Looking Back

The rain was positively pelting the car’s windshield.  Wipers swished at full blast, but that didn’t make it any easier for the young mom at the driver’s seat to see the road in front of her. Driving across the South into Texas, on the way to their next assignment seemed interminable, especially with her hungry infant tucked in his carseat behind her. Shoulders rounded over the wheel, she leaned forward, tired, worn out, and slightly jealous of her husband, who was an hour behind her with their happy and willing dog.  She was thirty minutes from her destination, catching glimpses of the ranches she sped past, and begging her baby to hang on for just a bit longer.

And then finally, finally, she entered Killeen, home of Fort Hood, and saw the sign for her hotel standing over the buildings ahead.  Taking a deep breath, she slowed the Corolla and stopped at a light, at last able to take in the surroundings.  But her eyebrows furrowed and her stomach dropped when she saw the town that was supposed to be her new home.  Old buildings were crammed along the road, with fast food joints and discount car dealerships standing just about anywhere there was a corner of space.  The street was cracked and potholed.  A few men in ragged clothing huddled under a bus stop.  “What… is… this?” she wondered out loud.

The light changed, and she turned into the hotel parking lot.  People loitered under overhangs, smoking cigarettes and looking around at seemingly nothing.  The pavement was crumbling, and as she drove the car around the back of the hotel, she winced at the peeling paint, dingy railings, and outside-facing room doors. She pulled the car to a stop and thought with a feeling of dread, What have we gotten ourselves into? Continue reading


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


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