When I went to my deployment in Afghanistan I lived in a building for a few months for training in Indiana. Then a tent for my 9-month deployment in Afghanistan. Somehow even when you don’t have a lot to personalize your small space you still can. The girls in my tent figured out how to do this, each section of the tent had its own personal feel. We would move various lockers and other things from home to make our space unique to us.
Living in a Tent
The tent we lived in had a concrete floor and was a standard Alaskan commonly referred to as a Triple S. It had an A/C unit that was always cranked to the max. I had my blankets to make my bed and my clothes in a locker. Not much else to signify my space. But it was my space and I was happy to have a place I didn’t have to share with anyone else. Even if right across the way I could see my tent-mate.
When you are in the military you always know the house you are in is not your forever home. You will be there a few years and then it is off to a new adventure. The military packs up all your stuff, but you have to figure out how to organize it into your new home. You also have to live with the same old couches, beds and other furniture because you know that soon you will move again and you might as well wait until you are not going to move again before you buy nice things.
Coming Home to a House of Stuff
When my husband moved my stuff from New Mexico to Ohio while I was still in Afghanistan, I came home to the same stuff in new places and it was very strange. I didn’t expect to not come home to the same house when I left for my deployment. And getting home with all my stuff in a new place felt a little weird. Eventually, all the stuff got put away and I felt at home in my new place. And then soon it was time to move again.
Moving with my stuff to California wasn’t quite so weird, but for the first year or so when I was looking for something that I didn’t look for often all I could remember was where I had stored it in Ohio. And I had no clue where it was located in my current house. Almost three years later, that doesn’t happen anymore. But it will probably happen again when we move or maybe I’m just weird. I wonder if anyone else can relate.
Each time we move there are good things and bad. I really liked our home in New Mexico. We would host movie nights and invite over the other Lieutenants. I have so many good memories and friends from our first assignment. Next, we moved to Ohio to the house Michael picked out by himself. I really enjoyed our home. We put a lot of time and effort into fixing the things we didn’t like. I think our favorite room was the basement, where we had a semi home theater. We used black curtains to hide the ugly walls and I sewed together blackout curtains.
Our Community is our Home
Now we live in LA and our house is where we live, but my favorite part of LA is the community that surrounds us. We have great neighbors who take care of us. I have friends who I can depend on when I need help, prayer, or just some girl time. I have the beach to run to and Disneyland a short drive away.
My friend told me about how you create a village when your kids are little and I didn’t really understand that until we moved here. I was only a mom for a year in Ohio and it wasn’t long enough to make those deep connections the way I did here.
House into a Home
So this is our home for the next year or so. Then it is off to the next adventure. And people often ask me where I want to go. I try to not get my hopes set on a destination because I don’t have control over where we will end up. One thing I have learned about moving across the country is that you never know what is to come. But with a positive attitude, anything is possible.