On this day, one year ago, Chris and I awoke on a bed sheet on the floor of our dining room in Lenexa, Kansas. All of our belongings were packed in the moving truck parked out in front, save for perishables, cleaning supplies, and our bags of items we needed for the day. It was moving day!
It so wild to think that we've already been here for a year. I still catch myself telling customers that I "just" moved here, when in reality, that's not really true anymore!
I've learned a lot since moving to Ft. Campbell. This whole living on the state border makes EVERYTHING confusing.
Address is Ft. Campbell, KY.
But we physically live in Tennessee.
Cable bill says we live in Clarksville, TN.
Order from a few random websites that try to tell me I live in Ft. Campbell, Tennessee.
And now my car is tagged in Montgomery County, Tennessee.
But Ft. Campbell is in Christian County, Kentucky.
I don't know.
I become extremely excited whenever I see anything Kansas. Kansas car tags are incredibly rare - I happened to see one the very first day from Johnson County. Believe it or not, I see more Alaska plates than I do Kansas ones. Besides Tennessee and Kentucky plates, I see a lot of New York plates, Georgia plates, and even Hawaii plates. Whenever I'm driving and I see a car with a Kansas plate, I try to see if I recognize anyone in the car. Yah, like it will really be anyone I know!
The Wizard of Oz jokes have been used in my presence a few times. They are a bit funnier when you are the one displaced in a different state. I once was stopped for a random vehicle inspection at the gate, and the guard looked at my license and car tag and said, "Kansas, huh?!" As I got out of the car, he saw my shoes (of COURSE they were red heels) and said "Oh, you've got on your ruby red slippers!" He looked like it was the best thing that happened to him all day. It was sorta cold that night, so he let me sit inside, and when he let me in, he said to the others "Hey - we got Dorothy here!" They all had a good time with it.
I've seen a few Jayhawks around town, too. I once talked to a lady who walked into the store for about 15 minutes simply because she was wearing a Jayhawk shirt. We talked about Lawrence, how different people are in Clarksville, and how much we wanted to go to a KU basketball game. She said I was the nicest person (stranger) she'd talked to in a long time.
Made my day!
I have to say, making my switch from Preschool Assistant Director in Kansas to Retail Assistant Manager once moving here was a BIG (an unexpected) leap for me. But I am loving every minute of it! I am blessed with a WONDERFUL team, a flexible schedule, and of course, that employee discount! The ladies I work with have become my first friends since moving here.
It is still a struggle to meet people here. Let me tell you, I think EVERY SINGLE FAMILY in our little part of the neighborhood has moved away already since we arrived, except for about 3. Moving semis and trucks are a constant. I am happy to have connected with a recent arrival next door; her husband arrives shortly from his deployment! I foresee many cookouts and fun times together!
Our one good friend who graciously took us in when we arrived last year 10 days before our house was ready is getting out of the Army and will be returning to the Kansas City area very soon. It will be so sad to see her go!
It's interesting to see how my viewpoints of everything, of life, and of the future have changed in this past year. It's been one of the biggest changes in my life to have our first PCS.
And it was not nearly as traumatic as I was making it out to be in my head.
Yes, it was hard. Hard to leave my childhood town and all my friends and family behind.
It was hard to not have a place to live.
It was hard to not know how to get around town.
It was really hard for me to not know where anything was on post. I constantly felt like people could tell I was the new girl, like I was wearing a red "N" on my shirt. I was corrected by a lady at the gas station on post for not standing in line for the register correctly. I was mortified. I had to ask for help everywhere I went. I didn't leave our house on post for the first few days that Chris was at work. It was just such an unfamiliar community to me.
Now, I've got it down pat. Almost. There are still times I don't know what I'm doing, but now I know that I'm not the only one who has no idea - it's not an uncommon feeling to have on post.
Chris and I often talk of where we hope we will be stationed next. Yes, we are already dreaming of our next move! Call me crazy, but I'm very excited for it. Moving out of state was not as emotional as I thought it would be. There was a lot going on when we first arrived here. I think I only cried once when we arrived because on top of everything involved with settling in, I was tired of having to call maintenance to fix something random (4 electrical outlets not working, leaky pipes under the sink - twice). I guess that was the straw that broke the camel's back!
We hope to go to Germany, Hawaii, Fort Carson (Colorado), and hopefully down the line back in Kansas at Ft. Leavenworth or Riley. And maybe Alaska.
The "adventurousness" has definitely come out in me rather quickly!
We are incredibly hopeful for these next 365 days. Life is never constant in the Army, so I'm anxious to see what happens next!