Monday, September 22, 2014

10 Little Things I Like To Do On Base

Since we don't live on base or particularly close to a base, getting a chance to visit is like visiting a relative who you feel really comfortable with but don't see often. It feels safe, happy and comfortable.

I thought I'd share 10 little things I enjoy doing when I'm on base. I'd love to see you add some you enjoy in the comments section.

1. Drive along the docks at night enjoying the city skyline behind and all the shiny lights of the ships that never sleep. This is even better by bicycle. You can look around more and it's so unusually quite on base that it just feels a little extra magical. You own the roads and it feels like a great big world just for you.

2. Buy make-up. This sounds so ridiculously girly but I do love getting a good deal on a designer lip gloss. There a pretty, shiny satisfaction in that. The only bummer is how it always takes them 15 minutes to find my shade in all the drawers packed into the bases of the make-up display cases. Don't ever think you're going to just rush in and get out fast.

3. Watch planes land. There's something quite stunning about watching a gigantic cargo plane land. I am befuddled by the science behind keeping such a huge thing in the air.

4. See movies and bowl. A few weeks ago we hit the early Saturday night movie and then walked across the street for Disco Bowling. One of those events is free. The other is quite an "ouch" cost on a Saturday night. Cost for Saturday night is about three times what it is on a weekend afternoon. Zoinks.

5. Go to the driving range. Taking Clementine to the on base golf course is a crack up. Boy does a second grade girl get all the guys looking when she makes an appearance there with clubs on her back. It always cracks me up. She holds her own. I wish I could always say the same about my game. (Hit & miss...)

6. Shop designer purses. There is something extra powerful about the draw to high quality leather goods when you know the prices are incredible and tax-free. I restrain myself pretty well though. I don't remember the last time I indulged.

7. Enjoy a good car wash. Granted I'm going to get wet but for $2 for the basic time it's still pretty cheap to get the car looking good even if you add several minutes. There's a lot of satisfaction in being able to wash my own car. There are no "spray your own" car washes near our house. I have to drive to another city for that.

8. People watch. A base is a great place to people watch. It's fun to see all the different "sailor" types strut their stuff, young and old. Last time we ate on base I watched a great big sailor sit on his phone the entire time he was having dinner with his parents. His bad. I love checking out the retirees and wondering what crazy stories they have to tell. People talk a lot and they talk loudly. You can pick up some great stories.

9. Have doors held for you. No where do I see such great manners in strapping young men for holding doors open for women. And it's often accompanied by a drawled "Maaaa'am." I thank the South for this! Such a treat in a world where people seem too self-involved and lacking basic manners.

10. Feel safe. Granted there have been some violent crimes committed on military bases the past few years, but I doubt there is anywhere in the world where so many people would have the courage to jump up and get involved if the you know what ever hits the fan. And we're talking well-trained people too. What a gift to be surrounded by such can-do people.

I think soon I'll do 10 things I don't like about base. Maybe some one will listen and make some needed changes. (I can pretend my opinion matters that much, haha.)

What are your favorite things to do on base?

image via Wikipedia

Monday, September 15, 2014

Do All Military Spouses Love/Hate Storage Units?

I'm wondering if all military spouses have a love/hate relationship with packing and storage units. Remember the storage unit we had on base. I wrote about it here. Mr. Hart wanted to cut costs and I wanted to bring those things back to our home since we're looking at moving soon. So we spent part of the last two Saturdays cleaning them out and bringing most of the stuff back to our small apartment. Sigh.

It's of no concern to him where all that stuff is going while he's on active duty elsewhere. (LUCKY DOG!) But it's one to two days of work for me to reconfigure all out small storage spaces to figure out how to keep it bearable around here. Not to mention unloading the SUV monster alone.

Some of it went to hubs storage unit not far from base. We had to do a major re-org on his unit because it was a disaster. Sigh. Not to mention it just had to be the hottest day ever. Imagine him standing inside the storage unit where there is no air flow at all. We were both totally soaked to the skin with sweat. Even my hair was totally soaked through like I'd just washed it. It was awful.

I really want to burn the clothes I was wearing that day because I felt so disgusting and just never want to be reminded of that again. But I was really proud of us because we stayed calm and got it all done. Although I will admit that throughout the day there was a somewhat regular expletive tossed by Mr. Hart and by the end of the day I was about in tears from exhausting.

All I could do is stand in front of my husband, put my arms around him and just lay my sweaty, gross head on his shoulder so I would not sit down in the parking lot and cry. Exhausting work. I officially hate storage units. Haha. I was so tired today that after I got Clementine off to school I slept for almost five hours. Hello recovery! Mama's back needs some rest.

Do you have a love/hate with storage units too?

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Military Base Is Like The Bar/TV Show Cheers

I am glad to see Midlife Navy Wife is getting lots of visitors even though I have not been here enough the past few months. I hope the message of my blog continues to inspire and bless readers and visitors lives. We are definitely in this all together and the mutual support is a godsend.

I continue to be so thankful for military bloggers and writers who have saved me time and time again with their inspiring messages. Sharing their challenges has taught me how to manage my own. Sometimes I have learned that a problem we are facing isn't something that is just about us, but is a challenge many and even most military families face.

Other times I have learned a skill that was just what I needed in the moment to be the best I can be in the situation I found myself in. Other times I have felt loving comfort from the understanding of others in my own challenges. That sister and brotherhood between military spouses is such a blessing, isn't it!

This summer we had the chance to increase our circle of military friends and I cherish them. Just knowing they understand our challenges is such a gift. Plus it's so fantastic to see their family adventures online now that we are separated by many miles.

My husband is currently stationed 140 miles away for six months. It's interesting how much more intolerable this feels post-war-zone-deployment that it was before. Now I feel all our patience is a little thinner than it used to be. We used to just get through it, now we strongly dislike it and it feels like it creates discord much more quickly than it did Pre-WZD. I just made that up -- "War Zone Deployment" because what kind of good military spouse would I be if I didn't include one good acronym per post?

There definitely is something familiar about this all and being able to visit base on some weekends had been something you don't get on deployment. Base feels safe. It's like some strange retreat safety zone. Maybe it's a little like the bar Cheers, where "Everybody knows your name." On base people don't necessarily know our name but they know our life.

Since deployment ended I have spent very little time on base. Despite the annoyance of family separation again, it is comforting to be on base more often.