Here in northern Italy, we haven't seen the sun in about three weeks. I'm a pretty optimistic person, but this dreary weather had started to get me down. That is, until today, when the clouds broke and those golden rays shone through. Not only did we get some sun, we even saw the tops of the mountains! And, oh, how gloriously white and thick with snow they were! I stood outside for a while during lunch, just staring at the peaks, hoping I'll get a chance to board down them before I depart for Qatar.
Just as I went inside, SMSgt Campbell, our superintendent, came by the shop holding a familiar-looking blue folder. It was my extension paperwork, still unsigned by the commander. SMSgt Campbell told me the commander wouldn't approve my 24-month extension, and that my best bet was to go for a 12-month extension. Then, at the end of that time, we'll have a new commander, and I can apply for another extension. It's annoying, exhausting, and ridiculous; but at this point, I'll take what I can get.
After SMSgt Campbell left, I looked back outside to see the clouds gathering again, enveloping the mountains and blocking the sun. I hope it's not a sign.