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The Craphole of the Earth

April 13, 2011

I’ve never told anyone that reads this blog where I live (unless you are on my FB page or we’ve chatted for a while and it came up) but you’re about to find out where we’ll be living.

Sam found out where we’ll be stationed in July. I was ready – he had picked Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Stewart in Georgia, and Ft. Carson in Colorado. All of them seemed wonderful. I was rooting for the South. In fact, I was happy for anywhere but Texas. Which was a running joke between us. “Just not Texas.”

I don’t do Texas. No offense Texas people, but it’s just not my deal.

So when he called, I wanted to ask him if we got one he’d picked, but then I couldn’t wait.

Me in breathless anticipation: “Ok, wait, don’t say anything yet. Just, tell me, wait, is it, oh nevermind! Just tell me!”

Sam: “Um. Ft. Bliss.”

I felt a rush of sadness it wasn’t one he picked, but then a sense of adventure. Bliss eh? Must be somewhere amazing. AMAZING. Like Virginia. Or Maine. (Have no idea if there is a base in either of those.) It must be a base where it’s so gorgeous and divine they had to name it Bliss because The Garden of Eden was already taken.

Me: “Ooooh, sounds nice. Where is that?”


Sam: “Texas.”

Dead silence. I wait patiently for him to crack up laughing. Smart ass.


Sam: “Are you there?”

Me: “Yep. So where is Bliss?”

Sam: “I just told you…” his voice fades out.

I stand in my bedroom in shock as it begins to sink in.

Me: “Wait. What?”

Sam: “We got stationed in Texas. El Paso.”

Something inside me dies a little.

Me: “Um. No. I can’t live in Texas. Ever. I hate Texas. Wait – did you say EL PASO? As in El Paso like on the freakin border of Mexico El Paso? The craphole of the earth? With snakes and cockroaches?”


I google furiously and pull up Ft. Bliss (by this time the name is just a cruel joke). I stare at the screen in horror. WHERE IS THE GRASS? TREES? WATER? CLOUDS?

Sam: “How’s it look?”

Me in a small voice: “Omg. The website pictures look like some sort of a rattlesnake awareness poster.”

He chuckles. I muster up a tad of “Army Wife Cheerfulness” and tell him the housing looks nice on base. And we aren’t very far from our families. I end on a positive note knowing that he isn’t thrilled about it either, but that at least we get to be together.

In Wikipedia, it says that “74% of El Paso’s populations speaks Spanish.”

You.guys. I lived in Southern California for 3 years. Up until right before we left, I called La Jolla (Hoya) La Jolla – with the J and ll’s right there in it.

So if you are near El Paso or the so smartly named Ft. Bliss, shoot me an email. Because I’m going to need friends down there. Preferably friends who can teach me Spanish. And how to shoot rattlesnakes. Or something.


  • JaydensMom

    June 6, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Just wondering if you were still in Fort Bliss, I will be PCSing there August. Just wanted to know the best place in the East side to move my family there. Both my husband and I are dual military. We have a 7 month old son and a little yorkie.

  • Manderly

    May 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I am cracking up because I said the SAME THING when my husband was looking anywhere and everywhere for work after nearly 2 years of unemployment. We are near Houston and I really like it here, despite the cockroaches and lack of seasons. Glad you ended up liking it!

  • Kate

    May 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I just read this {http://www.hormonal-imbalances.com/2012/05/its-not-a-nightmare-i-cant-let-it-be/} and my heart is with you. I wish I could offer something: hope, chocolate, reassurance, time forward, hugs, but I’m a stranger with nothing to give. I live awfully close to you. That’s not pertinent, but it makes me feel like you’re “one of our own”. I’ll be thinking of you often. What a beautiful tribute to those precious boys you are.

  • Oh El Paso. It’s like you just knew I’d end up loving you.

    October 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    […] about that. Because this place, El Paso – aka the Craphole of the Earth, has turned out to be the very place I needed to be. For everything.Farmer’s markets year […]

  • Katrina

    April 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    You sound about like me when my husband called to tell me where we were getting stationed. I was like where the heck is Ft. Lewis? Washington? As in Washington STATE? Seriously, we couldn’t get much farther away from family and still be in the continental US!!! I found out that I really like it out here though. People tell me all the time, at least you’re not in Hawaii (I’d still like to know what’s wrong with being stationed in HI). But at least in HI we’d have people come visit us. No one wants to come here :-S

    I’ve heard Ft. Bliss is anything BUT – just try to remember that it’s only temporary. The one guarantee in the Army! lol…hopefully you’ll be able to find some positives in your time there 🙂

  • Katherine I

    April 18, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Well, Texas can be bad. I live in Midland, so we will be somewhat close to each other. It’s about a 5 hour drive from us. I’ve lived all over texas my entire life. Truth about texas, there’s dirt(lots of it), no rain and it’s hot, VERY hot. Message me and I’ll help you through this all.

  • Stephanie

    April 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I’m new to your blog (came here via your post on Blogher), and I just have to sympathize on your posting! It’s so hard to have so little control on where we live. My husband’s in the airforce and we just got our posting message. It’s a small village of 4000 on the East Coast. I alternate between being excited about the change and being bored in advance at what will definitely be a lack of…well…everything.

    Good luck on the move! Maybe you’ll end up loving it!

