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GETTING WHAT I'M SETTLING FOR
Being born a military brat can be both blessing and curse, but for me it was largely a blessing. Moving around so much simply opened my mind and made me aware of the fact that there were other possibilities out there than the one proscribed by my own family and upbringing. For some people, I know, moving so much is simply hard work: always being the new kid in school can especially filter a child's experiences of an already potentially fraught time period with much more anxiety and stress. For me, it was liberating, though leaving friends and a place I'd grown to know and love was never exactly easy...it was made much more palatable by my parent's encouragement to view each move as an adventure, and a challenge.

In addition to moving a lot, my family took road trips for vacations, traveling miles in our first huge purple station wagon and later in the wood-paneled replacement that we bought sometime before 1976, promptly decorating the dashboard with red, white & blue bicentennial celebration stickers. We drove to Michigan to visit my mom's parents, Chicago to visit my dad's mom, and sometimes down to Arkansas where she had a vacation home. We drove to California. We drove to Florida. We drove to Kentucky.

And everywhere we moved, my mom found places to visit and see. There are photos of me as a young child feeding squirrels at Mt. Rushmore. My sister and I bought cheap turn-your-finger-green silver rings with out-sized tumbled chunks of turquoise held on with a giant dollop of glue that eventually turned brown and cracked while driving through the Painted Desert (I still have a piece of petrified tree trunk on one of my shadowboxes). We went to the Grand Canyon and Mammoth Caves and Weeki Wachee to see the mermaid show.

In my lifetime I have moved 29 times (including all the various accommodations during my college years). I have visited 32 states and lived in 9. I have visited 25 countries and lived in 5 (United States, Belgium, Netherlands (school dormitory!), Germany and Sweden). There are so many places I have been, so many places I want to go, and so many I want to visit again. Strangely, we don't have any plans for travel at the moment, though my friend Becky and I are discussing France or Italy as a possibility for next fall and I want to go home to the US for Christmas next year.

We typically spent 3 years stationed in one place, with a couple of longer or shorter stints here and there, depending on my dad's posting. I say now that I spent the first year somewhere longing to be back where we'd been, the second year completely content with where we were and the third year longing to move on to the next place. This is, of course, a rosy exaggeration, but it still rings largely true for me. I find it both bizarre and a little unsettling that after nearly 15 years in Sweden and 9 in this house, that I have not felt that urge to move on in a very long time. Could it be that I am finally settling down?

Happy Homey Belated Birthday Wishes to davesanngel
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: The Cat Empire—Down at the 303


Comments

I can't match your number of moves but I used to get itchy to move after three years too. It's more complicated now than it used to be though and I'm sure that's put a damper on my desire to start over. It's not just me anymore, it's the kids too. I'm currently trying to find them a new doctor even though we haven't moved anywhere and it's just a hassle. That would be only one of dozens of things we'd have to undertake if we moved now and it makes me tired to just think about it. I'd do it if the opportunity were right but I don't go out looking for it the way I once did.

We moved in the middle of my high school career to a town with a large Navy population. I found the other non-Navy kids to be much more welcoming of new kids than people had been at our former home where hardly any new kids ever appeared. They just got used to kids coming and going and were more accepting, less clique-y.

It's WAY more complicated now, and I would hate all the logistics much more than I used to, though it would certainly be a good chance to REALLY clean out and purge stuff. :)

(Anonymous)

I really did enjoy the moving. But always dreaded having to find a new dentist and hairdresser. And, as much as I would like to move... I would have a much longer "dread" list now. But if the housing market improved, I would be on my way someplace, although the where is still a ? Back in the service I wasn't in charge of that ?. Love, Lizardmom

I STILL dread having to find a new dentist and hairdresser...am currently in the middle of the new dentist stress and hating it as much as ever.

I hope the housing market WILL improve soon for your area, but it sure doesn't look good :(

From Megsie

Oh, moving is awful. The best thing about it though, is that it makes you go through all of the stuff that has been ignored! I am such a homebody you wouldn't believe it!

Re: From Megsie

Moving is only part awful. It's part fun, too, if you do it right. :)

(Anonymous)

Arkansas not Alabama, and you certainly got the better half of our military moves. :) But like you I would not trade it for anything. As for moving..... I would love too at least one more time!!! I still get he itch to move but the longest in one house has been 5 years and I knew it would be 5 so there was no itch there. :)
Christmas would be good. Tom is freaking out about plane ticket prices right now. :(
Convincing him for summer is tough.

Arkansas, Alabama, Whatever. Hee! FIXED. Doh.

I know I got the better half...I still feel sorry for your experiences if I get to thinking about it. And you might have moved more times than me by now.

Plane ticket prices aren't going to get any better, so you might as well tell him to bite the bullet. Have you decided on plans???

(Anonymous)

I have no idea how many times I moved...... 23 I think..... but i also went to 10 different schools before graduation! Where you moved more but less schools!

I thought you guys with John were making the plans Where and When and then We were just coming along for the fun! I think John decided northern Germany and June but talk to him and settle it. $1500 per ticket is more than I planned on! :(

Sarah

Home is where your heart is. And your heart is with your family, so wherever you live with them is home? :) Maybe that is what settling down means? :)

/Mia




You are a wise woman, Mia :)

I'm not a military brat, but I might as well be-having moved about 30 times when I last counted. I stopped there, but some more future moves are likely, even at my age-which is double yours;)

I get excited at every move, but the getting rid of stuff and packing parts bog me down :(

I seriously doubt you are double my age! (I'm not really 29, you know). ... Hee!

Hahaha..it's 4 more than double to be exact;););) :0 :0 :0

That would make you nearly 100 years old!

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