When I landed at Ft. Hood, I was a brand new milspouse, and I had moved three times in less than a year. I have to admit, military life wasn't looking too appealing. I missed my family, I missed my friends, I was already tired of moving and I was plopped in the middle of Texas where I didn't know a soul. Thankfully, I plopped for over three years, because the thought of another move, even to a fabulous destination (which has yet to occur), was enough to make me reach for the pepto-bismol. But, as is usually the case, as time went on, I made friends, I began to embrace military life and I came to love Texas.
I met one of my dearest friends while at Ft. Hood. She and her husband received orders before we did. On the day she left, she gave me a little framed picture that reads, "Side by Side or Miles Apart, Dear Friends Are Forever Close to the Heart."
I've glued it several times, but as you can see, the frequent moves have not been kind.
When we move, we walk into a box - a plain canvas. In this box, for the next few years -- or months -- we will make memories in this box, we will laugh in this box and we will cry in this box. So, we set about making this box our box, in our own unique way.
I'm a madwoman on the day my goods are delivered. I want boxes unpacked and put away quickly. I don't spend much time thinking about my new town, finding a new job or the fact that I don't know my way around. I'm focused on the task of making my house a home. Once the boxes are unpacked and things are in order, I take that picture that Marie gave me, I pause for a moment to remember the fun we shared and then I go about deciding where I'm going to put it. This picture reminds me of so much more than just my friendship with Marie, it reminds me that no matter how I feel about where I'm currently planted, I will make friends, I will come to embrace my surroundings and my husband and I will make this strange new house a home.
This brings us to the topic for April's What's Your Story Contest, which is, "How I Make a House a Home." Tell us your story. What things are important to you when you move into a new space? Do you have rituals that you go through when you move? Do you have "special somethings" that you put in your space that make you feel at home right away? Whatever your story, write an essay and send it to us.
Rules are that the essay must be 900 words or less, and received by April 20.
Previous winners have taken a blood oath not to reveal the fabulous prize package that awaits you, but thanks to our What's Your Story sponsors, Military.com and USAA, the winner will receive a very nice prize package.