Jan. 31st, 2017

kajel: (Me)
How do I answer questions about my roots, when I didn't live in any one place for more than four or five years until after I was twenty eight years old? I've lived in North Carolina now for over thirteen years. When I mention my family, I talk about them being in New York. 'Oh, you're from New York', they say. Well, no. I only lived there for about three years in my late twenties. Maybe it's best to start at the beginning. A man from New York and a woman from Arizona meet and fall in love. Is that a little too early in the beginning?

I'm an Air Force Brat. That's how I usually start that conversation. I know there are people out there that don't know what that means. My father was in the Air Force for twenty six years. He was in before he met my mother in Arizona and married her, until two weeks before my twenty first birthday. I was born just outside of Phoenix, AZ and we stayed there until I was about four. I have very little memory of the place that I always referred to as my home. I don't refer to our moves in the years that we did them. I remember them by what grade of school I was in.

When I started kindergarten just after I turned five, we were in Illinois. I remember the base we lived on. I remember the house we lived in. We had cats then, before we discovered my sister was allergic. I went through third grade in Illinois.

Fourth grade found us in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. It was back to the sand, cacti, and lizards for us. The desert was my backyard. The lack of cats meant no pets. I visited every dog I could on my way to and from school every day. I remember the man who tied his doberman puppy up so he couldn't visit with me each morning. I finished elementary school here.

Seventh grade in junior high was radically different. We were in England, stationed overseas for four years. Instead of wide open desert out my back door, I had a beautiful forest. In both instances, when I say my backyard, that is what I mean. Both base houses were on the edge of the base. My fondest memories of childhood are from England. Living out of the country is an experience very few I have met have had.

My Junior year of high school we returned to the states and I was living in Kansas. Culture shock was the term we used here. I was old enough at that point to be unhappy with our move. In England I was in a small school of all Air Force kids. Everybody was the same, we were all brats. I wasn't used to police patrolling the hallways, gangs and other issues that my new school had. When Dad retired, we moved on.

He got a job in the middle of nowhere, swampsville Georgia. I hated it. I moved to Tucson, AZ to live with my Mom's family for three years. The small hospital I was working in closed and I missed my parents and sisters, so it was back to Georgia. I still hated it. In 2001 my Dad changed positions in his company and we all packed up and moved to Albany, NY. I was twenty five. My family is still there. I, however, left in 2004, when I was twenty eight, to come to North Carolina to be with the man I loved.

I'm still here in North Carolina. I'm married and raising a family. I still stammer and stutter and wonder where to start when I get the question. I'm an Air Force brat. I'm from all over.


This is my entry for LJ Idol: S10 Week 7. The topic this week was “Where I'm From".

April 2017


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