I know most people don’t care. That they just look at the numbers in a budget. They don’t care because they have no connection, they do not see the value in something.
Don’t let this happen, don’t let the theater be silenced, The show must go on, it is vital to the families and the military community.
Budgets are not easy, cuts need to be made but read this quote from IMCOM spokesman Scott Malcom,
“Our intent is to use our limited funds to provide critical base operating services and sustain the infrastructure that makes the Army ready,” Malcom said. “Is quality of life a child development center or a community theater? Are we in the humanities business or are we in the warfighting business?”
Stars & stripes article
Here’s the link to petition this decision and to have the voices of the community heard. Please sign it…
Anger blurs the words that need to be shared. The Army asked for my families service and we gave it, with honor and respect. This is not about me and mine. It is about how we coped with the daily pressures of “serving” our country. We served the best way we knew.
The closing of the community theaters for families is wrong and will harm the development of family members everywhere. Community theaters are a place where all are able to somehow transform to a different place and release the daily stress and pressures that consume a military families daily life. The release from the pressure of living in the Army is needed. Let me remind you, we are not talking about large oversize building that you find in most “civilian” communities here in the States. We are talking about Army base block buildings that are “converted” into places that allow families and kids to get an “idea” about the theater. The overhead budget is not a large operating budget, this is not a building housing a “Hamilton” production.
The argument can be made that 1.96 million dollars is a lot of money for funding. We do know that the government can spend money in crazy ways BUT I am sure there are other places they can pull money from before taking away this very important community service. For a small bleep of time we could forget the worries of the world and go somewhere else.
I am hoping that this decision is not fully made and that somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow, there is time to change the decision and have these funds put back into the budget.
You can do something to prevent this from happening, to have your voice heard, sign the petition….
We filled six cargo crates and now living with borrowed furniture. There are suitcases filled with clothes and we are eating off of paper plates. We have shipped a car and have another one for a few more weeks before it heads back to the States. We are exhausted.
Exhausted would be an understatement but as many other faithful military family wives have said to me,” The light at the end of the tunnel is here, cheer up.” It made me stop and think about the families that do this as a career. They move all the time, every three years to zig zag around the world to serve our country. They do it with kids, animals and husbands who sometimes are heading off to the latest war. It made me wonder, how many people really realize what goes on within the military family unit?
It is truly a way of life. One that is full of ups and downs that can not be defined or explained to someone who has not been there or lived the experience. I never really gave it much thought before we, I mean, he, signed up to serve in the Army.
And that brings me to the point of, when he serves, the family serves too. We are subjected to the ups and downs of deployments, changing of duty stations (PCS) and all that goes along with being uprooted from family, friends and even ones own country.
Frankly, it has not been easy and in many ways I am extremely grateful to have had this experience but am really looking forward to going home in more ways than one. Home means that we will no longer be subject to the ways of the Military. I do not have to wake up to bullets being shot at ranges that are near by, hearing mortars that make the houses shake, seeing soldiers everyday running in formation and chanting while running PT (physical fitness) at 5:30am, trying to negotiate driving behind a convoy of stykers or military vehicle’s, learning military time ( which I never really got), showing ID’s at checkpoints or standing at attention facing the flag at 1700 (5:00pm) everyday. I also will not have to watch the busses of soldiers leave in the morning going to war and knowing that some may not return, will not need to learn how to explain to my daughter that some of her friends dads/moms are not coming home, that I had a special letter for her in the dresser draw in case I get a visit telling me her Dad is gone. I can stop worrying about being blackout from the internet and wonder who was just injured, hurt or killed. Better yet, I will not have to go to another funeral. I will not have to worry about getting a speeding ticket on post and have it affect my husband. Mostly I will be able to go about doing what ever I want, where ever I want because I live in a free country, I live in the United States.
How do I go about thanking all those who have helped me go though this experience?
How do I tell them that the kind words, the help, the smiles and patience they had for me truly made me see a small picture of a world that so many judge, justify or do not even acknowledge exists?
All I can say to them is THANK YOU! It is simple, pure and full on the love that the words are meant to share. I know that I will see some of them again, somewhere, either on face book, on television, in person or by chance. I have built a new family that shares a special bond .
