An Evening with Friends

I am very excited about my plans for the evening!

What my plans don't include:

  • Figuring out a dinner that is both healthy and palatable to the world's pickiest eater and his brother;

  • Pulling my cherubs in from outdoors at 9pm as they scream and cry, "10 MORE MINUTES, MOM!";

  • Baths, Bedtime Books and Lullabies (although I cherish these moments I also recognize a break is a beautiful thing).

What my plans do include:

  • Laughter;

  • Adult Conversation;

  • Wine;

  • Story sharing and Memory Making.
Yes, tonight Grandma has the boys! I am headed out with some girlfriends to Joan's house for the evening. Each of us is bringing something to eat & a bottle of wine. I don't think we really need eight bottles of wine. But at least we will have choices! :) I have made my famous "dipping sauce" with fresh herbs from the garden, olive oil, salt and a touch of lemon juice... and then the most important part a good-crusty baguette of bread.

The gals, including me, are all very different and yet we have a lot of similarities. I am the youngest at 34 and the oldest is probably early 50s. Most of us are moms, a couple are not. We are all married, but to men with very different personalities. We all love to hear each other's stories of life; to work on understanding where other people come from with their different opinions; to ask for advice when we truly want it; and to find a shoulder to cry on when life is overwhelming. We all respect each other. That respect has led to wonderful friendship!

So tonight I will make a toast to friendship [and not having to get the boys into bed :)]

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com



PS I know that I am lucky that my mother-in-law lives as close as she does. As an Air Force Brat I never had the luxury of staying overnight at my own grandmother's while my parents hit the town. If you want a night to yourself or with friends think about starting a Babysitting co-op in your neighborhood or circle of friends. Find other moms who are willing watch each others children when the need arises. Sometimes those can be over night visits, or other times when you just want 30 minutes to yourself.

Friendship doesn't come easy, it takes work. But it is well worth the investment!

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

When the garden is bursting with fresh vegetables, and salads ingredients are growing right next to each other, it is the time to host a salad luncheon. Blueberries are at their height right now in Michigan, and blackberries are going deep red... with a few into that beautiful black color. Even the ever bearing strawberries are producing.
So, invite your friends, clean up that larger than life bowl, or platter that you have as a great decorative piece (make certain it doesn't have lead paint: decorative only) and pile on the fresh lettuce, beet greens, and spinach leaves. Top this with grated carrots, chopped broccoli sprigs, chopped sweet banana and green peppers, and chunked tomatoes. Now, pile on the berries. This salad is going to be beautiful I promise! Add some slivered almonds and shelled sunflower seeds for crunch and some whole wheat croutons.
Oh my... a photo op right?

Now comes the items of choice. What dressing do you serve? A buttermilk ranch seems to be a sure hit, as is Italian and Balsamic vinaigrette's. But here is a new one that I just tried today:
Creamy Poppy seed Dressing
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (I used Kraft made with olive oil, reduced calorie)
1 Tablespoon light Karo syrup
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Splenda
3/4 Tablespoon poppy seeds

Whisk these ingredients together and serve. Refrigerate leftover.
Summer just doesn't get any better!

Louisville Benedicitine Cucumber Spread

Keeping to the Theme of Cucumbers... I went digging in the recipe shelves for more earmarked pages. I knew there was another great one to be found. I found a saved newspaper clipping from the Louisville Times years old. Nancy Pappas submitted "Benedictine" and said the recipe originated by Miss Jennie Benedict who ran what was known as a classy place to visit in Louisville - a tea house. She also catered posh parties. Eventually the recipe became so popular it is now available ready-made. One restaurant spreads Benedictine on cracked wheat bread and tops it with sliced avocado, sliced mushrooms and alfalfa sprouts.
2 (3 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash Tabasco sauce
Mayonnaise
2 drops green food coloring

Blend ingredients thoroughly. Use enough mayonnaise to make cheese a spreading consistency. Serve on buttered bread cut outs: toasted whole wheat, white or sprouted wheat bread.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

Step back in time when you snack on this chilled salad. I remember my Grandmother placing this on the table in a large depression green glass bowl. It was colorful, cool and delicious!

Cucumber and Onion Salad

3 cucumbers 6 inches long
2 European type 10 inches long
1 bunch of green onions

Marinade
1/2 c white wine vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1 T dill
1 T salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Slice cumbers very thin.
Slice green onions diagonally thin
In small bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, dill, salt and pepper. Whisk with a fork. Pour over vegetables. Turn and marinade at least one hour in refrigerator.

