Summer is about tilling, planting, fertilizing, watering- and letting the crop grow. In the summer, as you bask in the glow of the sun, you also cross your fingers and hope for a good yield in coming months. Fall is about more than pretty leaves and football games. Fall is the time of year, when summers planting efforts are rewarded with a rich harvest.
In the Coast Guard family, summer is also a time of planting and nourishing. The Coast Guard utilizes a service-wide summer transfer season to accommodate families with school aged children. From May to August every year, the moving trucks come and go through housing, tearful goodbyes and promises to stay in touch are exchanged, and cars that are loaded up for long road trips take off for new adventures. This is how the dirt is tilled and prepared.
Seeds are sown upon arrival at the new duty location. New neighbors reach out to introduce themselves and say hello. The newly transferred Coast Guard families can reach out to their new community in many ways during those early weeks. Joining local churches, synagogues, and social groups. Volunteering with local organizations like the Jaycees, the USO, and the Lions Club. This is also a perfect opportunity to reach out to your Coast Guard specific and general military organizations and resources. The local Coast Guard Work-Life office may have a relocation specialist who can refer you to organizations in your community. Upon checking into their new unit, active duty members can ask to have their spouse added to the unit Ombudsman’s contact list. If the area is large enough, there may be a chapter of the Coast Guard Spouses Association, which is a great way to meet new friends.
Whether new friends are found via the local bowling league sign up lists or a Moms of Tots playgroup, summer is a time of tending these fledgling crops, nurturing them, allowing them to grow and thrive. When the seeds were first planted, you were not sure if they would sprout- but by fall you have an answer. Along with the many colored leaves and Halloween candies of autumn, comes a time of harvest. Fall has arrived, and this is when the fruit of that hard labor is evident. Child costumes are built together. Sundays are spent with good friends yelling in front of a television screen at a football game. New sisterhoods are nourished over cups of coffee laced with pumpkin spice creamer. Members of the Coast Guard family sit together around a Thanksgiving table, enjoying the bounty together. Invitations are issued for upcoming winter holiday events and gatherings. New relationships have been encouraged, and the fruit of friendship has borne out. Autumn’s harvest is one of kinship.
Reach out to others this autumn and in return accept the welcoming hand of those who have reached out to you, for next comes winter. Winter is all about being there to keep each other in good spirits during the times of cold. It is with the harvest that is carefully stored in fall, that we will survive winters icy blast.