Autumn Sunday


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Small is Sometimes BIG FUN

So, I feel like my new living environment has taken a different spin than I had imagined… yes, in my dreams I had imagined a beautiful base, complete with palm trees, small ponds, and nicely maintained walking trails! However, I didn’t expect to find the “hidden treasure” of community to be so readily available to me in this shabby little TLF. Our temporary living facility is full of children. There are 2 boys and a stay at home mother upstairs who have been here for months longer than us. And next door to her is another mother who has three kids under five. On the weekends, another mother comes and brings her sons as well. And since there is not much to see around here, we are all quickly becoming friends. Our doors are not shut very often, and we spend most of our time taking the kids to the park or walking to the duck pond and feeding giant sized turtles and some really pretty, but rather competitive ducks remnants of stale Wonderbread. The children get so very excited by these little things just as much as they do big trips and fancy things. And since we brought so few toys with us, Teddy has managed to make a few of his own. The pots and pans in the kitchen function as both a drum by day and a pot by night.

I guess that living here for the last few weeks has taught me a few things about myself. I really don’t need a fancy home or even that pretty of things (I mean, I still want those things… I am human). But I like this too! I really, really enjoy the community, friendships, and mothers banding together during the long hours that husbands are working and mothers are at home! We have had great fun walking to the lounge, getting ice-cream from the front desk, and letting the kids eat it while looking for baby frogs underneath the rocks in front of the TLF.

Fun comes in all forms. And this is small fun. But for me, right now, it is perfect.

Blessings Come in All Forms

Well, I must say that blessings come in all forms (said with laughter) after arriving at Brooks AFB in San Antonio and realizing that the base is basically a Ghost Town. The first glimpse at security should have alerted me that Brooks was not exactly typical for the military. When we pulled up at the 100% ID check point, the overweight security guard quickly laid down whatever he was chewing on, and ambled up to our car, barely checking only my husband’s ID , before giving us the nod to move forward. What was rather laughable became less than amusing when we realized that the base was not maintained at all. The golf course we passed on our way in was being choked out by weeds, and the bowling center and child development center were completely shut down. When we arrived at our TLF, we found the facility open, the card reader in disrepair, and the apartment, well, a unique design to say the least.
Tommy tried to break the news of our new dwelling to me lightly by saying “well, it’s not as nice as the last TLF, but I think it might be bigger.”
Hmm, sweet husband, but I knew that was a bad sign. When I opened the door, I was surprised by how the space was not very functional. The kitchen was basically in an ill lit hallway, and what was maybe once an oven had been converted into open shelving. The small counter space that was available was cluttered with a small coffee pot, a microwave, and a few other gadgets. The place was devoid of a dishwasher, the bathroom lacked a tub, and the laundry room was not only non-existent, the closest one was in another building. But for a personal touch, (spoken with sarcasm) the decorators really went all out on things like mints on all of our pillows, and a metal silhouette of 3 cowboys and some horses above the living room table.
Although I may sound dramatic, I was actually not too upset by the “necessities” that I found lacking in the building. During my time in YouthWorks, I had lived in much uglier places and lived in much worse conditions. But I didn’t have children then. With apprehension in my eyes, I looked at Tommy and bravely muttered, “the important thing is that we are all together.”

San Antonio Blessing

A week ago, Tommy and I prepared to embark on a 6 week journey to San Antonio because he has a course he must complete called Aerospace Medicine Primary. Initially, I was very concerned about all of us joining him for the course because housing typically does not allow for families to come along—at least they won’t pay for families to come along. When I found out that the Air Force was putting Tommy in a La Quinta Inn, complete with two beds, a mini fridge, and a microwave, I realized that we absolutely could not come unless I found an alternative arrangement for all of us. After trying to locate off base housing and realizing there is next to nothing on the south side of San Antonio, I prayed for God to be merciful to us. But not one ever said it was a crime to beg, and so I mustered up the guts to beg Michelle in billeting for temporary lodging for our family.
My prayer worked, and God was so faithful. The lady who arranges billeting must have felt sorry for me, because as soon as she heard my two year old crying in the background, she arranged for us to move into a temporary living facility. I was so incredibly grateful and began gushing “thank-you, thank-you” enough times to stifle an embarrassed laugh out of her. If I had been closer, I would have hugged her. Not only did we get lodging, we managed to get a TLF, which has two bedrooms, a semi-functional kitchen, and a living room. I feel so blessed to be able to travel with him, and I hope he has enough time to make this 6 week trip to South Texas FUN!