Jan. 13th, 2017

tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Been busy at work this week, always nice to make the time go by fast.
Weather's been up and down, with the last couple of days warm (high single digits) and rainy/foggy. It's going down to -9 tomorrow with a windchill of "feels like" -25. *sigh*
My cousin has been posted to Petawawa, Ontario, quite a good sized army base though I think he's Air Force. They do have a helicopter squadron there and some planes for dropping the Airborne out of the skies, though. They've just moved up and into a military PMQ (married quarters) off base in the village. My past is swooshing around in my head. I lived there for five years when I was married in the 80s. Not a lot of great memories there for me. Wasn't keen on the area, but I'm a city person. Back then, not a lot of IT job opportunities. I did work for a year in a convenience store in the nearby city of Pembroke which was ok, good for extra money at least.

For shops, there were two very small malls and the shops on the main street in Pembroke. There were more car dealerships than shops I think, all catering to the military on the base, especially the single men. I say "men" because when I was there, male soldiers were the overwhelming majority on the base. Single young males and cars just go together and really, you needed one. There wasn't a regular bus, just the long distance bus that you could take to North Bay or Ottawa but not a shuttle type to go into town (Pembroke). I don't know if they have one between Pet. and Pembroke even now, though you'd think they would. There was very little for movies. One or two very old cinemas on the main street in Pembroke, a new single screen cinema on the base and a drive in theatre for summer. Not a lot of choice for grocery stores, either. A small one on the base, a small one in the village, a couple in town. I think they've got Superstores up there now, though.

I lived in a row house on the base. Most of the housing was old, 50s to 70s vintage I think. It was ok, though, a three bedroom house with a basement and a patch of lawn at the frong, a fenced partition in the back with clotheslines strung across and a place for the barbeque. Chilly in winter, though, the house was drafty. I believe my cousin's house is also a row house but they are very new, just 3 years old. I've seen a photo of the kitchen and they're really nice. The base living areas are good for families because there will be lots of kids for his little fella to play with and lots of moms for his wife to make friends. On a base, when the men are often away on exercise playing silly buggers (that's what we used to say), these days, deployed overseas on missions, the women all help each other out. I think they now have family drop in support centres too, which they didn't have back then. We basically did it ourselves I guess. I think the military is slightly better at giving the families more support and resources than they were when I was there. We used to say that if the military wanted you to have a spouse, they would have issued you one.

Anyway, I walked down the main road of Pembroke via Google Earth and it hasn't changed very much. There's a bit more just on the outskirts of town, WalMart and Superstores and a few larger places but it's still not a buzzing thriving hotbed of activity. Luckily, it's about an hour and a half or so drive to Ottawa so it's got civilization at arms' reach. We used to drive down for shopping and movie trips on occasion. I'll tell you what, though. I don't miss it, either the place or the life I had there but maybe I had to be there to become who I am now and have the things in my life that I do so for that, I'm grateful. 

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