WE WERE OFFERED HOUSING!

^^^ w00t!!

We were officially offered an apartment today. It is a 2nd floor 2-bedroom apartment in a small complex of 4 (there are probably 15 of such complexes in a few block radius). Our apartment has a detached, fenced side yard that abuts to the building. We really, really lucked-out with our side yard because it is very sunny and not exposed to the street and sidewalk. The apartment is fairly large, and has a living room, dining room, balcony, medium-sized kitchen (large compared to most Japanese kitchens), 2 bed rooms, and 1 bathroom. The living room is larger then our living room in Virginia Beach. It also includes a washer and dryer. Our balcony view is pretty nice – it overlooks trees that “fence” the golf course.

Unfortunately we won’t be able to move in until mid-June, and I’ll have to move by myself. I’m feeling okay about moving without Michael, since I’ll have neighbors around (including new friends!) to ask for advice and help. Michael will be 100% out of touch (even by email) the day of the move, so we got Special Powers of Attorney for me so that I can orchestrate the move solo – btw, it is INSANE to me that, as a spouse, I need a special power of attorney to orchestrate a household move that is on official military orders. The Japanese movers set-up everything for me, so I should be up and running by that evening.

The other problem with moving in mid-June is that Norma probably won’t be able to join us until late September due to the heat here. We cannot fly her during the summertime because of the possibility of her overheating on the tarmac during flights. Actually, we don’t know of any airlines who will fly animals during the summer. She is also now way too big to ride int he cabin! Our little corgi is 25lbs! I will miss her SO MUCH this summer, but we don’t want to risk her health or life by flying her here too soon.

After officially accepting our apartment and getting Powers of Attorney today, Michael and I went window shopping at the “Home Store” on base. We need to buy a couch for our apartment because we threw out our living room set when we moved. We think that we found the perfect couch at the Home Store. We also plan to purchase a china closet, a bar, and a dining room set, but I’ll wait until I find something fabulous at a flea market sale around Japan. We have a few framed wedding pictures for our walls and a few military-related things, but I’ll also be on the look out for some Japanese wall art. Last, and perhaps most importantly, I need to buy black-out curtains! The sun is already rising before 4:30am, and by the height of summer, the sun will be up at 3:30am. Many families buy nice curtains to disguise the blackout curtains, so I will do the same. I already have a girls’ shopping trip set up to buy curtains 🙂

The homes here are utilitarian and kind of ugly, but I don’t mind. I can’t wait to cut the grass in the side yard, plant a garden, and put down some patio pavers for our patio furniture! This 2 bedroom apartment is the typical housing for O-1 to O-4 couples who have 1 or no kids. Some O-4s (depending on timing) are immediately eligible for a townhouse, but I think they weigh the arrival with the need (such as if there are other officers who need the 3-4 bedroom townhouse for their children). The ground floor apartments are usually reserved for couples with dogs (like us), and we would be a upset about not getting a bottom floor place, but there’s a giant bug problem here. As in, there are literally giant bugs here that prefer the ground floor places. I am glad that we have a top floor, and I’d rather have to walk up and down the steps with food, etc, then have to deal with a legion icky, yucky, huge bugs crawling into my apartment.

Here are a few pictures of the outside of our apartment! I can’t wait until we move in. We are going to a local home store tonight to peruse and window shop.

13 comments

  1. I cannot believe how long you are waiting to get in there! I know it’s part of the life, but you are a champ for handling it so positively!

    1. Thanks, Amanda! We have been living in hotels for 7 weeks now, and we still have 4 more to go! I feel like a hotel mayor! How are things in Okinawa? 🙂

      1. That is miserable! We were in a hotel for a week and I was so ready to get out of there! I am visiting family and friends in the states right now, but Okinawa is great! Our apt is really big but not nearly as nice as yours, and we don’t have a yard. I love hearing about your thoughts on Japan, and you’re getting me excited for our move to Iwakuni next year!

        1. I have friends here who just came from Iwakuni! Let me know if you would like to be put in touch with the wife. She has a blog too!

          You are soooo lucky that you were only in the hotel for a week – that’s unheard if here 🙂 we are actually doing really well compared to other people who have 4-6mo waits for houses. Many people are forced to move out in town and then back on base when they are offered a house!

          I enjoy your blog a lot too, and I hope to get down to Okinawa during Michael’s deployment. My uncle and grandfather were there during WW2, and your post about going into that bunker caught my interest! Is there a lot to do for the wives down there? Do you all teach English like we do here?

          1. I’d love to check out her blog! Our entire squadron is moving there next summer. Out here there are so many bases that there’s usually housing available on base, and if there isn’t then people just live out in town, so families never spend more than a few weeks in the hotel. If you ever need a tour guide or a place to stay in Okinawa, I’d love to hang out! It’s great that you already have a personal connection to Okinawa – there is so much history here you wouldn’t be able to access from anywhere else. Since there are so many Americans here, it is tough to find work but not impossible. Some of the wives teach or tutor but most Okinawans already speak English so there isn’t as high demand for it, which is unfortunate.

    2. I’m going to talk to my friend this weekend and see if she would be cool with exchanging email addresses! She and her husband lived off base because they are DoD civilians, and they had a really great experience. My husband was just at that base recently and saw all the construction! It looks like they are getting ready for ya’ll! 🙂 Where are you in the States? And I may totally take you up on the tour guide offer!!

      1. Awesome! Yes they are building a new hangar and all new housing for us, followed by schools and a hospital at some point. I’m really excited, although I’ll miss Okinawa! I’m currently in Vermont, but I’ll be spending time in Va and PA soon.

    1. I already have painting ideas 😉 I can’t wait to get in there! How are you feeling? I saw that you had a surprise shower at work – so awesome!!

  2. Feeling good – car seat was installed on Sunday, so now that we’re completely ready Murphy’s Law says he’ll stay put for a few weeks which is what I’m hoping for! 34 weeks today – only two weeks until the OB’s goal date – crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love living vicariously through you and all of your travels, especially while I’m home on bed rest! 🙂

    1. WOW! I remember way back when I guessed that you were pregnant. It seems sooooo long ago, and yet time flew by so fast. Good move on installing the car seat – take that, Murphy’s Law!! I’m so happy for you guys – I feel like I’m living vicariously though YOU, too! I can’t wait to see pictures of your little man! But … I can wait a few weeks, and I hope that he can, too!

  3. My MIL kept telling me all the horror stories of the bugs there…the bugs in Charleston were nothing compared to those huge things in Japan! So happy for you guys that you’ve finally got a house!!! Even if you aren’t moved into it yet, you still have something to plan for! 🙂

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