The Comfort Zone

(This piece was later published on Military Spouse’s web site.  Click here to read.)

When I hear the phrase “the comfort zone,” it’s followed by sinister music in my head.  Shouldn’t I hear something more like waves crashing on the shore?  Birds tweeting?  A breeze blowing through wind chimes?

Not so much.

Because The Comfort Zone is that sneaky little bugger that gets you all nice and cozy, all wrapped up in a warm blanket on that soft and worn couch that your parents have had for decades, which now lives in their partially finished basement because you wouldn’t let them throw it away. The Comfort Zone lets you kick your feet up, take a deep breath, relax, and watch reruns of Family Ties or The Cosby Show… only to reveal that there’s not much going for you.

So you gotta get up.  And you gotta step outside. Continue reading


Building Community

(This piece was later published on Military Spouse’s web site.  Click here to read.)

“My life is but a weaving…” – Corrie ten Boom

cheers to mike!

Ah, the end of PCS season, when the exhaustion and stress of packing and moving and unpacking snicker under their breath as we realize the real work is just about to begin. Military spouses definitely have a big challenge upon arrival at a new assignment: start over.  FROM SCRATCH.   Continue reading

Chick-Fil-A for the soul…

At what I hope is the tail end of adjustment to our new assignment, yesterday I jumped at the opportunity for a mini-reunion with my friend, Jess, who had a long layover at nearby BWI.  A multi-hour conversation tucked inside a Chick-Fil-A near the airport brought with it a healthy helping of chicken soup for my soul (hence the title).  We laughed, we updated, we vented, we commiserated, we confessed.  It was just what I needed, if only for a couple hours.  But it was during the hour drive back home, that I reflected on not just how much I treasure our friendship but WHY it is so important to me.

I first “met” Jess in 2007 via email through a mutual friend who knew we were both Hawaii-bound.  Jess emailed me by way of introduction, and when I sent back a lengthy, novel of an email Continue reading

The ear that listens

Years ago, I started a blog on a whim.  I made one post and never returned to it.  I just found it, and thought it made sense to include it here.  If the woman described in this story is still alive, she would be 91, and her husband 93.  I remember this conversation clearly, and I recall how impressed I was listening to her.  At the time, I was married with no children, working at a literacy organization and loving it.  My daily walks with my dog (who’s unfortunately no longer with us) were a treasure, and on this particular day, when I veered from our usual path, I came upon another treasure: someone with a story to tell.


August 17, 2009

On my evening stroll with the dog, I decided to turn down a road I’d never taken before.  Halfway down the block, an unfamiliar voice called out to me, Continue reading


How many of you know the feeling – your husband is deployed, s**t hits the fan at home, and you become utterly aware of how alone you are.  Maybe “alone” isn’t even the right word – maybe it’s more that you suddenly come face-to-face with the staggering reality that EVERYTHING. IS. UP. TO. YOU.  And you realize you can’t do it all yourself.

Know what I’m talking about?   Continue reading