By Merete Aanes (Whetstone Staff Writer)

Whetstone / Cochise Lucas

Whetstone / Cochise Lucas

For the first time, I’m living completely on my own – since my husband, who is in the Air Force, recently left for a six-month deployment.

There are things I like and things I don’t like about living on my own.

I can eat what I want for dinner every day. I can watch the TV shows I like. And who cares if my clothes are on the floor.

It can, however, get lonely, which is why I’m extremely happy that I have a dog.

My basset hound, Marshall, sleeps with me every night and prefers to lie on my lap whenever I sit on the couch, even though he is nearly 40 pounds.

Sadly, I have to leave Marshall at home by himself every day when I go to school. To make up for the time he has to spend alone, I usually take him for at least two long walks every day, in addition to spending nearly an hour at the dog park most days.

I’m really glad that my husband will be coming back right after the fall semester starts, instead of leaving in May and not coming back until November, like some of his colleagues will.

Air Force deployments used to be four months. Last year, however, President Obama decided to increase the deployment time by fifty percent to save the government money. While I agree with most of Obama’s decisions, I realize a Republican president would be much more military-friendly.

While I wish my husband could be here this summer so that we could go mountain biking and to the beach, I’d much rather be alone while there is no school so that I can go back to Norway for the majority of the break.

Thank God for technology. I would absolutely hate my husband being gone if the only way we could communicate was through letters. Today, we talk every day on Skype, in addition to being able to send emails, call, and text each other 24/7.

I enjoy hearing about the experiences my husband has on his deployment. He is deployed to Bahrain, which is both a modern and traditional Muslim country off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

The American Air Force sometimes works together with the Bahrainian military.

My husband told me about one Bahrainian guy who has one wife but three girlfriends. He wears Ray-Ban sunglasses and has two cell phones – one for his wife, the other for his girlfriends.

I find it interesting and entertaining to hear about how traditional and modern a society can be at the same time.

While living alone is a new experience, I much prefer living with someone else – other than my dog that is.