Serve with tomato wedges and leaf lettuce.
You will feel 5 degrees cooler!

Cucumbers Hold the Cool of Summer

It is summer here at the home front... The plants in the garden are loving it and rewarding our mulching, weeding, rotor tilling, and watering with healthy fruit laden branches and vines.
Tomatoes? I can't get enough of them. Lettuce? Daily basis of sumptuous salads. But Cucumbers? A few of them are great, a few more are okay, and then.... even the neighbors lock the doors when they see you coming with a bag full!
However, before you get to the overload stage. Sit down with a large glass of iced water and snack on this Dill Dip for vegetables.

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Combine, Cover and Chill ingredients. Serve with a tray of cucumbers, celery, carrots and radishes. This dip makes about 1 1/2 cups

For a variety, cut the peeled cucumbers into strips and scoop out the seeds. Discard seeds. Then finely chop the cucumber. Place on a paper towel to absorb liquid. After sitting for 5 minutes, add to the dip itself. This adds crunch. Use the dip with crackers, as it will not stay on carrot or celery sticks.

Ah the sweet relief of a bike ride

I just got back from what is becoming my regular bike ride. It's not a long one. I just ride in our neighborhood, around a couple of cul-de-sacs and am back in 10 minutes, probably about one mile. It probably isn't even long enough to qualify as true-exercise since my heart isn't pumping for more than 20 minutes. Oh well!

What that 10 minutes is to me? 10 minutes of feeling the wind in my face. 10 minutes without the children. 10 minutes of physical exertion that doesn't involve cleaning the house or pulling weeds in the garden. It's 10 minutes FOR ME, no one else. Well except that I come back a happier momma. So maybe it is for my boys too :).

My husband actually suggested it via our regular web-cam conversation. I was complaining of feeling tired and longing for a nap, but just couldn't take one. He suggested I jump on the bike! So I did and am so glad. The most difficult part of it is finding someone to watch the boys for those 10 minutes. When in fact, that isn't so hard either. I have four sets of wonderful neighbors that don't mind watching them a bit. On the days that I work and the boys are at the sitter's my bike ride has become my "lunch-break."

If you are looking for a little bit of something to shake up your day and release the doldrums I'd suggest donning your sneakers and getting out for 10 to 20 minutes; a fast walk, a run, a bike ride or maybe even Rollerblades or a quick couple of laps in a pool. Just something for you. It isn't about the "exercise" for me, it is about clearing my head and coming back refreshed.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Soccer Camp

My five-year old had a good week. He thrives among friends. He thrives when there is activity. Sitting around for him is for the birds and tends to give him the blues. So my standard answer when people ask me, "How are you doing?" is tired. I'm tired because we are trying to stay busy during this deployment. It is easier for me to deal with being tired then it is to deal with my boys being mopey.

This week was Soccer Camp, our first 'extra-curricular' activity this summer. If Hubby was home I might not have paid the money for *E* to go, but doing something from 6pm to 8pm for four nights sounded like a good idea when I signed up last month. And it was. *E* played hard. He laughed; he ran around with friends; he enjoyed the camaraderie of coaches and players; he played in the dirt; he even did a little bit of gymnastics out in those soccer fields. He might have learned a little bit of soccer in between all the fun. He came home tired and really sweaty each night. But he was happy, very happy. [Therefore, momma is happy :)]

It worked out well for me too. I found someone to watch our three year-old each night during soccer-camp so that I could stay at the soccer fields under the premise of "watching *E*". In all actuality I brought a book and a chair and shut the world out around me (well except for the occasional look up to watch *E* playing around in the dirt or giving a friend a high-five etc etc). I relaxed for two hours each evening! It was beautiful.

One night the boys got SOAKED. The heavens opened up and it poured. All of us moms, dads, grandparents and whomever else was hanging around were now hanging out under the picnic pavilion. We just stood there amazed as those kids played like crazy out in the rain, not even appearing to give it a second thought. Some moms contemplated pulling their boys out and bringing them home. Not this mom! I figured it would be a good "war-story". He is a boy after all and he had energy to burn, rain or no rain. The rain did stop after about 15 minutes. So once again I pulled my chair and my book out and started to read. Ten minutes later what should appear but a beautiful rainbow. Just a glorious reminder of a promise for better days ahead. A promise that in everything, as tired as I may be and as much as I miss Hubby, there is a silver lining!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com




We Have Established Communication

Hubby is finally at his final destination. After months of training and then integration they finally set up 'camp' for their remaining months while overseas this week. I am happy for him as I know he hasn't exactly enjoyed all of the, what he feels as, unnecessary training. I think now they will settle into routine and we can pray the rest of our deployment time will fly.

