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Monday, January 11, 2010

A Military Wife


Things that made me happy today....
- candles
- my norwegian wool sweater (weighs 5lbs.)
- a reserve of batteries
- leaving my car parked outside of the garage
- daycare
- email
- Picture theme of the week: Relationships

I had a pretty bad day yesterday.  No I had a pretty bad weekend.  Honestly, I had a pretty bad week, but I did my best to mask it.  I tried to lift my spirits with my blog, concentrating on the good instead of the bad, and sewing.   I hope I did a good job.

The life of a military wife is full of ups and downs, and I have gotten pretty much used to them after 18 years.  I know that we move every 2-4 years.  I know I have to make new friends.  I know we have to pack up our things and go, and unpack again in a new location.  I know that a Christmas with family is out of the question, and friends are hard to find.  Employment is questionable, and financial burdens are a given.  As a young lady, I found the moving part to be rather exciting, and usually could not wait to hear about our new location.  Traveling throughout Europe was so thrilling, and I would not have traded those memories for the world.

However, as I grow older, and since we have moved to the US, life has become much more difficult for us.   Financially, we are always struggling.  Every move has cost us alot of money.   We end up paying for hotel rooms, meals, new costs associated with the new house, and I could go on and on.   The towns we move to are military towns.  In other words, without the military there, these towns probably would not exist in the magnitude they do.   Jobs hard to find, and the the US Government is most likely to be the number one employer.  The one good thing is that you are surrounded by others who can relate to your sacrifices, your loniliness, and your lifestyle.   I must say that until we moved to this country we had never bought a house.  Why?  Renting from someone else made so much more sense.  Why invest in a house that you would not keep?  Why fix a water heater, an air conditioning unit, for someone else?  It was just so much easier to rent.   These are things that military families should not have to worry about.   Buying a house, means selling a house, which means playing roulette.  Although the US had quite a little housing boom, not everyone experienced the same satisfaction.  Many areas had a minimal increase in pricing, unlike Florida and California.  

So, of course we end up going to Florida.

It does not make much difference.  I have found that whereever the military bases reside, the local companies and residents take full of advantage of our need to live somewhere.  Whether we were in Shreveport or now in the panhandle of Florida.  The towns are  lifeless.  A Walmart, and a few other stores.  No malls.  At least none that I would visit willingly.  What are you paying for?  In any other town in the US this would never happen.  You are willing to pay the higher prices, when you get something for your money.  Since when do you pay 3-400K for a small house, and a small town life?  No infrastructure whatsoever.  Can you tell I am angry?   Sorry for rambling.  I must say that profiting off of other people's misfortunes has never sat well with me, and I am happy to say I am not responsible for anyone's bankruptcy.  Unlike the guy who robbed us here, making $110k.

So last week, I spent most my time arguing with my hubby about what we could do.  The only reason he volunteered to go overseas was because we were promised a choice assignment.  We wanted to get back to Europe.  We lived a good life there.  We deserved a break.  We would not have to pay for housing and we could paddle above water if our house sat empty.  Instead they give him Dallas, Texas.  Once again, we would have to split up.  He would have to go alone if the house did not sell.  We never fight.  It broke my heart that he was so angry and felt so helpless.

Then the email hit......My husband extended for another year. He did this without discussing it with me.  It got me angry and broke my heart.  Yet, I knew he had no choice.  We were up against a very ugly wall, and there was no way out.  Having talked about him remaining in Kuwait as head honcho, I thought for sure that was the plan until he told me that on February 16th, he had to report to Afghanistan.   I was sick to my stomach all day Saturday, and just sat numb at my desk most of the day.

Although I feel saddened and angry, I know we are also very fortunate to have a way out of this mess.  My husband has worked for this company for 23 years, and we will never have to worry about them letting him go.  We may have lost a ton of money, but we make some of it up, which so many others cannot.   Although the kids and I need him more then ever -  especially Nicolas -  we will be safe and warm, loved, and free.  Maybe two years of hardship, will mean ten years without any financial worries.  Maybe.......

On another note, I woke up this morning without any electricity.  The house was freezing.  22 degrees outside.  Nicolas was getting ready for school, when he got sick and threw up.  Obviously, I was in for another great day.  :-)  At least this morning I heard from my hubbie, which put a huge smile on my face.  I thanked God that I had a cell phone which had email access.  I managed to keep a smile on my face, while carrying my son to the car (he was so weak, but I needed to get some supplies for him).  I even managed to keep it on as the smoke alarms went off - all 12 of them.  It was horrible.  I guess I lit too many candles.  LOL.

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