kajel: (Me)
[personal profile] kajel
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".

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-01 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adpaz.livejournal.com
It doesn't surprise me, hon, that you're from all over. It's part of what makes you such an interesting person with an interesting perspective. Very well written! Thank you for sharing your journey as an air force brat!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-01 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Thank you. I married a man who has lived with in 40 miles of the same area his whole life. It makes for two very different perspectives. lol

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-01 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] belleweather.livejournal.com
This is a question our kids already struggle to answer. People ask "Where are you from" like it's a simple icebreaker, not realizing how complicated the answer can be.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Yes, and the cross eyed looks I get if they expect a more involved answer, but don't understand it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-01 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleodswean.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this because I related to it completely! You captured the confusion of being an Air Force Brat! Every three years for us. We did a tour in England, too! Where were you and when??? East Anglia?

I think it is so difficult for those who were bred, born, and raised in the same place to really grasp what it's like to move. And move. And move.

Good job!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Yes, East Anglia! Woodbridge AFB Rendlesham Forest was my playground. I was there 87 to September of 91. I did not want to leave. I did not realize you were a brat also. Thanks.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-01 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
So many moves! Having to change bases every few years, especially when you were older, must have been difficult.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
The funny thing is, my mother wishes we had got out sooner so we could have been more settled as teenagers. However, all three of my sisters and I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
I sure understand why you would hate moving around so much. It can be really hard on kids. My Dad moved us a lot, but mainly just to different cities in Oregon. Still, grrr...

I think the transition from England to Kansas would be especially hard, though I've known two people (different branches of the military) who have gone from being stationed in Hawaii to being stationed in Oklahoma. Are they trying to kill their spirits? :O

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Oh my goodness, kill their spirits is so true! We were supposed to come back to somewhere in Maine. I remember it was 5 miles from the Canadian border and I was young and dumb and thought snow would be cool. I don't remember why, but our orders changed and we had the choice of Wichita, KS or Omaha, NE. My Mom said that wasn't a choice. You might as well be in the same place.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
I too am bad at remembering dates and I associate places with events. This was an interesting read and thanks for sharing a part of you :) The little details makes the entry rich.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-02 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
I think the lessons that home is as much (if not more) people than place is an important one, and I think you explained that well.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-03 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j0ydivided.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed your take on the topic. I think answering "all over" is perfectly valid. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Yes, and it gets me funny looks until I explain. lol

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-03 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beeker121.livejournal.com
I think "all over" is a great answer. Maybe then just start listing states until their eyes glaze over.

This was an interesting look at what military life is like for kids.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Thanks. The eye glaze is a real thing, I've seen it many times. lol

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alycewilson.livejournal.com
It must have been hard to move so often, but on the brighter side, you got to see a lot more of the world at a young age than many of us do!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-06 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
It was a difficult, but wonderful experience.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-05 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murielle.livejournal.com
I think from "all over" is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question in question.

Great read!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-06 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kajel.livejournal.com
Thanks!
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