The best part of his settling down for the long-haul for us though is he finally has his own Internet access in his room, albeit it a bit archaic. It is so much better then relying on quick phone calls. Up until now we have basically relied on calling-cards for communication. We haven't had to buy any cards because they all came from the generous people & companies around his armory before he left. Now though for two days in a row I have chatted with him on instant-messenger AND best of all I have seen his wonderful face via our web-cams. Wow, he looks good; tired, but good. I think of how generations before us didn't have access to the communication that we do and marvel at those women. Here I am feeling like "woe-is-me" that I rarely hear from him, up until now!

I watched my boys light-up the first time they came over to the computer and got to see Dad's face yesterday. We could talk and have a near face-to-face conversation. Our three-year older kept looking all around the computer like, hm I don't get this. There is Dad, I hear his voice and he is talking to me... but I just don't get it. Yet, he loved it. He needed it. We all needed it.

My boys weren't around today when we chatted. Hubby said some things to me that my heart just longed to hear. He misses me, he really misses me. Deep down (really deep) I had this fear that he would get over there, get so involved in his work that we would fall to the recesses of his mind. I have no fears now. As we spoke he was so very loving and kind and just made me proud to be his wife. I thanked God for web-cams today! :) Funny what little things in life can make it so much more enjoyable and, in fact, livable.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Recognition

Recognition is a wonderful thing, especially when it comes from many, many hours of hard work. MilitaryAvenue.com was recently featured in a business newspaper, MiBiz. You can read the article here: http://www.mibiz.com/absolutenm/templates/template.asp?articleid=14111&zoneid=199. We work hard at MilitaryAvenue to provide for our military members & families as well as giving local businesses the opportunity to support their troops. This morning I smile a little brighter that we have been recognized, once again.

It also reminds me to recognize others efforts; from the small things, like the neighbors taking my kids so that I can have a couple of hours of peace during my husband's deployment; to the big things, like all of the people and organizations behind AmericaSupportsYou.mil. For everyone that stands behind our troops and their families and has shown their gratitude in some way: "Thank you!"

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

To-Do Lists, who needs them...

I had grandiose plans for today. The boys are at their grandmother's every Friday so that I can have an uninterrupted day of work. It's wonderful and those days are 99.9% reserved for my passion, MilitaryAvenue. I had a whole to-do list of things I wanted to take care of.

However at 11am, this little bug in my ear kept saying "You need groceries!" (or was it my stomach?) I tried to ignore the bug but thoughts of strolling through the aisles without children running, fighting, grabbing, whining, wanting ... the list goes on... were followed with the thought "Wow, that would be great!" So at 11:30 my grocery-list was in hand and out the door I went. Yes, it was as great as I thought it was going to be! What an 'un-fun' way of spending $150 though. Sigh...

My husband had also sent me via email a list of things he 'needed' which was going to complete my 'box' to him so I picked those up; came home and sealed the box; and then I headed to the post office. (By the way, did you know they offer a military discount for mailing to APO / FPO? "Postal Service offers first-time military discount")

So somehow I killed four hours today ... at least it was a 'productive' four hours... just not in my original plan.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

'Build A Sign' offering free Homecoming Banners

Do you have a loved one coming home from deployment soon? Hubby is not coming home for quite a while (sigh...) but I just ordered a 'free banner' for his arrival. (YAY!) :)

"Build A Sign is proud to offer free 3' by 6' banners to celebrate the homecoming of your family member or friend from service overseas: http://www.buildasign.com/Troops."

In all actuality it did cost me $11 because they do charge for shipping, but I certainly won't complain! It appears that it will be a nice banner & I look forward to receiving it, and more importantly hanging it when the time comes.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

A Minute Out of the Norm: You Scream... I Scream...

... We all scream for Ice-Cream!

It was a busy Thursday. I had to get groceries; since we had been on vacation for quite a while there was not a drop of milk in the house or any fresh fruits or veggies. I did manage to find a container in the back of the frig of what used to be fresh strawberries but we won't get there. After we all trekked to the grocery store we came home, unloaded and then headed off to the next place on our 'To Do List'.

