscent of Central Texas in its limestone vertical relief.
The first day on post, after these adventures, I wakened to obscenities and prolonged screaming.
Some troopie had melted down, and they sent the Krankenwagen (German ambulance) after him. Prolonged screaming, accusations, and the people bending over the afflicted will never entirely leave my consciousness.
First the MPs came, to tuck him in their Jeep, where the accusations continued, muffled.
Well.. here I am.. I thought..
and I also knew, at that point, that German society was going to be better for me than Army society.
I also knew that my empathy for the plight of the American soldier, my respect and my support, was going to have to be unwavering.
I spent the next six years, dancing along those lines.