No family or friends, just us! In the past, my family and I would do what typical families do during the Thanksgiving holiday, visit family and friends, eat a massive amount of food, Black Friday shop, etc. My husband is from Kentucky and I am from Florida. We would typically alternate between the two for different holidays/occasions, as typical military families do. As time progressed, Chief and I decided to create our very own nouveau Thanksgiving tradition. No family or friends, just us! For the past few years, we planned and saved to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few pictures from the past two years. We visited Gatlinburg, TN. and Keystone, CO. Continue reading “No Family or Friends, Just Us!”
I don’t believe in today’s time and age it would be a difficult task explaining to someone that military service and the necessity of resiliency go hand and hand. However, I would venture to say perhaps a forsaken aspect of military service is the spouse and family left behind during military deployments. Yes, I absolutely appreciate what every active duty and reserve servicemember, veterans and retirees endure while deployed defending our countries rights and liberties. I’m speaking towards the evolution of our society through the course of time and the notion that a military family’s schematics have changed in makeup over the last few years. With that change, the necessity for spouses and family members to evolve as well have been streamlined and somewhat overshadowed. With that said, I’ll disclose where my viewpoint on this subject lies. I’m the spouse of an active duty Navy Chief. We have five beautiful daughters together (2 (twins) still in the house), and even in our current situation, he is stationed 2 thousand miles away from me, while I’m essentially performing his duties here as head of the household. This isn’t our first rodeo regarding separation, planning and dealing with separation and trials and tribulations associated with said separations. After 19 years of separation (16 for me), you build a rhythm and with enough pre-empted planning the difficulties tied to military deployments for families and spouses left behind seem manageable. I question rather they are manageable due to the tenure of service, the number of deployments endured, or the tenacious resiliency that is naturally built through years of service.
The makeup of typical military families years passed was a husband/father who served, a mother/wife who remained in place at home and mounds of warm and fuzzy feelings. The mother didn’t work, the kids cried themselves to sleep at night missing Dad, the families never seemed to have money issues, the family dog was tremendously well behaved, the toilet worked just fine, there were no snakes in the front yard while the mother took out the trash, tire pressures on the family vehicle remained a constant 35 PSI etc… The reality of today: I’m a fulltime school board employee, I’m in the middle of my dissertation for my doctorate, my dog is hell on earth, I’ve seen two snakes in my front yard, my kids participate in cross country, two different dance teams, soccer, track, piano, and band, I’m the chaperone and again, my husband is 2,000 miles away. One of the major differences I notice between the two scenarios, is the kids crying at night. If my children cry at night because they miss their Dad (I’m sure they do), I don’t see or hear anything about it, this is resiliency. I do not cower behind my what some could consider a tumultuous situation and use as an excuse to quit working and focus on my studies (or vice versa) as my husband has constantly urged. Stay tuned for Part 2…
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