1. We are small, but we are mighty
I love that quote from Margaret Mead that says “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The Coast Guard is proof of that.
It is about the size of the New York Police Department, and when I think of what it accomplishes with so few, I am always amazed. I can’t think of a better lesson for my kids than to tell them that one person really CAN make a difference.
2. Mastering hurricane preparedness
Coast Guard spouses are experts at preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters – alone. Our Coasties have to leave us to get ready to respond, so we take Semper Paratus seriously. Look in our garages and you will find the tarps and bottles of water, even if we live in land-locked locations.
When we look for homes, we check for the hurricane shutters right away and figure out if we can put them up ourselves.
3. Three degrees of separation
I can probably find a connection to a Coast Guard spouse within three degrees of separation. When we get to new duty stations, we try to figure out how we are all connected to each other, and invariably, we can figure out a mutual friend.
So we all feel like we know each other. However, a word of warning, that is not always a perk.
If you plan to drink too much and dance on a table at the next gala, then we will ALL know you.
4. Reorganizing your house every two to three years
I know how much the crap in my house weighs. All of it. And I am always trying to put my household goods on a diet.
This has become increasingly difficult with kids, but I am persistent. There is nothing like an impending PCS Move to force you to re-evaluate the importance of your belongings.
COAST Guard, get it? We are always near water. Well, there are a few who are not, but the majority of us can drive to a beach from home.
That beach may be absolutely freezing (thinking of you, Kodiak!), but it’s a beach, no less.