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It's time to try something new. Again?

Changes happen so fast and furious in our crazy Army lives. How can we embrace the "new" normal when it becomes the "old" normal before we blink? This blog is dedicated to making sense of it all and finding a way to channel the changes into a routine that will help me stay sane in my quest for normal.

Monday, October 6, 2014


I've been conspicuously absent from my blog for the last several months.  It hasn't been from lack of thinking, "Oh, I should blog about this."  In fact, I have a long list of possible blog topics just waiting for the right day.  And that's the crux of the matter.  All that free time I had last year to, I don't know---actually blog, disappeared in a flash and I'm busier than ever.  I'm the very definition of my old "new" normal--150 mph.  Can the necessary introspection for a blog find time in the hectic pace of life?

As the calendar creeps towards full, I find myself with a rare free Sunday afternoon to once again contemplate the question of my normal. My subject matter today is near and dear to my heart---our little slice of heaven on Silver Creek in Kansas.  It feels so normal to be here on a brilliant October day just putzing around the property.

Our slice of heaven.

 We are "home" for the weekend to do some repairs at the house, see Ciara, go to the Big Red One day at the K-State game, visit friends, see clients and take care of business.  It's a busy trip for sure.  I'm lucky to find a few quiet minutes this afternoon to hear the birds calling and the leaves rustling in the never still Kansas air.  

The grass is green and, if I squint, I can pretend it's my patio set on the deck and my flowers blooming in the garden.  I know it's really in someone else's care right now, but there is no doubt--she's home.

I never wanted to live in Kansas.  I never wanted a house built in 1921.  I never wanted to own 4 acres that need mowing and maintenance.  I never wanted to live on a gravel road and have a septic tank.  I never thought being here could be normal.  But it is.

Normal sneaks up on us.  It can be found in the most unexpected places and situations.  We have to constantly open our hearts and minds to the consistent pace and rhythm of what life has in store for us. I could easily have come here and been miserable.  Instead, I listened to the people.  They are good hearted and generous.  I listened to the weather.  She can be harsh in April with a late snow, but there is nothing more glorious than sunrise across the prairie and fields of wheat and sunflowers.  We had more creatures visit us at our property than we wanted.  Skunks who tangle with your dogs in February are most unwelcome and worthy of their own blog post.  Yet, they are simply the balance to the first whippoorwill in April or the darting of a fox across the driveway as you arrive home at night.

Fox crossing near our home

What I've learned after considering normal for a year is that normal is about balance.  If you look at all the pros and cons of any given situation--you can usually find balance.  A loved one dies, but a baby is born into the family.  You say good-bye to friends who PCS to another state, but new friends move in down the street.  Your children go away to college, but they still come to visit and they still bring their hungry friends. It's never as bad as it first seems.  You grow accustomed to the new normal and soon it is just normal.

I'm sad to leave KS tomorrow.  I'll miss the simple way of life every single day.  But I'm also settling into a new rhythm in Virginia that promises to be normal faster than I can say...