We’re settling into our new home on the North Shore of Chicago, where turquoise waters shimmer underneath the seemingly endless midwest sky. Our on-post house is yellow, it boasts the cheapest appliances we’ve encountered in our 15+ years of marriage, and it’s only a two-minute walk down to the rocky shoreline of Lake Michigan. We’re catching our breath and learning our new routine – the pandemic has made this move feel like the hardest one yet. While the house is unpacked and we’re beginning to meet people in the neighborhood, our life doesn’t necessarily feel like ours yet but I have faith it will in due time.
It’s quiet here – at least compared to our last three years in the Washington DC area. In fact, the past couple of months have been the most we’ve ever spent together as a family of four – partly due to pandemic-restrictions and the fact that Clay’s previous assignment was the most intense of his career thus far. Now that we’re on the other side, I suppose we’re realizing just how much of an impact the last three years had on our family – not that they were bad but we definitely learned some things about what we want and what we don’t want out of life. I wrote about how over the years I’ve learned to give when the Army asks for even more of my husband, and how I deal with envy, and the not-so-subtle art of dealing with disappointment. I’m not sure what lessons our two years at Fort Sheridan will teach us but we hope to leave America’s third coast with a clearer picture of what we want our next 10+ years to look like.
Clay and I are both on the increasingly fast downhill slide to 40 – while we have no desire to map out our remaining years in a manner than prevents us from experiencing the beautiful and exciting moments graced upon those who embrace the unpredictable nature of life, we also recognize that the Army isn’t forever and we have some decisions to make when we inevitably come to the fork in the proverbial military road.
I’m looking forward to writing more here at And Then We Laughed and other places. Now that I’ve settled into a routine at work (I am working remotely for our previous school district) and the house is almost done, I find myself wanting to write beyond my professional obligations and doing so without the guilt overwhelming me into paralysis.
So thank you for reading. I hope you continue to follow along with our adventures at our new duty station. The pandemic has halted our travel plans but we’re determined to make the best and most of our two years at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.