Another military move….for the compost bin.

So, we’re leaving Norfolk. Time is getting shorter. When I first arrived, time drug like a kid refusing to take a bath. Now, stuck on the fast forward button, I can’t believe the move is already here.

We’ve started packing the electronics, making our last medical appointments, trying to clean out the fridge. We broke down the compost bin. 😦

We made that!

To our delight, our neighbor took all of the compost–two wheelbarrows full. She kept thanking me. I said, “Are you kidding? I’m so happy someone’s going to put it to use. We made this dirt! We worked on it for months!”

Now we’re only composting food scraps, which we put on a pile of decomposing leaves left over from Thanksgiving in the very back of the yard.

Temporary compost. Food scraps only.

That means no more composting paper. I have to throw it in the trashcan, and I’m not used to it. I’m not used to having any trash. We usually only put out a trash bag once a month. I hate it. I feel wasteful and trite.

I have a milkfish in the freezer. I guess I’ll to have to throw out the skin and bones as well. Can’t have it on that pile for critters to get into. That’s it, no more fish until we move. This is much more difficult than I thought. It’s 01:00 and I’m up, fretting over the paper cup I threw in the trash earlier tonight while making dinner. Funny, how you get used to things, you know?

The day we broke down the compost bin was lovely; sunny with few mosquitoes. The spiders in the compost were minding their own business, happy in their warm, dark home. Suddenly we empty the dirt, tear their home apart and a flood of soapy water washes in. Some of them jump for safety into the grass, the baby ones crawl on my arm. Many drown, separating families. It reminds me of a tornado ripping through a neighborhood, a flood leaving surviving family members grieving the lost. And as I scrub and rinse, I think how spiders, military families, humans–we’re all constantly thrown into random situations, weather patterns, changes of events. Some of us escape into the grass, crawl out of the water, some of us make it while others don’t. Those of us that survive move on, adapt and evolve. We build new, intricate webs as we enter the children into new schools, take on the role of new couple in the neighborhood, check constantly for an email from our deployed, watching curtains of snow from our windows, or squatting with a soapy rag over a compost bin in the sunshine.

“What are you doing?” my husband asks.
“Just thinking,” I say as the moment breaks and I continue destroying silky, empty spider egg sacks.
“Thinking about what?”
“Spiders.”

Military families aren’t that different from spiders in a compost bin.

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8 responses to “Another military move….for the compost bin.

  1. Mary Pat Bliss

    Pretty profound!

  2. Thanks Mary Pat! I could just hug you. You always get me. 🙂

  3. misswhiplash

    Oh what a shame that you had to demolish your compost bin!
    I live in Bulgaria and recycling has only just arrived and nobody takes any notice..shame..
    We have a beautiful compost heap made from donkey poo, we have two donkeys. It makes lovely rich soil when it has all composted down.
    I have read all your posts from day 1 and I think that they are great.
    Even if only YOU do the recycling , do what you can and don’t give up just because nobody else can be bothered…

    • Oh, that’s such an encouraging message. You know, I really appreciate that. And I will keep going, though most people roll their eyes when I excitedly tell them about what we’re doing. It saddens me, but makes me more determined to spread the word. Eventually, people will listen. What choice do we really have?
      It is wonderful to hear recycling has reached Bulgaria, and sad that no one is taking interest yet. In time….I have faith that in time as more people are informed, they too will take part.
      I am looking forward to reassembling the compost bin when we get settled in our next place. We’d like to try composting more fish, and maybe meat scraps. There are special composting bins for that. I can’t imagine the smell…..but I’d like to give it a try! Great to hear about the donkey poo. I’ve heard poo can be composted but I’ve never seen it done. Two donkeys! How wonderful.
      What’s a day in your life in Bulgaria like?

  4. What a great post Jenn. Love the metaphor. We also have a huge web spread all round the globe with our virtual connections, and when we physically move we don’t have to break the web we built in the community we’re leaving, we just have make sure we spin a long and strong enough thread to keep us connected. Though sometimes I feel I don’t travel on those threads often enough to keep connected to all the special people I’ve moved away from. It’s nice to know the thread is still there.

    • I like that. The spider threads we create over the internet. I would have never met you otherwise. There’s a woman I talk to in Bulgaria, a colorful girl in Florida and a park ranger in Colorado. I love blogging! Yeah, I guess we’re all just spiders. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Composting | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

  6. Pingback: Green military move | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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