Last year, Uncle Sam moved this “city girl” to the western central coast where we saw nothing but farms and cows after driving an hour from the tiny 2 gate airport. So needless to say, I was out of my element for a while.
The military has its benefits by allowing you to see this great nation and world if you’re lucky by exposing you to varying climates and culture. At first, I didn’t like this small town with no major chains of food or shopping. But I think I’m coming around to the lifestyle of no traffic, everyone knowing each other, great walking neighborhoods and yes, even the farms.
Local Farm Tour
I try to not show my “foreignisms” to the locals with my shouts of glee during our kids’ farm tours like when I saw this heart-shaped strawberry,
or when I acted as if the farmer invented the vegetable itself, or by my surprise that the mayor lives next door to my son’s preschool or that everyone I meet knows everyone else I know.
Local Fruit & Veggies
I am trying to keep it low, but I think it’s the coolest thing that we’re able to eat food directly from the ground and not from a shipment, buy inexpensive & tasty wines from the local vineyards and attend farmer markets just down the street. I’m even in a veggie co-op where I buy weekly boxes of local produce (organic of course)! And better yet, the kids and I began to grow our own garden in the backyard (yes, I now have a backyard).
Weekly Veggie Box
I think this city girl has become “granola”! Oh and I now make that too!
As someone who has lived by a beach (both Atlantic and Pacific) for almost 6 years now, I often don’t get it…..the need to pack various items, be in the heat, apply gross sunscreen, sit in sand, swim in salt water infested with jellyfish and sharks….all in the name of summer (or any season) fun! What?
Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at the beach, smelling the beach (well, sometimes) and walking on a boardwalk, but I don’t enjoy being immersed in either sand or water. But I am married to a swimmer, interested surfer and basically someone who LOVES the beach. So I try to get him his “beach” time as often as I can. My kids inherited his qualities in that aspect too….they get in the water, no matter the temperature, weather or environment. For example….Christmas Day – at the beach and in the water. They are crazy! They tolerate the sand in pants, crowds and heat all for the love of large bodies of water.
So I do what any good wife and mother would do….give them their beach time and complain to anyone who stands still long enough!
But on a recent family day at the beach, I think I may have softened up a bit and possibly changed my mind just a little. I was playing with my daughter with her sand toys (which constantly keep sand in my car at all times) and watching my husband and son play a game of catch. I was messing with my very low-grade camera and captured what I thought to be a nice photo. I’ve looked at this photo more often than others and feel that my sentiments may be changing! In this picture and at this time, I can honestly say “I love the beach”.
Nothing says “cute” better than a baby pony! These little guys and gals were born this past Spring/Summer, some in March and others in June.
This Pony Farm is in Central California and is home to about three dozen of these precious animals. One could be yours from anywhere around 3,000 to 6,000 dollars.
It was interesting to see people of all ages just in awe of these little creatures. Many were with their mothers and you could see others playing with one another as children would.
But much to my daughter’s dismay, we did not go home with one! But this little guy was our favorite.
So as we gear up for our next deployment, we are trying to do
all things California since we will move when my love returns. It’s exciting
and stressful all at the same time. I guess it can be considered both the rose and thorn. Moving around, military or otherwise, is an interesting animal. Since I lived in one place for a quarter of a century before this adventure began, I’ve seen both sides of living. In my ethnic culture, families stay close so this nomadic lifestyle has not always been well received, even by me. But I’ve become accustomed to it I guess.
You learn to develop a family of choice. In some locations, it’s
been co-workers such as it was in Arizona. In other locations, it was
neighbors. In North Carolina, we lived on base which was the first time for me. It was a nice homogeneous group…all of us around the same age and all of our children the same age….all on the same neighborhood block.
Currently, I have some great and interesting people in my life.
Of the neighbors who happen to be military, there are a few I call friends. One person, whom I call my “Tiger Mom” due to her Asian descent and tough parenting style with her boys, has been a great influence on me in regard to academics and discipline. Another neighbor/friend is as sweet as pie. I’m not sure I could be that sweet, but she naturally is and she has inspired me by how involved she is at her church and with her kids spiritually. And then there is my friend who has not only inspired me with discipline and spirituality, but also with her experience and belief in homeopathic remedies. I love California for its openness to all
things natural in regard to food, lifestyle and medical treatment.
And then there are some neighbors from France whom we love. They showed up with baguettes when we moved in. You have to love that greeting. There is also a senior whom we met at a community BBQ. He had been caring for his wife in a nursing home for 7 years, 2-3 times a day. I knew immediately this man was amazing. My mom was a social worker for over 30 years and said she never saw such care and dedication. His wife passed away shortly after we met him
and so we’ve taken him in and him us. He has become the grandparent that my children can have locally which is a blessing.
So if it wasn’t for this nomadic lifestyle, I would have never
met such interesting people and developed these good friendships. Thinking about all this has been my rose for the day. No thorns otherwise.