There's a lot to do to prepare for a long deployment.

Some of it is making sure to spend time with family and friends. Tonight we had Grim's Buffalo Chili, cooked on a fire over my own firepit.

The hard part will come soon enough. There's still a little time for the bittersweet part.

Notice the hook holding the Dutch oven over the firepit. That was forged from a piece of scavenged rebar by a former Navy SEAL turned blacksmith, "Tiny" Robinson of Moose Creek Forge. The last time I talked to "Tiny" (the nickname is precisely like "Little John" in its form and function) he told me he'd had to give up the hammer due to arthritis. That's a pity, because he was a real artist: one of the very best.

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