It’s so strange. This idea of going home.

For years, home was the property in the middle of nowhere Texas. Close to thirty acres of wilderness. Almost half an hour to the nearest grocery store. A place to be a kid. Young, wild, free.

Even after moving to college, grad school, and beyond; home was still the center of my world. My point on the edge might change, but never my distance from home.

Later, home became him. Anywhere we could be together would be home. Yet, home was still home. As was his parent’s home. Home was where our families gathered.

Now home is my grandparent’s house. Changed with my parents belongings. Filled with the laughter of my nephew as he figures out that he can poke the puppies. Haunted with memories of days gone by. Rich with love.

Home is also his parents new place in a new state. Because home isn’t a location. Home is the people that fill the place. Home is the love and laughter shared. Home is made up of the memories being created as each second ticks by.

People keep asking where home is for us now that we’re out of the Air Force. I jest that we’re homeless.

We aren’t.

As long as we have each other, we’ll always have home.

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Accidental Realisation

Today started my road trip from ND to TX. It also marks the first time I’ve driven any distance by myself since I left TX to go to ND in 2010. I’ve always shared the car with B since then. Which means that I’ve always shared the radio. Mostly we listen to the iPod with B adding in some comedy sketches and audio books. I’m a music girl when I drive, but I always just stick to his playlist.

When I started the drive today, I decided to use the radio as much as possible to alleviate getting bored with my own music. Trust me, it happens all too often. Sometimes I loathe the way my music shuffles. Whilst scanning for clear stations I stumbled upon a classical station. By the time it faded on me I had listened to a piano concerto, a symphony, as well as some shorter works. I was hooked. I haven’t listened to classical musical much at all since leaving graduate school. A few random delvings into my favorite performances on YouTube is all. I haven’t truly listened well and with appreciation since early in my undergraduate career. Mandatory concert attendance wears one down.

But today, oh today, the music sparkled and it carried me on my journey. The only downside is that my drive cut through so many states, 5 today, that I missed out on finishing pieces and found that infuriating. When I lost the last station in the midst of Brahms’ 2nd Symphony, I furiously called B and promptly told him I wanted an iPod dedicated solely to classical music. Which is ridiculous because I currently have plenty of room on my phone.

In the safety of my hotel room, bolstered by free wifi, I downloaded some of my favorite works. Rachmaninoff’s 2nd and 3rd piano concertos, Hindemith’s 2nd Piano Sonata, Berlioz’ Sinfonie Fanfastique, and a collection of works by Gershwin. I am so excited for tomorrow’s drive and its accompanying soundtrack of fabulous music.

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See You Later

I hate goodbyes. Full stop. When B and I were dating, my only goal was for him to not see me cry when we said them. If I was doing the leaving, I tried to hold it together until I cleared security, but only because they side-eye you when you’re blubbering your way through the line. When I dropped him at the airport, I always had a good friend on their way over with a bottle of wine to sit on the couch and sing sad songs with me.

The military has a habit of saying see you later rather than goodbye. It is marginally better. You never know when you might see someone again, but it’s a crazy small armed forces world we live in. We’ve run into random people B knew at USAFA in Germany and Turkey. Friends from our first base ended up at our third base. So you don’t say goodbye, you just don’t.

But really, you’re saying goodbye. You’re saying farewell. You don’t know when you’ll see them again. You don’t know if you will. One friend we said see you later to died at his next location and we never did get to see him again. Still, it softens the blow. At least a little.

We (I) said see you later to our friend group here tonight. It’s funny, we’ve been here the shortest amount of time but we had the best developed group of friends here. The most people who would all go out of their way to set up events and do things together.

I say this every time we move, but I’m going to miss the people here. The location sucked. The weather blew. But the people made it all better. And that is hard to part from, whether you say goodbye or see you later.

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It’s so strange. The bathroom echoes like mad when it’s empty. I was cleaning it while talking to my Mom on the phone and had to stop cleaning because the echo was driving me insane. It’s not that big a room. It shouldn’t echo.

I made a joke to the dogs earlier today that they shouldn’t be upset by everything leaving because we would have so much more room for activities. I heard laughing behind me and one of the movers commented that I had just quoted his favorite movie. He and B traded quotes for a few minutes. The funniest part, to me, is that I’ve never seen that movie but B quotes it all the time, hence I used it when it seemed appropriate.

There is a strange sense of deja vu with these moves. We’ve done it so many times now. The worst part is probably that once everything is gone, it still isn’t over. The movers left today, the house was deliciously empty and horrifyingly messy at the same time. We went to lunch, then B when back to work. I wanted to just rest, but alas cleaning called my name for some 4-5 hours. I’m not really sure. Then he came home and we had to sort what was leaving with me on Friday and what he was keeping for the following week.

