Summer is my favorite season. And during this season of my MilSpouse life summer is extra fantastic. Here's why:
Why I Love the MilSpouse Life in the Summer
1. Lazy summer afternoons that lead to impromptu BBQs. There is something to be said for summer schedules. The thing I’m happiest to get rid of is the alarm clock. No reason to get up early during the summer. So when the kids are out playing with friends and I don’t get dinner started until 6:30 p.m. it's OK. And when we’re at a friend’s house visiting and dinner time rolls around we can send the kids back outside and fire up the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers. I love the convenience of being a block away from friends and being able to hang out all afternoon while the kids play. I’m really not sure why summer makes it easier to do this, but I love it.
2. Ceremonies and the traditions they bring. I am sucker for military tradition. I love it all. The band, the formations, the speeches, the receiving line, everything. Summer usually brings Changes of Command and/or Responsibility to installations. I love them. Here at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, we have gorgeous (hot!) weather, clear blue skies, flags blowing in the wind, and horses. A ceremonial cavalry charge and a cannon usually accompany these ceremonies and I feel so proud to be an American when the National Anthem is played by service members in uniform while hundreds of Soldiers salute the flag. It is truly amazing.
3. Moving trucks that bring new neighbors (and sometimes old friends back). Summer on a military installation begins and ends with moving trucks. They are everywhere. And it really seems as if they start the day school gets out and end the day it starts. Packers, boxes, roads impeded by large trucks, it's a part of the life that we have mixed feelings about. I do not like that moving trucks take away my friends, but I do like that they bring new friends. A few years ago, we were able to move back to an installation where we’d already lived. So I was able to move back to friends. The military is small and chances are wherever you go, you’ll find a friend or a friend of a friend. Embrace it!
4. Independence Day is my favorite holiday. No really, it is. I’m a July baby, so anything in the summer is great. And Independence Day is such a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. I like to grill, swim, relax, and watch fireworks. No matter where we are, we make this day a big deal. Growing up it was a big deal in my small town and we’ve continued that tradition wherever we move. This year we are taking a vacation over the holiday weekend and I can’t wait to see how another small town celebrates. As long as there are fireworks, I’m a happy girl.
5. Starting over. While January is typically the day to press reset on life, I think summer is more realistic for this. Summertime brings change and change forces you to rethink your priorities and make adjustments. Even before I had school-aged kids summer seemed like a great time to make some changes. The evenings are great for walking after dinner. There is so much fresh produce that it's easier to eat healthy. I find making plans for the summer is fun. Without the pressure of “normal life” we can read more books, eat sandwiches for dinner poolside, and spend a rainy day being lazy on the couch. For some reason, reality seems to fade away during the summer.
What are your favorite things about a MilSpouse summer?
Rebecca Alwine has been a military spouse for over 8 years, traveling the world and learning about herself. She’s discovered she enjoys running, loves lifting weights, is a voracious reader, and actually enjoys most of the menial tasks of motherhood. She is an avid volunteer, most recently as President of the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club and works as a career counselor for transitioning service members. She has a Masters in Emergency Management from American Military University and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Mary Washington. Her writing has been published both in AUSA’s ARMY Magazine, Military Spouse Magazine, and multiple digital magazines and blogs. You can follow her on Twitter and at her personal blog.