I know some of you will read this and think to yourself “I would NEVER hang out with any of my neighbors” or “I cannot stand so and so or her husband, so I would never break bread with them” and I TOTALLY understand how you feel. We have moved 9 times in 12 years and until 4 years ago I was not the most social military wife or neighbor. Our oldest son has severe autism and we spent most of our down time keeping to ourselves and to be honest, feeling pretty bitter because we did not think we could really be social with our son in tow. Because I was not the best at getting to know my neighbors, I spent many years thinking if something happen to me while my husband was deployed I would be in real trouble. What if I hurt myself? What would happen to my children? How long would it be before anyone noticed I was injured or worse?
Well, I can say after many years I no longer feel that way. I know almost all of my neighbors here on Schofield Barracks. True, some of them are not my best friends, but I do know them and I try to get along with all of them the best I can. In my yard we have a passed down from neighbor to neighbor trampoline and swing set to which we added a table and a few chairs. This has become a gathering place of sorts for the little ones on my street. We had LOTS of new neighbors move in this summer and we have started a Thursday tradition, ALOHA THURSDAY!
Every Thursday most of the soldiers get off work around 3pm, so all the little ones start playing outside about this time and the grown ups partake in adult beverages. We put a big table outside and the kids eat and play while we sit around and get to know one another. You do not have to be best friends to eat a good meal together. Most weeks we pick a theme, such as Italian, Mexican or Hawaiian and everyone brings one dish. This way we get to eat a big meal and not make a huge mess in our kitchen! This started out with 4 families and last week we had 8 families and 12 or so children outside! It was fun and by the time we go inside my kids are worn out and ready for bed, which makes for a very happy me! Oh, and don’t whine to me that you don’t have kids or your kids are grown and you would not feel comfortable in this situation! One of the Aloha Thursday regulars has grown kids that don’t attend and another family has no kids
I can honestly say that if I need a cup of sugar or even a glass of wine, I can go to my neighbors door and not feel uncomfortable. If my husband is gone and I am in need I always have a friend or neighbor to count on. I don’t worry how long it will be before someone notices I am missing, I know come Thursday they will be looking for me!
Celeste is a mom of 2 (autism momma) an army wife, Rodan and Fields user and rep, world traveler and blogger. She currently lives in Hawaii where her husband is stationed and on most days is working on her business, driving kids to and from activities all while working to maintain a healthy and fit life. She is the newest contributor to Army Wife 101 and is also a blogger over at Skinny Mom.
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