New Duty Stations Mean New Experiences. That, or They Just Reveal That I'm a Weirdo


I am not a military brat. I was born and raised in the same area. Until I met and married my husband, the only surroundings I was intimately familiar with were same the ones I had experienced, over and over again, for twenty years. It was all I knew. Aside from the annual vacations and occasional trips out of state, I didn't think that much about the differences in surroundings.

All of that changed when I married a soldier.

When we moved to Texas and I saw my first armadillo on the side of the road, it was as if I had seen a Great White Shark, or a cat with three heads or a dog with six legs.

What is that thing? I asked my husband.

An armadillo, he replied.

No, I firmly stated. It's a dead armadillo.

And it wasn't to be my last encounter with armadillos, not even close. I phoned my sister to tell her that I had arrived in Texas and the armadillo-greeting committee was out in full force.

Armadillos! Who would have thought?

When we moved to Washington, DC, one day I was out with a co-worker and a tiny, black ball of fur went scurrying across the sidewalk.

Oh my gosh, I screamed.

What? She asked, sounding alarmed.

Did you see that?


It was a black squirrel, I said (sure that I had just witnessed something that should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.)

She looked at me as if I had a fever.

Yeeaaahhh, she said cautiously.

I've never seen a black squirrel, I said.

I wasn't sure whether to be excited or freaked out.

Andi, we have tons of black squirrels around here.

Really? I've never seen anything other than gray or brown squirrels.


I know she was thinking, "what a weirdo," and making a mental note never to venture outside of the office with me again.

Last night my husband and I were having dinner on our patio. Just beyond our house is an empty field full of wild flowers. Hovering just above the flowers were hundreds of butterflies. Not just any kind of butterflies, but solid white ones. As far as the eye could see.

Yes, I've seen butterflies in my day. Loads of them, but they've usually been the multi-colored variety.

I started to say to my husband, "Do you see that?" But then I recalled that conversation with my co-worker back in Washington and I realized that my husband might think I'm a weirdo, just like my co-worker surely did. Then I thought about it some more and realized that he's known me for 15 years and I'm pretty sure he knows I'm a weirdo by now. If not, joke's on him. Bwahahahaha...

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