Monday, April 21, 2008

Living Off Base

It's a beautiful spring day in England today, which means tomorrow it will probably snow! But for today, I'm enjoying the sunshine and a nice breeze. Even the dogs are enjoying the weather. I let them out, and Zeus laid down for a snooze on the rocks in the back yard. To think I thought they'd never get used to a gravel yard!

Caleb and I took a walk down to the town center, and I began to think of all the reasons I enjoy living off base. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I wish I lived on base just for the convience of being near everything. Also, I'd love to spend less on gas. (Who wouldn't?!)

But if I lived on base, I couldn't just walk to a town center. I love being able to throw Caleb in his stroller and be downtown within ten minutes. I love the town we live in, with the quiet river that runs through it. I love the watching the ducks and geese and pointing them out to Caleb, as if he has any idea what I'm saying yet. I love being able to pop into little shops and pick up a cute shirt for him for under 3 pounds.I love chatting with British mums on the way. I love living in a town with medieval churches, an ancient priory ruin and a treasure named after it! I just living somewhere with history.

Sometimes I hate driving the 30 minutes into base 3-6 times a week. And I long for the convience of being close to the commissary when I realize we're out of milk.

But when people ask me why I live so far out (and really, it's not THAT far), I think of days like today and genuinely feel like it's a good exchange: trading in the convenience for the experience. I know it's not for everyone, but I can't imagine living anywhere else.

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