I am a little lost. No, not just with moving, but with being "out in the open." The past two moves we have called a base "home," and living off base and away from the military has me feeling a little exposed. Hope I have my good undies on....
Base is a safety net when you move; people around you have similar backgrounds and stories. There is also the fact a huge fence and a 24-hour guarded gate separates you from the big bad world. In a public neighborhood, it is a crap shoot. The nice man living next to us may/may not have a criminal record. What about security systems...do we get one or not? Where are the MPs? Whose kids are those? Where do their parents work? And how about names? Sure is nice to have last names listed on the outside of houses. Need to start working on my memory!
The first time we moved off base was into the Land of Closed Garage Doors. It would have been a ghost town if not for our immediate next door neighbors who happened to move in the same week as us and were, guess what, military. When my oldest son began kindergarten, he was the only military kid in a class of eighteen. When my husband deployed, he was the only one at the time and I had no one to (complain) commiserate with about everyday stuff. Was this how it would be again?
Luckily, it seems the odds are in our favor. We have received bread, lots of cookies, wine, a plant and peaches straight from South Carolina from welcoming neighbors... Don't know if they are truly friendly or just thankful we moved in and the previous owners moved out, but a wonderful display of hospitality has me warming to the idea of living off base once again. Also seems just about everyone has a tie to the military; either currently active duty, or are retired. Not feeling so exposed anymore. Everyone who has greeted me knows exactly what I am going through right now and has extended offers of help and information. Information which is much needed if I am to get my two boys into a sports program and out of the basement. The school reassured me there is normally about eight military kids per classroom. Things are looking better and better.
But I'm still missing the tight-knit, close relationships formed by living in our own private gated community. I know, I know... I need to give it time and all the benefits of living out in the world will expose themselves to me. Just feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Hope I turn into an amphibian soon.
How about you? How do you adjust?
photo credit: ghostboy