Today’s post is two things: a simple “thanks for being there” and a little plug for one of my favorite websites.
As I’ve mentioned before, my husband is in the Coast Guard. He’s an AMT2, which means he’s a second-class Aviation Maintenance Technician. Though it might sound like he’s basically a mechanic, he does many things. From getting dirty in the maintenance shop, to being the watch captain (shift supervisor), to hopping on one of the planes and going on a search-and-rescue mission down here in the Gulf of Mexico, to standing the occasional duty night where he sleeps at work instead of home just in case they need him.
I love my husband so very much and we as his family are willing to follow him anywhere that the Coast Guard decides to relocate him. However, following him means leaving behind friends and family and plunking ourselves down in a new city amongst a bunch of people we’ve never met. Jason can quickly acclimate to the new work scene because the Coast Guard does things almost exactly the same at every base. Families don’t have it as easy. Sure, there are wonderful spouses clubs which often times set up play groups and the bases sponsor family days and picnics throughout the year, but what do I do on a day-to-day basis when I can’t just call up my mom or best buddies to chat because they are many time zones away and for them it’s not even dawn yet?
For those times I have my Coastie Chicks.
Our PCS (permanent change of station) together last summer was the first time I had moved a significant distance from everyone I knew. I’ve always lived within 30 miles of my family and friends. We’re now about 2,700 miles and three time zones from them. I was excited for this adventure in the South, but nervous. I’ve never been very outgoing and wondered what I’d do for friends for me and friends for my children. Sure, I can relish in my newfound love of being a stay-at-home mom, but we can’t possibly remain inside and keeping to ourselves all the time! I figured I would eventually wander out and find some people to befriend. But then we’d just end up leaving them too when we PCS again in a few years.
Then Jason came home from work one day during his first week at work and told me about Coastie Chicks. Another new guy heard about this site from his wife (**Hi Tracy!**), passed the word on to Jason, who then passed it on to me. Wow, was I ever grateful! Patty Wilson (“Mama Chick” as we often call her) runs it; the base site is incredibly informative and there is a discussion forum where I have found lovely friends, neighbors, and an amazing wealth of BTDT (been there, done that) advice. I can go on there and find answers to any question I could possibly have about not only life as a Coast Guard spouse, but also information about any base we could be stationed at, neighborhoods, new rules, etcetera. One of my favorite sections is the Local Events area for our district. This is where we post goings-on and such. Last October I saw a posting there from a local spouse (**Hi Melissia!**) offering a bar-be-que at her house. I had never met most of the people attending and normally I wouldn’t go to a party with a bunch of folks I don’t know. But we went, and we had a great time. Since then I have befriended many more Coastie Chicks, our kids are friends, our spouses are friends, and we get together all the time.
Without my Coastie Chicks (both the website and the ladies who are members) I’d be quite lost in this new place. This past year has been absolutely wonderful when it could have been quite lonely. I love ya’ll and while I am sad about someday leaving the fantastic Chicks here in the Mobile area, I look forward to meeting so many more in all of the other cities we may move to in the future.
If you are a spouse of a Coastie or know someone who is, please pass this link on to them. The Coast Guard is the smallest of the American armed forces and we often get lost in the shuffle. Many CG bases no longer offer housing to families and you may not be lucky enough to find a neighborhood out in the city where many Coastie families live. Pop on over to Coastie Chicks and join the fun!
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!