June 28, 2021

What I will miss about Kansas

I hold some strong opinions on locations where we've been stationed. It's hard for me to be indifferent.

I felt a fierce dislike for lots of parts of Alaska (mostly the weather) and was still in awe of it all and enjoyed a lot of it. I was made a better person during our almost four years there. 

I felt a fierce dislike for a lot of parts of Colorado (mostly the weather and the rattlesnakes) and still felt like I learned a lot and was made a better person by our time there. 

I kind of adored Wyoming. It was the perfect place for Wells to be born.

Pittsburgh caused us more headaches than anything and I disliked it in general, but I was glad Wells got to spend time as a baby in Pennsylvania since that's where our families live. 

We feel this strong "like" toward Missouri in a way that I can't explain, which is definitely why we're back here all over again. We were here in 2009 for a few months, then in 2013 for a year, and apparently we like it? 


When I think about our time in Kansas...

What did I learn there? Did it make me a better person? Did we get anything out of it? 


Truthfully, I cannot describe a greater feeling of indifference than that which I feel toward Kansas. I feel ...nothing? There's nothing to feel? I don't know. What's a stronger word than ambivalence? Is there one? Apathetic?

We moved in June of 2020, when people were basically still afraid of each other. We had just come off of having two back-to-back birthday parties for Wells and saying all of our good-byes in Pennsylvania and, then, after driving across the country with a not-quite-two year old who touched everything, I was in Kansas by myself. I was kind of over covid at that point. We had things to do (move) and hunkering down for months at a time literally wasn't an option. I remember the landlord being like "eh, should we socially distance?" as she showed me around the house and I just shrugged.

There's a big difference in knowing a place only via global pandemic precautions. That's the only way I knew Leavenworth. 

Scott arrived with the dogs and all and we moved into our house and that was fine. But we knew no one. We had no one. People were afraid of each other. The government didn't let us get together on the base. There were no parties or cookouts or anything. We didn't even have a chance to make friends. The only people we saw were the occasional friend from Colorado who would stop by for a few days. Or we had some friends in KC. We literally met no one (I didn't anyway) and it was incredibly lonely. 

This is when I became enormously grateful for the relationships we already had; friends who lived in the west/midwest that we could see on occasion. 

I got a job. Wells had his first real babysitter. He had his first daycare experience. 

Meh. This all just caused us more trouble than it was worth, perhaps, but I did get to pad my resume so maybe it wasn't time lost. Wells learned a lot, too. 

I will always see it as the distant school year of technology and long-term subbing and wearing gross cloth face masks. There was a distance between people. It was frustrating. We didn't get to do a lot of what I wanted to in Kansas. We didn't make new friends, really. We lived in a rental. We had no stake in the place. 

In the end, it doesn't matter. Like, literally, that's my degree of ambivalence here. I suppose it wasn't any better or any worse than most peoples' 2020-2021, right? 

This sounds like a cop-out, because usually I make a list of things I like and dislike but...I can't think of any? The lesson learned was that there was nothing I could/couldn't get in Leavenworth that I couldn't find somewhere else. 

(When it comes to quality of military-living, everyone has there favorite bases and places. We didn't really spend time on base, so I can't speak to it. Ft. Leavenworth is very pretty in that they do maintain it well. Ponds, trails, etc. The schools were well-kept and I enjoyed working for them. I've also never worked at a school on base before this last year, so take that for what it's worth. But I don't know much about the base itself. If you're an army family reading this, I'm sorry :)


  1. Funny you should say that about Wyoming. My sister for the longest time always wanted to live in Colorado (she went to school there, we've gone there 2x a year for skiing and summer growing up) and now everyone is moving there that she's like I want to go to Wyoming or Montana to live now. Too many people in Colorado!

  2. I get feeling meh about a place. There aren't a ton of places I would rather be than right here in Birmingham to be honest. Hopefully you guys will have stronger feelings of like in Missouri!


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