  • Sara

    April 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Oh… I’ve heard El Paso can be no bueno, but it sounds like Jess is offering to hook up up with a sister wife, so you’ve got that going for you?!

  • Lisa

    April 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I totally agree that I couldn’t handle Texas. But my brother lived in brownsville for years and there was so much there that was NOT my cup of tea, but the people were great!! Hopefully you’ll find the same

  • Carla

    April 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Random question, you have and iPhone, yes? I’m gonna give you the easy way out, even though I think Spanish is awesome (and I’m terrible at it). Download Google Translate and see if you can get into conversation mode. Then you speak into it, it confirms what you said by typing it on the screen and then speaks it in Spanish. And then! They can do the exact same thing and it will translate and speak back to you in English!

    I love my smartphone. 🙂

  • Noelle S.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:38 am

    This had me laughing out loud. Love the face on the map. A long time ago my hubby and I took a cross country road trip and drove through El Paso so I know exactly what you mean!! Good news is you will have access to delicious Mexican food on a regular basis. Yum. Plus, Mexico is an amazing country to visit.

  • Jess@Straight Talk

    April 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I still can’t help but laugh at this. Totally. There is no grass. But there are mountains. Seriously woman, I’ll get you through. And I’ve got a fabulous army wife there that I’d like to hook you up with when you’re ready.

  • Sol

    April 14, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I’m planning to visit my uncles down there next year. Would be great to meet up with you. Also Mexico isn’t the worst place to visit…I got nothing else. I’m sorry. I know this is the last thing you wanted.

  • Teresa

    April 14, 2011 at 8:14 am

    UGH! I’m sorry. Ray’s grandpa lives in TX and he loves it. I have always wanted to meet cowboys 😉 That looks so close to Mexico! My dad is from Mexico and I want to assure you that Mexicans are the most friendly and giving ppl there are. They would give you the shirt off you back if you needed it. If you compliment them on a piece of jewelry, they may even take it off and insist you have it! Start watching a lot of Dora and Diego now to pick up some things and if you ever need something translated, I speak spoanish. Remember that everything happens for a reason and this may be just what you need!

    Jeremiah 29:11

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    April 14, 2011 at 7:15 am

    It’s only temporary, right? This has to be one of those “make lemonade” life moments. Something great is just looming on the horizon of… El Paso.

    My boss actually lived there for several years and loved it. So who knows.

  • Janelle

    April 14, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Hey, maybe Bella could become one of those bilingual toddlers…that’d be neat. And you won’t have to worry about pasty white legs anymore…
    So sorry, my friend. I would have the same reservations.

  • Jenna

    April 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Some how I think you’ll prefer Ft Bliss to the extreme which would be Ft Wainwright in Fairbanks Alaska-nothing fun about 9 months of winter 😉

  • Alexia

    April 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Fort Bliss does sound like a cruel cruel joke of a name for a place on the Mexican border. At least it doesn’t snow there, right?

    The good news is you’ll be bilingual in no time.

    The bad news? You may have to invest in some hair spray to get that lovely straightened hair of yours a bit higher…

    But really, at least you’ll be together and having a new adventure. And even better? It’s only temporary…right?

  • Jen

    April 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Oh friend. Didn’t you know that they pick the strangest places to put military bases?? The crappier the location, the better the name. It’s just a fact. And then I got all excited when you said you were moving to Texas, because Hey!! I live in Texas. We could totally road trip it up down here. And then I looked up how far away freaking El Paso is, and it’s almost as far of a drive as it would be to drive to Colorado. So, there goes that vacay plan. Anyways, we can totally meet halfway, or you can come here because we totally have grass and clouds here 🙂 It will be great, and I hear Rosetta Stone is a really good foreign language tutorial!!

  • TheNextMartha

    April 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    It’s warm there year round right? Um. That’s all I got.

  • Cathy

    April 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    haha. I agree with Alena-Fort Polk is the armpit of the country, or at least one of them 🙂 I lived @ both! You will get somewhere good eventually, this is going to be an experience for you guys!

  • Dana K

    April 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I’d much rather live in El Paso than Rotten Groton, CT. I hate that place.

    If it’s any consolation,Ft Stewart isn’t all that peachy. I grew up near there & dad dud part if his reserve duty there.

  • Stephanie

    April 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    That was hilarious, not that you are moving to a place you don’t want to, but the way the whole conversation went! I may actualy be Moving to Texas in September nor El Paso….fort worth. I was looking forward to it, now not so sure. What’s wrong with Texas besides the fact that it scares me they can carry around guns?

  • kim

    April 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I can’t type because I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. Also? I’m stealing the rattlesnake awarness poster thing AND we’re taking a day trip to Chiahuaha!!

  • Suz @ Suz’s Treats

    April 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    So sad you’re not moving to NC! I had my fingers crossed for that.
    Good for you for trying to have a positive attitude about it. The awesome thing about the social media we love is that more than likely you “know” someone in that area {hopefully!}.

  • Alena

    April 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    It could be worse. It could be Fort Polk.

    Louisana is the arm pit of the country.

    Well Except for southern LA. But Polk? It’s like an ingrown hair of the arm pit of the country

  • themanager

    April 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I know you don’t want to be in Texas but I am incredibly jealous! I want to move to TX so much! and, isn’t there like a really amazingly witty blogger that lives in TX? I mean it’s TX!

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