I’ve been dreading writing this post because, despite the fact that Fort Drum isn’t our favorite, we’ve made this place our own for the past three and a half years. This is the reality of military life. We move, we settle, we put down roots, we pull up those roots, we move again. Rinse and repeat. It’s normal, but normal isn’t always the easiest to stomach, especially when you have to move a whole family.
We moved to our tiny village of Black River in the final days of 2014. We closed on our little home on December 31st, and we moved into a home devoid of furniture with two cats and a three-week-old baby the eve of a giant snowfall. When we woke on the first day of 2015, there were 22 inches of snow on the ground – something that these new parents fresh from Arizona were totally unprepared for.
And yet, we did it. We made a home here. We watched our little Spencer turn one, then two, then three. We welcomed our second son in 2016, and we brought him to our little Black River home. We brought a dog into the mix, and our family grew again.
We created a life here. We made friends who became family, and we weathered a deployment together. Each of this life’s crazy moments was tempered by the roots we set down here. And those roots are deeper than I’d imagined they’d be. We found our tribe of people; surrogate aunts, sisters, mommas, grandparents. My boys made friends and found teachers who love them and nourish their little spirits.
I can’t count the number of times we walked and ran these streets both individually and as a family. We’ve shoveled the driveway more times than we’d love to say. Most importantly, we grew here. Together. Individually. As a family. This has been our constant for three and a half years.
Black River village will always have a little piece of my heart.
New York might not be for us, but this little village is one of incredible people, selflessness, and beauty, and I’ll miss it far more than I expected I would. Tomorrow, we hit the road, and we start afresh on our journey to our new post. This is the nature of Army life, and I get it – and sometimes I even love it.
But today…today, I just want to love on this little village a little longer.