At 2:30pm my eldest had a sports physical for the high school soccer season this fall. (ACK! Is he really old enough to be going into high school?!) Fortunately, our doctor's office doesn't appear to mind when the whole fam damily shows up for one appointment. Usually I try to pawn the younger boys off on a neighbor or family member when we have to go to "Josh Appointments" but it didn't work out this time. So we sat in the waiting room while Josh went back with the doctor. I figured he wouldn't mind a little privacy while we sat in the waiting room wrecking havoc. (Although the coloring books and Hot Wheels that I brought did keep us pretty much in control!)

After the doctors we had to run to one more store to get bug-spray that kills the Japanese Beetles that have made two of my trees into a regular dining-facility. I don't mind bugs, as long as they are OUTSIDE and also not killing my plants. Break either of those rules and you are dead-meet.

So at 3:30pm my boys were pooped. They were tired of running around town. I made a quick out-of the way detour from the store and what do you know, we pulled into our local Dairy Treat. The boys all got out with huge smiles on their faces and mouths watering at all of the possibilities that lie before them. Ice cream! It turned a crazy-harried day into a perfect afternoon. We sat in the back, ice cream in hand, at their picnic pavilion and just took the moment in. My youngest had ice cream dripping from head to toe but this mom wasn't worried a bit! We were stress free enjoying our cones, blizzards and milkshakes. Life was good.

When your day is feeling a little bit crazy take the time to relax. Pull into a local park; stop and get an ice cream cone; feed the ducks at a neighborhood lake. It is important to step out of the moment once in awhile and just take life in... one lick at a time.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Life is a Party Complete with Food, Laughter and Chatter

I think Life is a party... sometimes you are invited in, and sometimes you crash in… although oft times the escape door is missing from the picture too. So, at this party, there has to be some good eats. To me, party preparation ranks right up there with party celebration.

And with any party, there needs to be invested a star performance dish. This one wins hands down. The smell of the barbeque, the chance to use an oversized fun dish and the taste of this entrée is fantastic.

London Broil

Meat cut options:
*Flank Steak, a less tender beefcut - but if done very rare, can be excellent
*Top Round Steak
(6 pounds serves 10 adults)

You will need a very large plastic bag, or a container for the marinating process.
In bag or container or bag, add these marinade ingredients:
1 cup salad oil
¾ cup soy sauce
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup prepared mustard
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients and add the meat. Turn to coat both sides. Refrigerate 24 to 36 hours to give marinade time to tenderize beef. Turn meat occasionally.

If using flank steak, score the steak so that it doesn’t curl while sending up the best ever aromas and driving your neighbors into fits of jealousy. This is why I referred to crashing the party of life… you just might see them hopping over your back fence. This smells and tastes that good!

Grill or...
Set oven control at broil and /or 550. Broil meat 2 to 3” from heat about 5 minutes or until brown. Turn meat; brush with oil mixture and broil 5 minutes longer.

Cut meat across grain at a slanted angle into thin slices. Slicing the meat is really the clue to the success here. With a very sharp knife, slice it across the grain and put each slice on that larger than life platter you bought for such an occasion. As quickly as you can fill the dish… your guests will empty it. Enjoy!

I would love to know what side dishes you love to prepare for a steak barbeque. Send in an email or place a comment.

When Time Stands Still

Funny, how time stands still. I was rush rush rushing to get my boys in the car. I am on a vacation of sorts and enjoying time at each of my brothers' as well as my parents'. I started at my brother James' along with his wife & my nephews for four days. I then stayed at my parents for three days. Today was the move from my parents to my brother Dan's, for another few days. It has been fun to spend some time with each of them.

So there we were this afternoon prepping for the 'move' across town... not that I was in a real rush to get to Dan & Becky's. It can just take forever to get the boys on task and the car loaded etc etc. But all of a sudden time stood still and whatever was happening just didn't matter.

My cell phone rang, and it was Hubby. Ah... life is good. He sounded tired it was much later in the evening across the seas after all. But he sounded good. This was our second call in a week. The first one was somehow awkward. Kind of like when you are just starting to see someone and you build up the nerve to call and then think, "Man, what are we going to talk about?". That call was similar. This call however had a little more flow. We are getting used to it. Face to Face is 1000% better but voice to ear is much more than generations before us never had.

The call was 'dropped' about 18 minutes into our chat but fortunately we were concerned that could happen and had already said "I love you" mid-conversation. So with the phone hung-up I walked out and my mom had crawled into the front passenger-seat and was keeping the boys entertained. Life continued. But for those 18 minutes life around me stopped as I knew it.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

Some Things We Just Take for Granted

On Friday I did something to my back and my lower back is pretty sore! So bending over to pick up a dirty sock, getting up from a chair or simply helping make breakfast just got hard to do! I have been very fortunate and this is the first time I can recollect where I was this immobilized. So I started thinking after we celebrated the 4th of July what we all take for granted on a daily basis! I used to think bending was easy but not anymore!

