A Life Journey

A Life Journey- All the Places I Have Lived

                 I was born  at King’s Daughters Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky. I didn’t live there long because my dad was in the Army at the time. We moved to Lawrence, Indiana since he was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison. When his tour of duty was up, the plan was to move back to Kentucky. Every family vacation was “back home” and it wasn’t until a sister and two brothers were born in Indiana, and I was in junior high school that it was finally admitted that Indiana was home. During my growing up years, we lived in three different houses- two in Lawrence and one in Oaklandon, Indiana.

                After high school graduation, I finally ended up back in Kentucky- at Campbellsville College. I finished my first two years, and then I was married. My husband was in the Air Force, and we moved to Valdosta, Georgia, where he was stationed at Moody Air Force Base. Our first home was a trailer in a small trailer park across the road from the base. It wasn’t long before my husband got orders for Yokota Air Force Base. I moved back home as he headed overseas, and lived there about six months while we saved money and waited for approval for me to move to Japan. In Japan, we lived in three different places in a year and a half. My husband finished his duty in the Air Force, and we went back to college in Kentucky where we lived in married student housing for two years. During that time, we spent one summer living in New Mexico, travelling around the state as missionaries- we lived in a church parsonage most of the time, but also in hotels and church camps.

After college graduation, we were once again in a summer missionary job. For ten weeks, we travelled around Oregon and Washington. We lived as houseguests, slept on church floors, at church camps, and spent two weeks in a flea-infested cabin. At the end of the summer, we began a two year volunteer mission program. We earned just basic expenses and lived in a sparsely furnished apartment. We stayed in the Pacific Northwest eight more years, and my husband served as pastor in three different churches. We lived in another apartment in Portland, then a house and an apartment in Battle Ground, Washington, and finally, a church parsonage back in Portland. During this time, my husband graduated from seminary. Our family expanded when we became foster parents, and eventually, adoptive parents.

Our next adventure was as an Army family. My husband became an Army chaplain. We lived at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for two years in military housing. By then, two of our foster children were permanent, and one adopted. Then it was on to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for six months. After that, my husband went overseas to Greece. I lived with the kids in an apartment in Indianapolis, Indiana, near my parents. During this time, the older two kids moved away.

Back from overseas, my husband was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia. We lived in an apartment in Augusta while on the waiting list for military housing for a year and then we moved on base for a year. Our son was adopted during this time, and our oldest daughter married.

For the next overseas assignment, the whole family moved to Panama. We lived in a high-rise apartment in Panama City while waiting for military housing. We moved on base at Fort Corozal. We lived in Panama for two years. During this time, we flew back to the states twice to complete the adoption of our daughter.

Back in the states, we were again stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia. This time we got into military housing right away and lived there for two years.  Due to RIFs in the Army, my husband ended his military career and went back into the pastorate. We lived in Augusta, Georgia another year and a half, moving to an apartment temporarily and then a house.

Our next move was to Lima, Peru. My husband became pastor of the Union Church of Lima. We expected to be there indefinitely, but we were only there a year and a half. My husband was diagnosed with cancer, and we had to return to the US. We moved in with my parents in Indianapolis. My husband passed away after less than a month. My son, daughter, and I continued to live with my parents. My son graduated from high school and entered the Marines. After a year and a half, my daughter and I finally moved into our own house here in Indianapolis. We have lived here for more than ten years now- the longest I have ever lived in the same place in my entire life!

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6 Responses to A Life Journey

  1. Anita says:

    Your tale of so many moves brings to mind the saying, “Home is where your heart is” and a reminder that people in our lives, not the settings, is most improtant.

    • newtreemom says:

      Yes, family is the constant…and as a plaque we always had on the wall during Army days said, “I have learned to be content whatever state I am in” (paraphrase of Paul in the 4th chapter of Philippians)

  2. elsie says:

    What an adventure of living you’ve had! I hate moving. I guess you can’t accumulate too much stuff when you are on the move. My husband would say that’s a good thing. Glad you’ve landed on your feet.

  3. Jama says:

    So nowIam curious how your mission work has transformed itself since you have been in one place for the longest you have ever lived. I grew up an MK. This all sounds very familiar. How did you find healing and the courage to go on after your dear husband passed on?

  4. pamelahodges says:

    Oh dear. I was enjoying your adventure, and did not expect the sudden death of your husband. I know it has been more than ten years since his death, but I do want to say I am sorry for your loss.

  5. The rhythm of your life pulses through the many physical moves you have made. The pattern of different types of dwellings you have lived in as you traveled the world serve as the picture frame for the story of your family. That frame holds such a vast and rich personal history. There is something profound to me in the way you’ve told this, like almost every sentence could be expanded into a book of its own.

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