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The New Kids on the Block

There are so many good-byes associated with military life. Seems like we're always saying good-bye to someone, doesn't it? Training, Deployment, TDY and PCS moves. Good-bye, Good-bye, Good-bye and Good-bye.

None of the good-byes are easy, but one of the hardest is when it's time for your friends to PCS because you know you may never see them again. It's even harder if they happen to live in your neighborhood and you have to watch the moving truck pack them up and move them out.

What happens when someone new moves in the house where you made so many memories with people you grew to love?

We've been at our new duty station for roughly eight months now. Last weekend, my husband and I were invited to a party in the neighborhood. I have met, and often chatted with, the wonderful lady who was hosting the party, but there were several people there I had never met. My hostess introduced me to one such guest who, as she told me, was very close with the lady who lived in the house before us. Perhaps I was over-thinking the situation a bit, but I couldn't help wondering what was going through her mind as we chatted. I am the new kid on the block. The one who moved into the house her good friend recently vacated. Although she was as nice as could be, everyone was, I thought it must be a little strange to be in her shoes.

We don't live on or near a traditional military installation, and we live in a civilian neighborhood.As far as I can tell, we're the only military family here. We're very lucky that we have incredible neighbors who gave us a warmwelcome when we arrived, and after only eight months we feel like old friends with many of them. However,I wonder what it's like from their perspective. Military families are used to a transient lifestyle. We're used to saying good-bye. As much as we hate it, and as hard as it is at times,we accept that it's part of military life. But what about civilians who don't experience this every two or three years? The familythat used to live here was military. The civilian neighbors becamevery close with them and had to say good-bye. Now, another militaryfamily has moved in. They'll say good-bye to us in a couple of years,too.

I guess they're getting a little window into our world, and I'm getting a peak into theirs. They heard about the various places I've lived and yes, one of them asked a question we get so often - how many times have you moved? Meanwhile, I listened to great stories of neighbors who have been together for years and years and who have made wonderful memories together. We build temporary communities, they build more permanent ones. After so many years of being a milspouse, their world has become foreign to me, and I'm sure my world is foreign to them. But both, it seems to me, are great places to be. Sometimes I long to live in a more military-saturated community, but other times, like now, I'm perfectly content to see how the other half, or, I should say, the other 99%, live. So GBear, don't fret, it ain't all bad....

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