As a military family we lived in so many places and have seen the benefits of 18 locations and a few negatives as well. For example, in one foreign country we lived in the government officials expected payoffs (bribes) to do their jobs. We had some nationals who told us that they paid 1/2 of their mortgage to the official to make sure the payment was recorded properly or they got no credit for it. This happened to us when trying to get a new license plate and our car "failed" the inspection which was a blatant attempt to blackmail us. Now we have many faults in the US too but these were two we saw overseas that would shock most Americans when dealing with government officials (and yes the lines were just as long as at most American license bureaus, etc.)

We often take our freedoms such as speech, travel and worship for granted. Many countries do not share these freedoms and in some cases the governments of these countries would like to see these freedoms reduced so they are not as appealing to some of their citizens. Terrorist groups would like to see us make changes too in support of their agendas.

Defending us from these multiple challenges to our freedoms from overseas is our military community! One and all--Five services, active duty, reserve and guard and of course their families! I just wish sometimes while we celebrate our freedoms on the 4th of July that the rest of the country would recognize a bit more what we all do and give up so they can enjoy the fireworks like they just did!

Have a great week and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers! Come see our new Employment Center driven by Career Builders at your local installation on MilitaryAvenue.com !


Keeping our Head Above Water

Everyone has bad days... but wow we had a doosey on the way home from seeing Hubby.

He had been training at Ft McCoy in Wisconsin for two months in preperation for deployment. I am fortunate to have family live right in that area so when his four-day pass started we were there to get him & enjoy our own family vacation.

I flew with my boys into O'Hare airport, cutting about 6 or 7 hours out of our drive. My aunt picked us up and then we drove the additional four hours up to Wisconsin borrowing her van. It was a WONDERFUL four days. We went canoeing; did some ATV driving; had a campfire with smores; and just enjoyed the beauty of being a family again. I had never appreciated being a family of five like I did those glorious four days. In fact, we were a family of 7 as my mother- and father-in-law were with us.

Friday, the day we had to say good-bye, came all too quickly though and after saying goodbye we headed back to the Chicago area to catch a flight the next morning. Then the drama began. We checked in ok, in fact we were there two hours early after checking in. We had plenty of time to get through security and down OHare's underground corridor. We quickly grabbed some lunch at McDonald's and had planned on sitting at our gate and "enjoy" it. Then I looked again at the TV screenes. Our 1:00pm flight was cancelled. The gate attendent was kind, to an extent, she explained the next flight, around 4pm, had three available seats and booked my boys. I was on the stand-by list.

Back down the underground corridor we went - with three children and all of our carry-ons - to our new gate. All I could do was pray that the flight wasn't overbooked and that I would receive a seat quickly releiving any anxieties. Sometimes my prayers just aren't answered the way I want them.

The 4:00pm flight still hadn't taken off at 6:00pm and now they were calling for volunteers to receive free tickets if they would come off the flight. My chances of coming off of stand-by seemed to be slim and of course my children wouldn't be flying without me. So up to the desk I trecked. What was I going to do? What were the reprecrussions of me having a seat on the 1:00 flight and now none on the 4:00pm flight? The first flight was cancelled because of 'crew problems' and the 2nd was being delayed because it didn't have a crew either. This was no 'act of God'.

My tears had no impact on the gate-attendent. They weren't contrived. I had been sitting in the airport since 11:00am with a 3-, 5- and 14-year older. The 14-year older was panicing that we weren't getting on the flight; the 3 and 5 year older just wanted out of this airport. I had just said good-bye to my husband who was off to a foreign land for 9+ months. Since I was "willing" to give up the three boys seats we got three free round-trips for a future flight and $100 off a future flight for myself since I didn't have a seat on the 4:00pm flight. We also were given a hotel room for the night and $7 vouchers for each of us for dinner. (Although, the cheapest meal in the bar at the hotel was $18 ... and that was a cheese quesodilla.) Needless to say the $28 United Airlines gave us for dinner didn't cover 25% of the bill.

