As most of my readers know, we are a military family. I am a disabled veteran and my husband is active duty Air Force. As such, we usually go where the Air Force sends us. For the last six or so years, the Air Force deemed it necessary that we live in Las Vegas. It was a dream assignment when we were first notified. Dream assignment, that is, until we actually got there. It was hot, dirty, and the crime rate was insane. For a family of 4 and then 5, we learned very quickly that it was not the assignment for us. We made the best of our time there but I can say with some certainty that I do not want to go back anytime soon, or, like, EVER. P.S. I’m actually from Vegas so saying that now, after wanting nothing more than to go back for so many years really says a lot.
Sometimes though, we are granted the privilege of choosing our next destination. Special duty assignments are few and far between. Some of them, like Korea, are thrust on those qualified whether they want it or not unless some brave, and equally qualified, person volunteers instead. Some of them, however, are special enough that the process of “volunteering” is more like a job application. You have to apply, wait weeks, sometimes months, for your application to be vetted, and when possible, or by some magic military juju, one day you go to work and are notified that it was approved. My husband recently applied for such a position and over the past six months(ish) we had the awesome /sarcastic.voice/ task of packing up our entire house, three children, and the ankle biter in preparation for a cross-country move.
With much excitement and a smidgen of apprehension, we trekked over 3,000 miles and across 9 states, finally arriving in Ohio. I have often referred to it in the past as /airquotes/OHIO/airquotes/, seeing as how up until a few years ago I had never actually met anyone from Ohio. I was certain is was fictitious until one day a small group of friends joined our guild and all of them were from this mythical /airquotes/OHIO/airquotes/.
When we talked about what we wanted in a new assignment, my main concerns included low crime, lots of activities for the kids, smaller town, lots of green things, and four seasons that did not include Summer, Winter, Summer, and Summer. So far, I think I have gotten all that I asked for and more. Another thing most of my readers know is that while in Vegas, I struggled with chronic depression. The past year and a half or so has been really good for me but I still deal with it on a day-to-day basis. I was telling a friend the other day that I was sitting out on the porch and was completely bewildered about my feelings. It took me a very long time to realize the emotions I was feeling were “happy” and “content”. That’s a big deal for me.
We have been in our new home just under two weeks and are definitely still in a transition period. As first-time home-buyers we are nervous about being in over our heads a bit but the house is still fairly new and the previous owners took great care of it. Also, my husband happens to be crafty, smart, and buff enough that so far we have been able to handle anything that has come up. The kids started school shortly after arriving and are really enjoying themselves. They’re even riding the bus which is HUGE for them after some really horrible experiences that I have blogged about in the past.
I am working from the laptop in the dining room because we are waiting to unpack the office until we redo the floors. Just throwing that out there. I probably won’t be gaming for a while still but here’s hoping it does wonders for my writing. Our neighbors are friendly and generous and one of them even brought me home-made cookies! Did I also mention that they have the Lottery here? I know, SO not on the list of things to be super excited about, but one of my fondest weaknesses was driving to Arizona once in awhile to pick up lottery tickets and daydreaming about what I would do with all that money. But I seriously hated the drive and would have to save up for enough numbers to make the drive worth it. Now, I can just walk on over to the carry-out and pick up a few numbers. Yay! Now if only I would actually win one of them, amirite?
I have a lot of fun, silly, little stories about the trek to Ohio, people we met along the way, and things we got to do. I just thought it would be nice to get back into blogging and do a longish status update since it had been a while. Things are good so far and I’m keeping positive. The difference between Nevada and Ohio could not be more night and day and while it will take us all some time to properly adjust, I think we’re in a really good place right now. The biggest adjustment, which I have not yet mentioned, is that we are neither on nor near an Air Force base. No commissary No BX. No jets flying over at 5am. It has it’s good and bads but definitely a big transition for us.
Have any of you moved from one place to a radically different place? I’d love to hear your stories and any advice on dealing with the adjustment. Also, if you’re from /airquotes/OHIO/airquotes/ (last time I promise, well, I promise to TRY to stop) I’d like to hear your suggestions for kid-friendly (ages 10,7,5) activities in the area that we can do on the weekends but that also don’t require I sell a kidney to pay for them.