The theme of a spouse club I had joined several years ago was “bloom where you are planted.” In theory, we were meant to take advantage of what was available at our current location, and to grow and blossom from all of the wonderful opportunities found around us.

Sometimes when driving through our dry central Texas countryside, I actually ponder, “How can I bloom in the dry desert around me? What am I, a blooming cactus?”

When the rains were falling this spring, and the wildflowers were blooming, my good buddy and I drove all over Central Texas and the Hill Country to scout out the flowing fields filled with blooming bluebonnets. We photographed each other next to a enormous Easter bunny seated on a rusty old tractor. After viewing watermelon-topped water tower, we had amazing barbecue in Luling.

We broke out of our little nests here at Fort Hood and explored the gorgeous, green and floral backroads of Texas.

And then summer hit us.

As I told my “Runaway Day” travel buddy, I believe God was blessing us with the beautiful bluebonnets and other wildflowers, before He set the heat to bake us in our Texas homesteads.

Once the rain stopped and the heat scorched my gardens, I became more of a hermit, hiding out in my nicely air-conditioned home. I scrolled through friends’ Facebook postings to see photos of fun family trips they had taken, in Texas and other parts of the states.

Next door to me lives a green-thumbed neighbor who has kept her lovely gardens blooming all through the summer and into the fall. I’m reminded of the concept of blooming where I’m planted, even if my own marigolds have since all set to seed.

Feeling holed up in my self-induced fit of cabin fever, I’m feeling old and tired, not wanting to bloom any more. I sometimes feel like I’d rather be a dried up seed waiting to bloom another day, somewhere else.

How can I bloom right now? Why does the Army see fit to keep uprooting me and my family, dragging us around, only to plant us down in yet new dirt?

I’ve enjoyed some down time, away from many other groups and events. I’ve caught up on reading a few books, filing papers and clearing out some closets.

Now I’ve decided to make my own pot, find my own dirt, and grow. I’ve decided that I’ll bloom again right here in my Fort Hood area home, come Texas downpour or scorching sunshine.

Inspired by my friend’s adventurous spirit, I’ve started making a bucket list of things I’d like to do before we are asked to leave Texas to yet another posting.

Last Saturday, I woke my boys up early and we visited Inner Space Caverns. I had driven past the cavern signs on Interstate 35, yet had never made the time to go visit with our family. We had a fun time!

I’m now looking at my calendar and planning different things to do with them throughout the next year, hoping to cross off as many bucket list items as possible before we move.

We would like to hunt for quartz near Llano. It would be fun to have dinner on South Congress Avenue, then wait for the bats to fly out from Congress Avenue Bridge as the sun sets in Austin. We could even have dinner at one of the many great food trucks in Austin – yes!

We have a canoe, yet haven’t taken it out to explore the Texas waters. Why haven’t we done this yet? I don’t know! I must put that on my calendar, and plan a day with a picnic meal together, too.

As tired as I am, I will bloom again. My boys will learn from this, too, how to adjust to new situations and become resilient no matter where they find themselves planted.

I have a hunch, too, that I’ll leave this duty station with boxes not yet checked off my bucket list. I’ll have great memories, though, of blooming like a lovely cactus even in the dry Texas fields.

Karin Markert is an Army spouse and Herald correspondent who lives at Fort Hood.

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