So believe it or not, there is a downside to this lifestyle. Like any other place where people live, or any other job that people have, it has got its drawbacks. Sure, there are lots of things about living here that could be pointed to as drawbacks; a general lack of movie theaters (cinemas), good restaurants, big junkyards full of relatively cheap parts, good auto and motorcycle parts sources, excellent availability of just about anything you could ever need to fix just about anything you ever wanted to, properly trained and funded police forces, excellent roads and infrastructure, these are all things that I miss from life in the US or the UK. But all of them pale in comparison to what I consider to be the biggest drawback of all in living here.
Living in a close community like we do here, you tend to develop close friendships. I dunno if they are any closer than relationships anywhere else, I mean how do you quantify the closeness of a relationship? Anyway, one of the great things about living here is the friendships that you make with your co-workers, and one of the worst things is that fact that every few years either your friends go away or you do for 6 months to a year, and sometimes they don't come back.
This year is a tough one for me. My 2 closest friends are leaving in June. One of them is planning to be back in 6 months, and the other is leaving here for good after 10 years of service here. Generally I don't have more than 2 or 3 close friendships at a time, so when these guys leave, I'm going to be sort of drifting for a while until I develop a couple of my other friendships into closer ones. So you see, it's sort of a triple, or even quadruple edged sword--the community here is fairly close, you tend to make close friendships here, but then people leave. People leaving cause you to develop other friendships into close ones, because most of us need a close friend or two.
Of course, my being an MK may be throwing a curve ball into the equation, too. Especially as it was so hard to keep in touch with people who had left when I was a kid, (yes, I predate e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Why, sonny, I remember when we used to write letters on this super thin paper called "onion skin" just to save on postage between the US and Peru!).
Anywhooo, my best friends are leaving. One of them will be back, the other plans to keep in touch and also to be a shipping/storage address for me in the US, which will be very helpful to me when planning for furloughs. So even this sad drawback of life here has its good side.
There are various ways to cope with the pain of friends leaving, (boy, that sounds grim! It's really not as bleak as I am making it sound, honest!). With communications as good as they are most of the time these days, it's not nearly as bad as it used to be when people go, so that's good. One of the ways I cope is to take the time that I would have spent with them and throw myself into one of my projects for a while. It's almost a relief to have the time to devote to some of the things I really want to do outside of my normal job here. In that vein, I got some more work done on my sanity maintenance project yesterday. The frame is tacked together now and the lower motor mounts are tacked into place. The next big project will be the front suspension and steering:
In other news, Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Clare!