Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Community

Yesterday was Veteran's Day. It's always been important to me- my uncle served in the Air Force and both of my grandfathers were career military fighter pilots for the Air Force and Navy, and I always think of them and their service and the service of my grandmas and aunts/uncles in living the military life, but now that I'm a federal government employee, I must superficially admit that Veteran's Day is one of my favorite of the whole year. It's a day I have off work, but my kids don't have off school. And 6 weeks out from Christmas, that is a beautiful BEAUTIFUL thing. So I honor Veteran's Day, and we talked about what it means with the kids last night, but the rest of this post is 100% going to be about me and my magical Veteran's Day Off.

I got up with the kids, but didn't have to do my hair or makeup. I wore yoga pants. I took Cora to school. I got to be a student at the barre with one my favorite teachers. I came home and took a long shower, read some of a new book, and played with Cora's birthday party pictures. I went out on a sushi lunch with James. I sat on the couch for 2.5 hours watching the Food Network and completing 75% of my Christmas card shopping. I went to Target to complete another 10% and then went to yoga. BARRE AND YOGA! I haven't been to yoga in months, in part because my favorite teacher left my former studio, but yesterday when I searched for an afternoon class I saw her name on the 4:30 class of a different studio that I'd just bought a discount pass to! So I got to get back into yoga, back in Kaci's incredible, dynamic, super athletic class and it was AMAZING. I picked up Cora and brought her home to a crock pot meal I'd gotten to start at 11 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. so the chicken wasn't dried out. We enjoyed dinner and books and tickles and cuddles and two more episodes of Orange is the New Black and ohmygod it was the BEST day.

But it was even better than that. At nearly every stop I made yesterday I saw someone I know. A neighbor at the grocery store, a fellow PTA Board member at Target, one of James's swim school families at lunch, a barre student next to me in yoga class, a former colleague walking out of the building next to the yoga studio... we've lived in 4 cities in 10 years. Everywhere we go I feel surrounded by people with decades-deep roots and lifetime friendships and family down the road. We meet people, but you're never the first phone call or closest friend. You're on the periphery. It's not that people don't want to let you in, it's that that often don't think to because they assume you're in somewhere else.

In January we'll have lived in Fort Worth longer than we've lived anywhere else. And slowly over that time--through the SEC, PTA involvement, barre teaching, and the swim school (mostly the swim school), we've become woven into the fabric of this wonderful community in a city we never imagined we'd live. Fort Worth is home. It's been home since the day we moved- home is truly anywhere I'm with James and the kids, but maybe for the first time Fort Worth the larger city feels like home. Like it's ours. And as I drove home from yoga, feeling more grounded and loose than I have in months (basically since I stopped going to yoga), I just felt overwhelmed and grounded in that feeling of community and the connections I never realized we'd made to so many- not one person I ran into yesterday knew each other, I was the link. I'm never the link! It was lovely and I'm going to try to hold on to it when I feel like I'm on the outside again.


  1. As a fellow nomad, I TOTALLY get it!

  2. This is only tangentially related to your post, but I noticed that you said your crock pot chicken always gets dried out. I had the same problem, because I work all day and my crock pot doesn't turn off when it's done--it turns to the "warm" setting, which can actually continue cooking the chicken a little bit. And since chicken breasts are so lean, they get dried out. Anyway, I recently played around a little bit and discovered that if you set the timer for a lot less time than the recipe calls for, the chicken will still cook through but will not be dried out when you get home. So a normal crock pot recipe for chicken breasts might say to cook on Low for 4 hours, but if you set it for closer to 1.5 hours and then it spends the rest of the day on "Warm," it doesn't get overcooked and mushy! It took me a while to figure that out, so I thought I'd share it.

  3. That's wonderful. I have been chasing that feeling for a long time without success!

  4. Having just moved to Denver about 2.5 months ago, your last two paragraphs were just what I needed to read. I can't wait to develop my own friendships here.