Beishan Post is located on a hill on the Bohai Sea.

This mountain is not well known.

The mountain is to the north of the camp, hence the name "North Mountain".

  The mountain is silent, the post is nameless.

Officers and soldiers are on duty at the post, responsible for pipeline patrols, cave entrance guards, and on-duty tasks for sending and receiving oil.

  When he was in his 20s, warehouse keeper Zhao Keke was on duty at the post for the first time and stayed on the mountain for half a month.

In 2013, as the company's oldest soldier, Zhao Keke, who was faced with advancing and retreating, made a decision: go up the mountain to guard the library.

Since then, he has regarded the Beishan Post as his home.

  This year, Zhao Keke's wife quit her job in the county seat, carried her luggage, and followed her husband up the mountain.

Accompanying her husband to keep watch, the four seasons scenery in the mountains, a patrolling path, and watching has become their daily life.

outpost · home country

  Wake up her sleeping daughter Tiantian, take care of her washing, eat breakfast, and then lead her out of the gate of the post.

Outside the door, there was a flat open space where Zhao Keke was already waiting for them.

  It's Monday, April 11th.

For the Zhao Keke family, this is also the most important day of the week.

  The wind was strong, and the five-star red flag held by Zhao Keke was blown by the wind, and Liu Junlan beside him carefully smoothed it.

Then she and her daughter watched her husband walk to the flagpole with the five-star red flag.

  Tiantian, who is 9 years old, looks taller than children of the same age.

Accompanied by her mother, the little girl raised her head and watched the red color lift up little by little in her father's hands.

Liu Junlan leaned down and said softly to her daughter, "Child, do you know why we have to stay on the mountain?"

  Tiantian nodded earnestly, and turned her eyes to the national flag above her head, her clear eyes flashing brightly.

This scene, young Tiantian has experienced many times.

  Since the day I can remember, my father has brought their mother and daughter to raise the five-star red flag in front of the post every week.

The father told his daughter that the national flag is the symbol of the country, and only when the five-star red flag is raised in my heart will I understand why we are here to watch.

  My daughter reached school age last year.

The county primary school is located dozens of kilometers away, and the journey is long. The little girl can only live in the school and can go home once a week.

  Every Monday, Tian Tian goes down the mountain.

In order to allow their daughter to participate in the flag-raising ceremony at the post, the couple would get up before dawn on this day.

  Stationed in the deep mountains, life has never slowed down.

After the flag raising, Liu Junlan and Tiantian immediately set off down the mountain and took the bus at the bus station.

  This trip to school takes more than an hour.

To this end, the army leaders suggested Liu Junlan to let her take her daughter to live in the county.

She couldn't worry about her husband who was guarding the post on the mountain: "It's his business to keep the post, it's mine to keep the post, and it's not a problem for the child to suffer a little."

  In Liu Junlan's view, guarding the sentry is the shared responsibility of the whole family.

She said to Tiantian, "It's not a bad thing to learn to endure hardship early." During the National Day holiday last year, Tiantian held a composition competition in her primary school. She wrote the composition "Keeping the mountain in Beishan".

That time, all the teachers and students of the school got to know this girl who grew up in the post.

  On the eve of the Spring Festival last year, Tiantian's primary school organized a home visit for teachers.

The homeroom teacher Wang Li climbed up the mountain and walked into Tiantian's "Beishan's home".

  He took out the sweet "Excellent Student" certificate from his backpack, and looked at the smiles on the faces of the couple, the teacher gently wiped the sweat from his forehead and smiled.

Choice and Responsibility

  In Liu Junlan's understanding, guarding the post is guarding the home.

In Zhao Keke's mind, watching is a responsibility.

  "Since you have chosen to go up the mountain, you must take up this responsibility." Zhao Keke could never forget what the squad leader said back then.

  In the early spring of 2013, the sentry veteran Wang Gang was about to take off his military uniform.

The cave on the mountain is an important duty point for the company. In the past, technical backbones have been on duty in turn.