It’s all sorted now. My car is almost completely packed. Just needs my fiddle, “go” bag, laptop bag, make up basket, and me. We’ve got a pretty good routine down for packing. B collects things into sections and I actually pack them. Same goes with the car. Since I’m not supposed to be lifting more than 5-10 pounds right now, he hauled everything to the car and I told him precisely where I wanted it. And how. Logistically fitting things into tight spaces in the best configuration is something I’ve always been good at. Regardless, having that out of the way is the best.

And now, here we sit. On the floor of our apartment with a makeshift lounge couch of our pillows and sleeping bag bedding. We lived this way for almost two months when we first moved here. I’m so glad I only have 36 hours of it to do. I think a sign that I’m getting older is that my back doesn’t take well to being on the floor for extended periods anymore.

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Full Circle

As we balance on the precipice of yet another move, it astounds me how things have come full circle. July 2010 saw me driving alone from TX to ND. Then we moved together to Germany and Turkey before coming back to ND. Now, in just a few days, I will be driving alone back to TX. B will follow me a week later, but still, I’ll be making that long drive alone. In the same way, back in 2010, I was just joining the AD military family. Now, B and I are bidding farewell to AD life and moving on to what comes after.

It’s comforting really. To think of these steps as the tying up of loose ends. Resolving story lines. Closing chapters.

There’s so much uncertainty in front of us. Where we’re going to live. What we’ll both be doing for a living.

Yet, when we first began our journey, all of that uncertainty was there. I don’t need to know the answers. Because they will come. And when they do, they’ll probably make me smile at the familiar arc.

It seems that all things in life come full circle. We’re beginning the next adventure by closing out the last. Life has looped around and we will pass go and begin the next circuit.

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Packing Purgatory

I should probably start this off with a disclaimer that I know how lucky we are to have the military pay for this move. That we’re spoiled and lucky to have movers come in and pack everything into boxes, load it into crates, and ship it to our location and hold it for us until we’re ready for it. I do get that.


It can be such a pain. See, there are things we don’t want them to pack – the clothes we’re going to wear, toiletries that they can’t pack anyway, all the random things we need to keep with us for tiding us over until we get everything again. Since we don’t know where we’re going next and because the military will store everything for us for six months, we’re having to plan for six months without our belongings.

B needs all his military gear for doing his reserves commitment at the beginning of next year. I need all my work clothes for interviews and hopefully going to work. B needs interview clothes, suits, and other business casual clothes for the rest of his job hunt. We both need casual clothes, work out gear, and unmentionables. We have a rubbermaid tub full of kitchen stuff that we’re keeping so that we don’t have to eat out every meal between Tuesday and leaving ND. Plus we’re keeping sleeping bags, camping chairs, folding tables, electronics, towels, sheets, and the like so that we can continue to live here for the next week. Which means we need it all packed away and separated from what the movers will be taking.

See, it can be a pain. It’s one I’m grateful for, but man am I ready for it to be over. I’m ready to have everything else cleared out. I’m ready to be in Texas/Cali for the holidays. But really, I’m ready for B to have the job offer we’re holding out for and a place to live. Is that too much to ask?

Meanwhile, we’re in packing purgatory. 5 suitcases, 1 hanging bag, and 1 duffel bag have already been packed. One rubbermaid tub is half full, waiting to be filled with the other delights that we aren’t willing to part with. And our house looks a bit like a warzone with all the segregation we’ve got going on. In 48 hours, day one of packing will be done and hopefully things will be looking a bit better. In 72 hours, the house will be empty. Which will be such a relief.

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Once more unto the breach

They say that insanity is repeating the same actions hoping for a different outcome. Yet, isn’t that the sum of human existence? We follow the same routines, repeat the same actions, always hoping for the day that it all changes. The question is, if we keep repeating the same behaviors will it ever change? Will we ever change? And, even if we keep failing, keep needing to strive again, isn’t the best part of humanity that we always pick ourselves up and try once more?

I know we haven’t come far enough. But, consider that freedom for all people is a relatively new concept – that rights for all people is a relatively new concept and I think we’ve come further than we even realize in the last two hundred years or so. Obviously, we still have a long way to go – but don’t go giving up on humanity because we haven’t got it right yet. Just keep striving and we will make it there. We will.

I have to believe that no matter how many times we as people fail that we will keep picking each other up and holding each other and that we will never give in. I have to believe that even when it seems futile to keep trying, that we will make strides and breakthroughs. I believe we are better then where we are even with how far we’ve come from where we were.

Maybe it is insanity. To think that we can change things. To think that we can change at all. But my hope is that we are stronger than insanity. So once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

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