Have you ever had a weekend that was so simple, yet so wonderful that you want to remember it forever? A few weeks ago, Andy and I had a typical weekend that was so much fun when one of Andy’s best friends, Tony, came to visit.
Andy and Tony were stationed together at Fort Polk. They lived across the hall from each other in the barracks and spent almost every weekend together gaming. In 2014, they deployed to Afghanistan together. When Andy’s brother and sister-in-law gifted us some furniture for our wedding and had no way to get it to Kentucky (since they flew up for the wedding), Tony drove it up to us in his truck. He spent most of his weekends during Recruiting school at our house (since the Recruiting school is at Fort Knox and we just so happened to be stationed there at that time), and he was the first person Andy called when he got his own unexpected Recruiting orders. Tony is more like a brother to Andy, so we were both excited to have him come visit us here in Iowa. I knew this weekend would be what the three of us needed: time to de-stress, hang out, and be with people who “get it.”
Side note: One of the “perks” of living in rural Iowa is that when people come to visit, we know they’re here to see us and not just use our house as their home base for fun activities in the big city, a foreign country, or at the beach 😛
After our overnight date in Des Moines, Andy and I went to the airport Saturday morning to pick Tony up. In true battle buddy fashion, Andy greeted Tony at the security checkpoint by yelling “C’mere my boy!!! My son is home!!!” in an attempt to embarrass him. (It didn’t work.) I knew then that we were in for a weekend full of laughter!
We then grabbed a quick lunch at Zombie Burger in downtown Des Moines. As we were eating, the snowstorm that we had been avoiding the night before made its way down to us. Our drive back from Des Moines to Mason City was a long one. Usually, it takes about 2.5 hours, but it took nearly 4 due to severe driving conditions. We saw over 60 cars that went off the road in the snowstorm; Andy and Tony were able to help one car back on the road. It was a terrifying drive, but Andy did well, and I couldn’t have felt safer than sitting in the middle seat between the two of them!
When we finally made it back to Mason, the guys spend all afternoon shoveling our driveway/sidewalk as well as that of our elderly neighbor. Then, they spent all evening playing video games while I read a book and blogged. Well, except for the grocery run to Walmart. That was a fun experience! 😉
On Sunday, we went church, I made spaghetti for lunch, and they played more video games. We played a few board games before we all went to dinner at Northwestern Steakhouse.
I had to work on Monday, which gave them “bro time” before Tony’s Monday night flight back to the East Coast.
There is no friendship like those of battle buddies. Friends who fly halfway across the country to spend a weekend at your house playing video games. Friends who endure literal blizzards to get to your house in the middle of nowhere. Friends who you rarely see in real life, but when you finally meet again, it’s like no time has passed.
I had not seen my husband laugh and smile this much since we moved here for his very demanding, stressful Recruiting assignment. In fact, we all had such a great time that we plan to meet up with Tony & his girlfriend in North Carolina this summer. Now, if only big Army will give us all the same follow-on assignments after Recruiting!