I woke up this morning with Georgia on my mind. We spent a year in Columbus, Georgia – an hour south of Atlanta. It was Chris’s final year in the Army and he was stationed at Fort Benning. We lived on post but took full advantage of all the city had to offer – schools, shopping, food, coffee…you name it…we enjoyed it! This morning I had a longing in my heart for Columbus – a real feel it in your chest, remember the good times, wish I could go back moment.
Maybe it’s because it was my last year as a military wife. Life as a military wife is not an easy one but I loved it. I loved the adventure of moving every few years but knowing that I would be surrounded by other wonderful women who welcomed me into their community because they move often too. I was proud of my husband and his service to our country ( I still am). I had a sense that our family was part of a larger mission every time I went to the PX (the post exchange – the Wal-Mart of an Army post) or drove past a group of soldiers. Sometimes, even 5 years after Chris’s retirement, I miss my Army Wife status.
I miss Columbus on its own, too, separate from my experiences at Fort Benning. The south is a unique place – steeped with tradition and a warmth, both real and felt, that envelope you and make you feel welcome. We moved to the area in June and I can remember how humid and hot it was – so different from the middle of the Mohave desert in California that we had just left. While here I opened up and wore bright pinks, greens, maybe even a little orange rather than my favored grays, blacks and other neutral colors. I fell in love with monogrammed everything – stationary, clothing…you name it I monogrammed it. I had a beautiful lilting southern accent – just kidding – I didn’t but I enjoyed being surrounded by people who did.
I think what I miss the most about my time in Columbus, Georgia is the simpleness of our life there. My babies were still little and our lives weren’t full of all the craziness we have now. Alexis and Ben went to school half days only and Cameron went 2 mornings a week and was all mine the rest of the time. There wasn’t much homework and we weren’t fully embroiled in gymnastics, swimming, dance, skateboarding, golf, soccer, cooking class, sleepovers, playdates. The challenges of raising busy, productive kids in a happy family had not fully hit us yet. We were surrounded by the warmth of the south and it felt safe and easy.
I’m not sure why I woke up today with Georgia on my mind but I’m glad I hold a place in my heart for this sweet little place and the time in my life it represents! I miss it – well all but the Palmetto bugs (known everywhere else as a cockroach and yes they were huge)!