We did have a flight the next morning at 6:30am; after a night of tossing and turning because of stress I was so ready to get home. We had to fly from O'Hare to Atlanta and then to our closest airport in Cleveland. The flight from Atlanta to Cleveland was delayed an hour, but that was just a drop in the waterfall of the emotions I was feeling. I will be happy to use our free United tickets (because I "gave up" the boys seats) when we take our family to Disney World in July of 2009. Any other flights I will steer clear of United. Crew problems or not I just didn't feel anyone went out of their way to take care of their customers that trip.

So, apparently, I can't leave Hubby without incident. I hit a deer within 20 minutes of saying good-bye after seeing him off for his two-months of training back in April. But like I told him the night before he left that I would tell him good-bye a gazillion times if it meant I would get to see him a gazillion and one times. I can only pray that if we have to say good-bye again that the transition is much smoother!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY PAUL

Tomorrow is a great chance to enjoy some time with our friends and families! In order to celebrate our wonderful country's 332nd birthday we will be eating and watching fireworks. We will gather at my brother's nice place on a lake with several generations and extended family! It will be a great time with lots of laughter and memories.

One memory that will always be there is that one person will be missing! Our son in law, Paul, who proudly serves in the Ohio National Guard, just left for a year deployment helping Iraqi citizens who have never experienced the freedoms we cherish! We are proud of you Paul and your family for supporting you while you serve. God Speed for a safe tour and return to your family! We miss you already Paul and just know that our prayers and thoughts are with you.

The Real Estate Market --Choices, Choices, Choices


At Work on Our House

I do not claim to be a real estate expert but after 18 moves there is a bit of personal experience to rely on and with our rather volatile housing market there are many decisions to be made during this PCS season! We have lived in government housing, in apartments, rented housing and owned housing in many different areas and market conditions.


How do you choose whether to live in military housing, rent a place for the family or buy a home at that next location? We rented apartments for our first few locations based on our needs and the short tours we faced during pilot training. We lived in 3 places in 15 months and we looked for places that were convenient and met our budget. We did make mistakes based on our inexperience but they also bring up a few, "remember that horrible place" laughs as we talk about experiences with others. We then received orders for a rather remote location with little housing available so we happily took some rather old military housing as our first after pilot training location.

If you decide to buy you should first consider that if you currently own a home can I sell it? That made a big difference for us as we got ready to leave sunny Lubbock, Texas in the 80s heading to Scott AFB. The timing of the PCS orders did not help (late winter) but the worst part was the closing of several commercial companies that impacted the local economy and put hundreds of houses on the market at the same time as ours. The relocated employees sold their houses to the corporations involved and the companies in some cases then placed them on the market at a loss. UGH! So our sale was delayed by a couple of months and we decided to not buy at the next location while that settled down.

We checked the housing list and found that we had a couple of months to wait so we left the family in the house at Lubbock while it sold and I hung out in the Q for a short time waiting for the house! Do be aware that once you accept a military house that your housing allowance/BAH stops for the family still in the house at the previous location. We also heard that the military unit I was assigned to had been told it was moving south to the Panhandle of Florida so buying became even less attractive due to a possible short assignment (it turned out to be 3 years later but it did happen). So we left base housing very excited about our next location with an oceanside view! The on base stay had also allowed us to save some funds for that critical down payment as well.

We came within a mile or two of the beach at Hurlburt Field when we saw a new home and expecting a long tour and possibly a return tour we purchased it. It was a conscious decision based on those expectations and our location, market conditions and our wish to own a home again! Well, less than 20 months later I had orders to Iceland and we had a new decision to make! Do we sell (possibly at a loss due to the short time of ownership) or keep the house and hope to come back to it? We elected to keep the house due to its location and rented it from overseas with a property management firm as we wouldn't be close enough to watch it. We rented it for over 5 years before a 3d PCS to a different location indicated that we might not go back to it while on active duty.

We then lived in military housing due to the mission requirements but still drove through area neighborhoods looking at houses we liked and waited for the day we could buy once again. That day arrived when we retired but before settling into a location and a home we lived for a short time in an apartment while job hunting. We had not stayed in an apartment since pilot training and we felt like college kids again.

When we did find the right post Air Force job and location we spent a month looking for a house and it was great to be specific on what we wanted and have the time to look! We have been in place now for 5+ years and we are certainly enjoying the opportunity to landscape, update, add to, etc! The pride of ownership is wonderful and we hope you have the same opportunity!

While choosing where to live check out all of our different categories of housing at MilitaryAvenue . We have categories for Apartments, Apartment and Rental Home Locators, House Rentals, Real Estate Agents and FSBO. If you are trying to sell a house make sure your real estate agent is listed on MilitaryAvenue too!
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