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Never say never.

January 16, 2011

Hey y’all! Long time no see! Sorry ’bout that. LAW asked me to repost this from my blog. Since we retired from the Army, its been hard to keep abreast of what is going on in the military community and even harder to feel connected to what is going on. But, at the end of the day, once a MilSpouse— always a MilSpouse. I’ll always be grateful for my time down at Fort Hood, for my time as a MilSpouse. I met some of the most amazing women and the experiences have been nothing short of life changing (in every possible way). So here is my post-retirment ode to Fort Hood, my fond memories surely made fonder my miles and months and a retirement.

Yes, never say never. Like how once I said that I would never miss Texas (and therefore Fort Hood). Yeah, I lied. Sorry. I do miss Texas… or at least parts of Texas. I miss the GINORMOUS Commissary and PX at Fort Hood. Oh how I miss them. Like, long for and yearn for them. No grocery store comes close and loosing Hood’s Commissary has left a hole in my heart (albeit a small one). I miss Jason’s Deli and 5 Guys and Chipotle and Rosa’s Café. I miss them a lot. This town is majorly lacking in good Mexican inspired food. And delis. And burger joints. Insert very sad face here.
I miss the bugles. There is something terrifically endearing about bugle calls at nearly every hour of the day (I think there might have been 11 different ones at Hood?). I miss the Apaches. Sure, now we have B1s from Ellsworth running routes over our house, but that mostly sounds like the Gates of Doom (or Mordor if you like) are opening up. Apaches are much more pleasant to listen to. Also the B1s and Fletcher are now mortal enemies. Meaning the B1s fly over and Fletcher cowers and hides in the basement for an hour. Good times.
I miss the warmish winters and that spring comes in February, summer in April. Especially since its been so cold here that our digital outdoor thermometer only reads “Lo”. I miss the giant Barnes and Nobles. Borders just isn’t the same. I miss Austin and IKEA. Oh my heavens do I miss having an IKEA within an hour drive. I miss the REI there and Jerry’s Art-a-Rama. I miss the alien landscape full of huge prickly pears and funny dwarf trees… even though I was too much of a scaredy cat to walk around in it. I miss the sunsets. Oh boy do I miss the sunsets. I miss the odd kid/bike overpass behind our house. We walked up there so many times every week, enjoyed the views across post, views of the spectacular sunsets, watched deer, watched Fireworks, watched our crazypants neighbors… good times.
I miss the pomp and circumstance of every day military life. I miss all the cars pulling over at 5 to get out and salute the flag. I miss the big shiny gates and the brightly colored patches adorning every wall, door, overpass, gate and sign. I miss the ACUs and the flags and I miss seeing Homecomings on my way to the PX. I miss the fancy Calvary unit, with the beautiful horses and old-fashioned uniforms. I miss the old, ancient, decrepit track the hubs and I used to run on. The one they have since demolished to make way for a new wing of the hospital.
I miss the leggy and skinny jackrabbits that used to taunt Fletcher. And I miss the giant Class 6 with their make your own six-packs. I miss the wineries and I miss Lampassas. Oh Lampassas, you seem like a dive, but you have 3 of the best restaraunts we ever ate at in our year in Texas (Eve’s Café, Alfredo’s Mexican Restaurant and the Firehouse BBQ). Please, please look them up and make the stop if you are ever near Fort Hood. I miss watching the crazy storms roll in. I miss the downpours.
I also miss driving past the 1st Cavalry Divisions headquarters and parade ground. Every time I drove past them I was reminded of that precious day the hubs came home from Iraq. I got to relive that moment in almost all its glory every time I drove past that parade field. That was an unexpected gift that I very much miss.
I do not, however, miss the hub’s unit. Nor do I miss those silly Stetsons and strap-on spurs. I don’t miss the “waterbugs” (aka: COCKROACHES YOU FOOLS!) and I don’t miss the snakes. Or the spiders. Or the crickets that invade every minute opening in your home. I don’t miss the oppressive heat. And I don’t miss our lawn that turned to prickly dried straw some time in June. I don’t miss watching other units deploy. I don’t miss seeing soldiers gearing up for war. I don’t miss the crazy folk that are inevitably part of the Army. I don’t miss the sign that tallied how many days we had gone without a traffic fatality on post. I don’t miss seeing the sign go back to 1. I don’t miss the rumor mills and the lines and the nitpicky paperwork. I don’t miss the noisy neighbors and the paper-thin walls of Army-issue housing. I don’t miss the sweaty PTs that always littered the house. And I don’t miss the 5 am wake-ups.

But, yes, despite my best efforts, I find myself missing the Lone Star state. And you know what brought all this on? Cleaning out my purse. Because I haven’t done it since before we left Texas. Yep, receipts to Jason’s Deli and Rosa’s Café brought all this on. Now who is the crazypants one?

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