This week I have thought of the people we have met in our married life. Being military, we have met so many folks and have had such a full life of being with people we never would have known if we hadn’t had being in the military in common.
The one group that stands out the most is the women from our tour of duty in Winter Harbor, Me. We lived in military housing there, which was a blessing to everyone. Winter Harbor is part of the Acadia National Park area and it is a beautiful spot to live. The view of the Atlantic is one that etches itself to your heart. You are never the same after seeing it.
The military housing was divided into four different sections. There was a group of apartments on the base proper. These were incredible apartments being made into apartments from a mansion. They were ornate and lovely. I was in one once. They were reserved for the officers in charge.
Another section was known as Capehart. This was a group of Cape Cod style homes. These homes were for the chief petty officers and the officer families.
The other two sections were simply called “New Fund” and “Old Fund”. Pretty self-explanatory. New Fund housed the junior enlisted families, Old Fund was the senior enlisted. We lived in Old Fund. A duplex with a tiny front yard and a back yard overlooking the Cape homes. Hubby and I used to joke that we were ‘above’ those people.
Each place could stay separate except for another part that was a binding tie. The base chapel. We were active in the chapel along with a dear group of families. The families were from all the housing parts (except the apartments).
This group of people in the chapel became our family. We did things together, we shared our lives. The women became dear friends. A bond was formed that has withstood the test of time, distance, joys, sorrows. Little did we know that sitting in same kitchens in base housing, sipping tea and eating whatever kind of sweet available, we were joined together in heart and spirit.
We were the only family ready to avail to one another. Our birth families were miles away and without the convenience of laptops or cell phones, we only communicated via letters or the occasional phone call. The people in housing became our emergency support system. We watched kids while there was a run to the emergency room with another child. We tucked kids into bed for one another, we became the surrogate aunts and uncles.
The women of Winter Harbor are still close. We know what is going on in each other’s lives. We share memories of the times together. We still laugh and cry together. They are precious and dear to me. I just said good-bye to one of these dear women a few minutes ago. She and her husband stopped by on their way home from a vacation. We stayed up late talking and catching up. We laughed and shed a tear or two. We clasped hands and just remembered. We talked of the other women and smiled and remembered with fondness the times together. The time sped by and they are on their way home, and we are filled with the joy that comes from this relationship.
These women are a gift to my life. We have always said we were more than friends, we were family. Little Man’s Nana is one of these Winter Harbor women. We are truly family now and it seems this bond is complete now. I tucked my son-in-law into bed while his folks were out one night, I watched him grow for a season of his life.
It is a wonderful gift and bond and for this part, I am so thankful for the time that we lived there. That is where I met the rest of my family.