With a tear in my eye and pride in my heart, I am grateful for them and the great nation they serve.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I relish in the fact that I am a patient person. I would even go so far as to say it is a strength of mine but lately it seems as if I have lost the ability to be…patient.
I have learned that when someone says something and they may be TOTALLY wrong, you listen and do not question it. If you do question it do it at your own peril. Sometimes it is not the fact that they are wrong but that you should just listen to them, accept the answer and then wait to see how it plays out. It generally goes back on the right course and the emotional feeling of frustration and feeling of,” Are you really …” (you fill the blank), goes away.
I have found that it is generally the space between being calm and going totally nuts is where the trouble begins. I am not someone to sit by and just let things happen, I am a fixer, a problem solver of sorts. I will add this is a very important skill to have as it guides me through the biggest complications in life BUT even the most logical answer to an issue needs to be filled with calm and NO emotion.
Emotion, that human quality can get us all in trouble. I am amazed at how it can cloud judgment and create a fire storm that swirls up like a tornado in the flat lands of the Unites States. Like a tornado, emotion throws debris everywhere and lashes out at even the most innocent of bystanders. Now the original issue of concern takes on more problems and it grows from there; a so on and so on scenario. Its path creates havoc on everything. Nothing is safe from its fiery and destructive path.
Here’s the thing….life in the military is constantly changing and one has to get use to that fact. It is good to be emotional but try to sound the warning signal before the actual tornado comes swirling. Let people close by have the chance to calm the storm before it brews. Most likely they will not be emotionally attached to the storm. Listening to what they have to say might save you from causing a path of irreversible destruction.
Eventually it stops and in the silence of the aftermath the rebuilding can begin. Cue sunshine and clear skies.
My absence from writing comes from how much time and energy I have been spending on trying to figure out our exist from the military world. Yep, we are heading home and my time here in Germany seems to be coming to a close. But not only is our time-serving our Country coming to a close but we are leaving the military life to go home to the “real world”. On one hand I am very sad to be leaving but on the other hand I am excited to be “going home” to a world I knew before we started this adventure.
Home, now that is a question I really can not answer, Where is home? Each time I hear the question from someone I am not sure how to answer. We have moved so many times over the years that I am not sure what to say. I guess, I could say that the United States is my home. Though that seems a bit too cliché. I guess home is where the heart is but that too seems a bit predictable and I can already see your eyes rolling. We have been asking the question over and over again, where should we call home?
Naples, Florida, now that would be a perfect home after all these years of clouds, rain, fog, a little sun, despite what Fox News think about Germany, the sun rarely comes out. Naples would be nice but I am not sure that we want to be among the retired people as that is who lives there. I mean, most are playing golf and swimming in their private pools. I think we will need something a little bit more exciting but I must confess, feeling the sun upon my face would feel fantastic. I just know that I will not want to work and to the best of my knowledge I need to work.
Maybe we should go to New England. Yes, now that would be fun since they have the New England Patriots, Boston and the Red Soxs! New England has a lot to offer us. It seems that would be a good place to go. But….I complain so much about the snow, the cold, and fog. I love the four seasons and the ocean. Naples or New England, which do we choose?
We have not been home to the United States in 3 plus years and the only news we get from home is from the news; good and the bad. I am so wanting to go home to a place that we left and pick up where we left off but that is not the way it will be; I know it can not be that way. We have all grown up and as much I want that feeling we had when we left I am convinced that too much as changed for it to be the same.
So, really, how does one define home? Maybe it is not a place that is on the map like Florida or New England but space that one occupies and tries to make better not only for themselves but for those around them.
So, to say the least the thought of where to live and going home has caused complicated thoughts that leave me wondering ….does it really matter just as long as I can read the signs, speak my mind and be able to live the way I want to live?
No matter how cliché it may be…the United States is my home.
See ya real soon!
