Welcome, friends, to my inaugural blog post for PCS Prepper. I’ve been thinking on and off about starting a webpage and a blog to elaborate on some of my Facebook posts, so here it is. Please know that it is a work in progress and that I’m going to continue to refine and better it (and if anyone has any thoughts/tips/suggestions, feel free to e-mail them to me–I am not a webpage designer).
So…on going “home”. I recently got a wild hair–I quit my regular job and the kids had spring break, so I decided, very last minute, to hit the road with 2/3rds of my children and sans husband. Just the three of us and the long road “home”.
“Home”, of course, is that place where I grew up and spent my formative years. Small town Minnesota, where my parents and my siblings still live. The place where I have roots and connections, profoundly so. Where things change (roundabouts!) and things comfortingly stay the same (the bakery).
A lot of us grow up and leave home, right? So what I’m about to say doesn’t necessarily apply just to military spouses. It applies to anyone who leaves the place where the vast majority of their “people” are. Whether you’ve moved to Bangladesh, San Francisco or Newfoundland, you’re far from home.
Sometimes you miss it, sometimes you learn to accept that home is with your spouse and family, wherever you are for this assignment.
But going back is always tough, especially when you haven’t been there for awhile. It’s been almost 15 years for me, with three overseas tours that meant I saw my parents maybe once in a 2-3 year stretch. My sister made it over, but I haven’t seen my brother for long stretches at a time (it’s OK, E–I still love you). Every trip back leaves an ache in my heart as I realize that I’m having this grand adventure, but so are they. Without us.
Going back is never simple. First, there’s the travel–we do prefer to drive, so I just spent 36+ hours behind the wheel for a week of precious family time. Second, there’s the fact that people want to see you–the traveler, the outlander–I don’t blame my extended family for wanting to spend time with us, I mean–we are awesome! But trying to make sure every base is covered without running ourselves ragged is exhausting.
This visit home, I just wanted to sit at my parents’ table and talk to them. I wanted to play with the goats on my brother’s farm and see my children running wild in rural Minnesota. I didn’t see people I should have seen and I feel guilty about that in some ways, and in others, I know that sometimes I have to be selfish with my time. I came to sit with my parents and just be there.
All of our family is in Minnesota…I’m guessing it’s a bit easier if your family is in Pennsylvania and your spouse’s is in Oregon. I know that I let some people down by not telling them I was heading west and now I’ve got to sit with that.
How do you handle going “home”?