Lately I’ve been blocked with my writing… but the good thing about that is I’m an artist (or maybe more accurately a wannabe artist) who likes to express myself in a multitude of pursuits. Like sewing, drawing, knitting, painting… and as of late, I’ve really connected with my paint brush.

Bleeding through paint is much like bleeding through words, maybe just a touch more literal. The piece I’m working on now is simply titled Deployment. My husband has been deployed a few months now, and loneliness starts to seep onto every little creavice of your life. It doesn’t defeat happiness, not altogether, but it tries.

Every stupid thing you do reminds you they’re not there. Reminds you that you know they’ll come home, but what if they don’t? When will they skype next? Are they okay? Are they hungry, or cold, or too hot, or feeling just as helpless as you? Do they need anything? Are they eating enough, and taking their vitamins?

You go to bed, and you squeeze his pillow so tightly against you it threatens to suffocate you, the ringer on your phone is all the way up, just in case he might call at 4 am. You wouldn’t dare miss it. You bury your face in the pillow searching out his scent like the sex deprived, stressed out bloodhound of a woman you are. And when you find it you cry. Maybe softly. Maybe so hard your entire body heaves with the emotion of it all. Eventually you go to sleep, and do it all over again.

Relocation Rumination

My stars! Time flies, doesn’t it?

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for what feels like a small eternity. (There’s a new oxymoron.) The absence is mostly explained by moving several states South, and getting back into the sync of married life after 14 months of military separation.

Both of those things are far more easily said than done. It’s something like getting your best friend back, but there’s something not quite right about them, or perhaps it’s you, people change after all, or during time apart you simply forget all the things that drive you absolutely insane about each other, and there’s a few more annoying habits tacked on. Or, more likely, it’s all of those things and now you get to navigate how to actually deal with it. Sure, we had our month in Korea together, but that was a month full of distraction. It was being reunited with a big buffer of rice, tourism and booze. It might have been my favorite buffer of all time.

Within a week of returning stateside from Korea we were packing our little Focus to bursting, and making the drive 14 hours South to North Carolina. Then it took months for all of the furniture put away in storage in Las Vegas to arrive. Which was everything – the couch, chairs, tables, bed frame, dresser, mattress, pots, pans, dishes… all of it. For those two months I got to revisit the lavish life of a broke college student eating dinner on lawn chairs and sleeping first on an air mattress, and eventually a cheap futon.

Now the challenge of adjusting to small town, Southern living is most prevalent. Every now and then you’ll hear people from other countries comment on America’s lack of a collective culture, and that’s an unfair thing to say. Especially when you compare the size of America to basically any European one. Every European country can fit into America on map with room to spare. We have culture, but it’s spread out. You’ve got the midwest, the good ol’ wild west, the east coast, the west coast, the South and of course, Texas. And that’s not even counting Alaska and Hawaii. That’s a whole lot of space.

As a girl who’s spent most of her life in Michigan and Nevada, I melded very well with the respective cultures there. But I’ve never been South of Washington D.C., and that was only for a week. The South is undeniably different from the North, and I don’t say that out of some still remaining Civil-War-winner hubris. It just is. They fry their pickles here! In fact, a lot of things are fried in the town we’re in, a practice not as popular in places like Michigan. We’re big on baking and grilling things, and the bubbly stuff we drink is called ‘pop.’ Only Coke is called Coke.

One thing’s for sure, North Carolina isn’t where we planned on ending up, but the military doesn’t care what your plans are, and life is about the journey and the journey is what you make it… or something like that.