It is freezing outside. Not the kind of freezing you feel when you're up in Yosemite in winter and the cold air blasts you in the face as soon as you step outside. This is more of a chill that creeps inside you the longer you stay outside, squirming its way into your toes, ears and hands before making its way deeper.
As I set out for the BX I couldn't help but think about what was in store for me today. The instructions I had said to report to Morehouse Hall between 1200-1600 for in-processing. But I'd heard stories from my Edwards pals about arriving to a locked door, then wandering around the building to get surprised by a drill instructor barking orders at you to drop your bags and fall in line. I guess if that happens at least I'll have been expecting it. By the time I got to the BX, I wondered if I had frostbite anywhere. And I wondered where all the people are. I'd seen a couple of cars but the base seemed deserted.
As I turned the corner into the parking lot for the BX and commissary (they are next to each other at all bases as far as I can tell), I got a discouraging sign: not a single car in the parking lot.
Sure enough, both the BX and the commissary were closed. And even the food court outside of the BX was shut down for construction.
Chuckling to myself at my luck, I turned around for the chilly walk back toward my room at the Air Force Inn. The dining hall was near the Inn, so I figured I could get a meal there, at least. On the way back I passed by the base thrift store. I thought that I could maybe get some gloves there, and possibly some long underwear or something I could use to fend off this cold. But as I walked up to the storefront, I knew I was out of luck again.
I started to think that maybe I was the only nitwit walking around the base trying to get a meal and some sundries today. Maybe there is something going on that I don't know about, like a holiday. Or maybe there are instructions to shut everything down the Monday that COT starts so that people like me don't show up early and try to pick up some things that they forgot to bring. Well, I can live without washcloths and gloves. And I can make my razor last a while longer. My main concern was food.
My luck continued at the dining hall. Because I'd waited until late morning to be sure that the BX was open (again, thinking with my civilian mind that it wouldn't be open before 8:30) before setting out, by the time I returned it was after 9:00. And the dining hall was closed until lunch at 1100.
Rejected again, I thought about heading out to the Burger King that I knew was at the other end of the base. But that was another long walk and I was pretty much frozen. I remembered that there was a little vending machine at the front desk for the Air Force Inn, so I resigned myself to getting some sustenance there. On my way back, I tried to cut through the gym, and I got at least a partial explanation for why the base seemed so deserted.
So things were shut down because of the weather. It made me feel a little better to have some justification for my sense of how cold it is here - it's not just my delicate California constitution. And I remembered hearing last night that a lot of classes that others were attending this morning had been cancelled. So it wasn't just me experiencing this.
On my way to the front desk of the Air Force Inn, I finally found something that was not closed.
After adding in a Twix and a bottle of water from the front desk, I had a breakfast of champions going on!
I'm back in my room now enjoying this feast. I may head back to the dining hall at 1100, but most likely I'll just check out and wait out the hour until reporting for COT. After that I likely won't be able to post very often but I'll try to report back to you all with some frequency. Talk to you soon!