We're an Army family, so we move. It's the one constant we can count on: change. Of course the questions we ask each other are: "Where have you been stationed?" or, if a PCS (Permanent Change of Station--ie: moving) is coming up, "Where are you going?". We don't ask where you're from, because likely, that was 10 moves ago. (And a LOT of people answer, "Texas", since it has a VERY high enlistment rate) So of course when we were getting ready to leave Alaska, everyone was asking, "So, where are you going now?" and when we would answer, "Fort Polk, Louisiana" we almost always, without fail got the answer of, "I'm so sorry!" In reality, we CHOSE this assignment, which isn't always possible in the Army. We got lucky and got choices.
There were quite a few pros to the one con: it's in the middle of nowhere Louisiana. Generally everyone was sorry that we're now living an hour from civilization either way, either Alexandria or Lake Charles. Well you know what? Post does have a lot, there's a Wal-Mart in Leesville which is right outside post, and online shopping is an amazing resource. I honestly believe that life is what you make it and each of our moves is a new adventure. Alaska was not on my list of places to want to live...I actually asked to specifically avoid AK...but we ended up there and loved parts, hated parts, and generally tolerated parts. Do I want to move back? Not really. Will I if we have to? Absolutely.
One of the hardest parts of PCSing is making new friends. That's the same for ANYONE that moves. Thankfully the Army is aware of our constant moves and makes things a little easier sometimes. Not to mention the other wives are just as anxious to make new friends. Just this morning I went to a parent and baby yoga class and had a good time, then early this afternoon I went to a baby sign language class. The yoga cost me $2 and baby sign was free. We've now got things to do on Wednesdays. I was made aware of a playgroup on Tuesdays. You've gotta put yourself out there for the people to find you. Munchkin is a GREAT icebreaker, especially in baby oriented classes. She's my "something" in common with other moms. I think we've got a new friend for 1:1 playdates. I'm hoping that I can find more things to do to get us out of the house, but we've got a start.
So, rule 1 of Army Wife Life: Make a conscious decision to make the best of it. It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.