So, we are officially one week away from this officially starting. I am Trish, this is my blog for my sanity while I transition from on the job mom to homemaking housing and living facilitator for for my son, DJ, and second son on the way! A little history for the estimated 4 readers I will have outside of my close family and friends; I was raised in what was once a small town on the Arizona, California, Mexico border. I have a hard time recognizing quite a bit of it now, but we’ll visit more about that later. At the ripe old age of 18, I joined the Army to get out, as it was customary to either marry a Marine or join some branch of service to effectively escape Yuma, Arizona. Prior to joining, I had had at least one sometimes 2 or 3 jobs since my starter job of shoveling horse stalls to pay for riding lessons at the age of 13. And growing up, we were the epitome of that super busy family with two full time working parents, kids active in everything from 4H, FFA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, drama clubs, Jaycees, band/ choir for my siblings, and horses. My mom had a rotation of fast foods lined up week to week because it was what we could grab on the way from one activity to another. Don’t judge us, none of us were fat kids persay, as we were always busy to work off that sort of diet plan. Regardless, the point to take away was I never had that role model for mom at home all the time. When I joined the Army, my dad and I made several bad jokes of the worst place they could stick me a desert brat. For those who don’t understand how the army works, they tell you where you will live, work, etc while your in. And Uncle Sam has a twisted sense of humor. My father and I joked that I would get stationed back in Arizona, likely at either the Proving grounds army base about 1/2 hour outside of my home town, or the hills of Sierra Vista at Ft. Huachuca (pronounced up-chuck, by most locals or personnel stationed there). My first duty station after basic and AIT? Definitely not back in my desert landscaped home state. Ft. Polk, Louisiana, moving there a grand total of 3 lousy days prior to Hurricane Katrina hit the coast. Did you know that Yuma, Arizona on average recieves a tenth of an inch annual rainfall that all falls within 10 minutes once a year?! And here I was with essentially bare minimal rain driving experience driving across Texas as the Hurricane was coming? Like I said, Uncle Sam’s sense of humor was not lost on me about the time I had to endure that craziness!
The best thing about these places like Ft. Polk being in the midst of nowhere, was a lot of times you were not the only one way out of your usual pond, and tended to bond with the other stuck fish, so to speak. I met and have kept a lot of good friends there, and have many stories of such top notch bonding that most summer camps are put to shame over the bonds you get with your fellow soldiers living in misery somewhere. One such friendship/ now long term relationship I got there is my best friend and husband, Aaron. Aaron’s home township is a strolling metropolis of farmland, farmland, and oh and, more farmland. Technically, his home town has a whopping populous of maybe 300 or so residents, and is also 7ish miles away from his parents house. The nearest neighbor is about a mile and a half south. Guess who that might be? His paternal grandparents. 2 weeks into or courtship, Aaron PCS’d (or moved according to where the govt sent him) to the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg NC, spending time at his parents’ while between these two places. I had a 4 day weekend for Memorial Day, at which he decided it was he best time ever to introduce me to the farm he was raised on.
Needless to say I was hooked big time, because the scarcity of people back home for him did not deter me in the least. Aaron deployed at the beginning of the next year, while we were dating. Upon much insistence from him, I found my way to Ft. Bragg and moved into his house while he was still deployed. I was still active duty at the time, but had taken to being domesticated pretty well, despite my significant other still being on patrol in downtown Baghdad. Upon Aaron’s return, almost 16 months after his initial departure, we had settled into a life of our own, together. 8 weeks later, we were pregnant with DJ.
Shortly after DJ was born, Aaron got out and started his own high perfomance auto shop. And we were happy and planning to live out the rest of my short military career of 3 years left in the Ft. Bragg area. That lasted about 2 months before I was put on orders to a Marine base on the NC coast, and 2 and a half hours away from husbands blossoming new business. Aaron stayed behind in Fayetteville, raising our son for all purposes as a single parent Monday through Friday, with me there solely on the weekends. I call this our own personal family hell period. Believe me when I say it gave me two things, an appreciation for my husband nobody could have predicted, and the inclination that if DJ had moved with me instead I would not have been nearly as successful as a single parent during the week as he did.
As my time got short left in the Army, we started planning about where we would live. Rememer the Mayberry town I had described that my husband’s originally from? We picked another small town equal distance away from his family farm to start looking into.My husband wanted to get into town, even though he will be renting land and farming along his dads side. Most houses in town are fairly small over 100 years old houses described as four square houses. These houses are comprised typically of a basement, ground floor and second story that are all square shaped, so the overall footprint of the houses’ structures are pretty minimal. Thanks to the internet, it felt almost surreal knowing that we would be moving to a population of 355, after we had moved in. The house we decided on was an old farm ranch style house, nestled on just over 3 acres on the Southwest edge of town. Town consists of, one gas station on the main road, a very quaint 1950’s main street, a park, a bar and grill, a small minimalist groccery, a bank, two lots for the local farmers cooperative, a school, a livestock sale barn, and one post office. Remember the B movie Peacock, with Julia Roberts? Filmed on location in the next town over, hubby’s original hometown, to recreate the main street small town USA feeling, the town removed some but not all cars and the coke machine from Main street. Everybody knows everybody, the gas station/tire/oil shop is not self help, you walk into the bank because there is not an atm, just as there is always good food to be had at the sale barn on special sale days.
When I first landed here after my final outprocessing from the Army, my husband made fun of me for locking my car door at the bar. Having lived here for almost a year know I can see the appeal of a small town. Don’t think I’ve forgotten the niceties of having a walmart within walking distance of our old hous in Fayette-nam, or the fact that I could go to any major brand store in 10 minutes or less. But there is something, even with the closest Walmart being a half hour away, and the next closest big cities being an hour plus away, that really makes our new home feel like so much more. Maybe its the fact I can walk my toddler and my dog to the park without any hesitation that we may be robbed or maimed on the way there. Or the fact that I can give you the first and last names and their dogs names of all of my neighbors! Or that as creepy as the air-raid siren the firehouse uses was when I first got here, its now oddly comforting knowing that from my house I can hear if the fire department is on the way to help. I can tell you when theres a big sale going on at the barn, based on hearing the cows a day or 2 prior to sale. One of our neighbors has a snow plow on a four wheeler and comes over and helps dig out our drive way when we get a lot of snow. Now think to the last time you even exchanged a friendly hello with any of your neighbors?? Wouldn’t you rather know each other?
So now, we’re caught up to present day, wth the exception, that I have been fully employed since 15 days after we moved here. I am ready to be a stay at home mom, but I do sort of envision it as being similar to a POW status, with my captors being less then 4 feet tall. Having already had an incident with my 100 year farm house and some of its century old hardware defaulting and leaving me to McIver my way out of the bathroom that doesn’t actually have a locking handle after being stuck in the bathroom with my 4 year old asleep upstairs, I’m certain the house itself will play a part in my soon to be enjoyed captivity. So if I haven’t bored you away with the how we got here, stick around, o have been told I’m pretty comical. They never specified if that was comical looking, comical living, or just comical like funny haha. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.