That year, Zhao Keke, who was already a sergeant, became the backbone of the storage technology and has been participating in line inspections with the veterans.

  Once, after repairing from the cave, Zhao Keke was called to the office by the instructor.

He had just married at that time, and his wife Liu Junlan was a teacher in the county seat.

The couple was still planning, and the next step is to put their home in the county seat.

  Squad leader Wang Gang had no intention of leaving the team, but his father was suddenly bedridden with a serious illness.

The night he heard the news, he found Zhao Keke: "I have decided to retire from the army. You know the technology and work steadfastly. I can rest assured that the post will be handed over to you..."

  On the one hand was the entrustment of the "master" and the expectations of the company, and on the other was the hope of his wife's reunion. After tossing and turning all night, Zhao Keke chose to "go up the mountain to guard the post".

Early the next morning, he handed over a "post application" to the then-instructor.

  Walking out of the instructor's room, looking at the red glow of the sky, Zhao Keke was no longer anxious.

"Every time you make a choice, you must give yourself a sufficient reason that you won't regret it." On the phone, she learned that her husband chose to stay at the Beishan Post for a long time. Although she didn't understand it, Liu Junlan understood that: respecting her husband's choice is what he does to him. maximum support.

  It is not an easy task for a person to "station post" - there was no mobile phone signal in Beishan at that time, the post was only connected with the outside world by a phone, and the transportation of materials had to be carried by shoulders and hands.

  Staying alone on the mountain, going down the mountain once a week, the husband on the mountain affects the heart of the wife down the mountain.

"The post is all good." I call my husband every day, and all I hear are reassuring words.

Thinking of the conditions on the mountain, Liu Junlan became anxious.

  After a heavy rain, the phone lines on the mountain failed.

Worried that the temperature in the mountains would suddenly drop, her husband had few clothes to keep out the cold. The next morning, she carried a cotton-padded coat and a quilt on her back and went up the mountain.

  This is the first time Liu Junlan has set foot on the post.

She found out that the post was not the "Xanadu" her husband described.

"There are two peaks and one ditch, and the house is built in the ditch." The Beishan outpost located in the canyon area is windy, humid, and cold.

After staying at the post for more than a month, Liu Junlan almost couldn't recognize her husband anymore.

Reaching out to touch the quilt, a layer of moisture, she sat on the bed distressed, tears streaming down her face.

  Zhao Keke grinned: "It's quiet here, it's good here." Her husband has always been introverted, and used to "ask a question and answer a question".

Thinking of the future life, Liu Junlan is even more worried.

  On the way down the mountain, her heart was not feeling well.

After thinking over and over again all night, she went to the leader at dawn and explained the idea of ​​"going to the post to take care of her husband's life".

  A week later, the superiors approved Liu Junlan's request.

When she got the news, she started to pack her clothes and supplies, and contacted a few comrades to help "move".

  That day, watching the "big team" carrying supplies up the mountain, Zhao Keke knew that his wife had quit his job, and the rented house in the county had also resigned, so he moved to the post wholeheartedly to take care of himself.

  His wife's actions deeply moved him.

From now on, he has to endure hardship on the mountain with himself, and Zhao Keke's heart is also a little mixed; he also thinks that he and his wife will no longer have to "keep one on the mountain and the other at the foot of the mountain", and he is full of expectations.

Companion and warmth

  The days of guarding the post are the hardest at night.

  In the first year of the post, the mains power was not connected to the mountain.

At night, the mountain wind blew, and the noise in the forest made Liu Junlan dare not stay at the post alone.

  Zhao Keke goes out to patrol the line every night, and Liu Junlan also goes out with him.

There is still a dirt road under my feet. In the rain and snow, my shoes and socks are wet.

  The post was damp, and after washing clothes and shoes, sometimes they could not dry for several days.

No one from the nearby villagers who sell vegetables is willing to carry the vegetables up the mountain on their backs.