1. Ausfahrt isn’t funny anymore, and roundabouts are second nature.2. You no longer mind the person behind or next to you only giving you half an inch of space.3. 2 hrs for dinner is “fast food”. …4. You judge mustard by how well it opens your sinuses.5. Jumping across the border to get away for the day is no big deal.6. You reach for the Jägermeister instead of Pepto Bismol.7. You think family pictures taken at a castle are “so cliche.”8. You forgot how to use round doorknobs.9. You forget how to flush a toilet that doesn’t have a push button.10. 100 MPH seems like you’re driving really, really slow.11. You no longer think it is strange that beer and water are the same price.12. You never go shopping off base without a shopping bag or VAT form.13. You NEVER shop on payday or the day before a German holiday.14. You never leave home without your keys, ID card, license, and passport.15. You think anything with chocolate sounds like a good breakfast.16. You think it is natural to pass Army tanks on the highway.17. You answer the phone “Hallo” instead of Hello.18. You need a power drill and sledgehammer to hang a picture on the wall.19. You rig your lawnmower and vacuum cleaner to give you an electrical shock if you try to operate them on Sundays.20. You no longer even want ketchup for your French Fries.21. Christmas is incomplete without Gluhwein at a castle.22. You sing “Tschüss” instead of say Good Bye.23. Your children no longer say please or thank you … it is bitte and danke.24. You wonder how you ever lived without Rolladens.25. You wear a scarf every single day …. even in the summer.26. You plan your route around ESSO locations.27. You believe AFN is quality programming.28. You own shoes just for walking …. and know you will walk everywhere.29. You no longer need google translate at the grocery store and last least ….30. You have said out loud at least once …. Damn Americans!!
Sometimes having quiet time is quite a wonderful treat. Our time on the river began dramatically but like all storms, it started to calm down. We began to embrace the solitude that this trip was giving us. Sitting, drinking coffee and talking about absolutely nothing was a special treat that we had lost.
It is amazing how simple life really is and how much noise is created by one’s modern-day activities. Modern day time is consumed with planning, defending, correcting, or just plain explaining. This type of living can consume time. To just sit and talk about those things that are not complaints, problems, or issues reminded me of what life must have been like traveling the river in the old days.
One place we were visiting really caught my eye, Melk, Austria. At first I could not understand why we were stopping at such a small city and figured it was just a place to stop along the way. The Benedictine Abbey of Melk, was here and one of Europe‘s great cultural sites. Here’s a little background on the Abbey.
The Melk Abbey was built by the Benedictine monks over 900 years ago. The abbey has suffered numerous fires, the plague, and war damage through the centuries. Its present high baroque form was constructed in the early 18th century, and many of era’s most famous painters, sculptors, and stucco craftsmen worked on the abbey.
This place is amazing. The church builders wanted to show how heaven would look. It takes your breath away.
Here’s the thing….The journey is rough at times. It is filled with noise and pressure that can consume.
Standing in silence I reminded myself to look up.
Now I know why we stopped here.
The night before our quick stop had left me wondering if this cruise was really a good idea. I mean, we had never cruised before and part of why we had not cruised was because we had heard so many awful stories on how some cruises turn into vacations from hell. Sorry about that, but how else can I describe how I was feeling about this cruise? I was sitting alone outside on the boats deck while the family was trying to get some needed sleep. The crisp foggy air felt good as my hands were being warmed by a hot cup of tea.
I was sitting there listening to the emergency crew and the Captain discuss rather loudly in German, something and it was not sounding good. The storm had caused damaged to the hull and it must have been that jolt in the night that woke me from my semi sleepy state. My mind shifted back to my own thoughts. Then again, being stuck on a boat, on a river with nowhere else to really go may be a great opportunity to reconnect with my now overly social media stimulated daughter.
There was no access to internet, something else we were told they would have but changed when we got on board. Think about this, a teenager going on a cruise, with her parents and there are no other kids, no Face book, computer access. She was pretending to be happy but she was clearly saving her disappointment for some other time. She was going thru social media withdrawal and that my friend, spells disaster.
The German or some dialect of German was being shouted as I began to continue wondering how I was going to save this Holiday vacation and then it struck me, maybe this was a great opportunity to talk with my daughter, I mean, really sit down and talk. The opportunity to enjoy each other, and with no interruption’s, we would have each others full attention. I took another sip of tea and its warmth was making me smile. That’s it, we can turn this around. The yelling in the distance seemed to stop and I decided to get up and go inside. There I saw the Captain and some official looking men sitting at a table, they too were smiling. Maybe this cruise will turn its self around after all.
A simple hole in the hull of the boat was not going to ruin this Holiday cruise. We were going forward and cruising this river. Even if we do nothing but sit on a boat and talk with one another.
Determined and smiling, I left the main deck to wake up the family.