Liu Junlan goes down the mountain every day to buy food, and wears out a pair of shoes within a few days.

  "I always think it's too expensive..." Liu Junlan said with a smile now, recalling the difficulty of going to the post in the first place.

  There was also a night patrol with her husband, and Liu Junlan followed behind Zhao Keke.

It was when the snow melted in early spring, and the road was covered with a layer of ice. She slipped under her feet and fell on the mountainside, with a bloody cut on her calf by the barbed wire.

  Early the next morning, she quietly got up and left a note to her husband: "Go down the mountain to treat the wound and buy vegetables." That afternoon, she returned to the post with a basket of vegetables, but was "rebuked" by Zhao Keke: "Going down the mountain to see a doctor, Why don't you let me accompany you. There's nothing missing at home, you don't need to carry food every day..."

  Tears of grievance welled up in her eyes, and Liu Junlan choked for a long time.

That day, Zhao Keke also cried.

Also after that time, the couple set up a vegetable field in front of the post.

As a friend of the couple, a village doctor at the foot of the mountain goes to the mountain every two weeks to bring them much-needed medicines.

  After another year, under the coordination of the authorities, a logistics company in the county town regularly delivered express delivery to a fellow villager's home at the foot of the mountain.

The couple can go down the mountain at any time to retrieve the supplies they bought online.

Sometimes, fellow villagers also help the couple to carry the supplies up the mountain.

  Every time she sees the dusty villagers carrying supplies up the mountain for them, Liu Junlan is moved.

As time goes by, the taste of hardship is gradually diluted, and the two people's hearts are often moved and joyful.

  In 2014, the company organized officers and soldiers to renovate the patrol line on the mountain.

The couple backed soil and cement, and they actively participated.

In summer, the mountains are humid and the heat is unbearable. Liu Junlan prepares a pot of mung bean soup or barley water every day to send to his comrades-in-arms during the construction.

  The concern of comrades-in-arms brought endless warmth to the couple.

That year, the couple ushered in the most special moment in their lives - in the summer of 2014, their baby daughter was born.

  Just after 10 months of taking the baby in her hometown, Liu Junlan was worried about her husband who was guarding the post and returned to the mountain again.

  For 2 years, my daughter has been living at her grandmother's house.

The couple used the sentry as their home, patrolling the mountain and checking the warehouse day after day. Their "watching log" recorded various dangers and troubleshooting plans.

  In 2016, the post was connected to the mains electricity, and the superiors installed new heating and drinking water equipment for the post. The communication base station in the mountains was built, and the post had a stable network signal.

The couple discussed with the old man and took their nearly 3-year-old daughter up the mountain.

  The day my daughter went up the mountain was a sunny day after the rain.

In the evening, the couple hugged their daughter and looked out at the sea.

The setting sun reflected her daughter's smile, and Liu Junlan said softly that the child's nickname should be "Sweet".

  Looking at the faces of his wife and daughter, Zhao Keke felt a different warmth from the sea breeze at the moment.

Thanks and move forward

  Zhao Keke's WeChat avatar is the peak of Beishan.

He said that this mountain always reminds him to be grateful. Behind the watch, there is the support of family members and the care of comrades-in-arms.

  At the end of last year, Zhao Keke, who had served for 16 years, was once again faced with the choice of moving in, leaving or staying.

This time, his choice is firmer than it was nine years ago.

With the company of his wife, the post has really become a home - a home he can no longer give up and can't live without.

  After research by his superiors, Zhao Keke was approved to postpone his service and continued to guard the Beishan post.

Looking back at the days of guarding the post, he has won many honors.

But in my heart, the experience of watching together with my family is the most precious treasure in my life.

  Now that my daughter is studying at the county primary school, the family can reunite every weekend.

The vegetable field cultivated by the wife outside the post has a green "harvest" every day.

  The couple patrolled the line every day, and in the company of each other, they went through hardships together and enjoyed the sunset together.

  In 2016, the Zhao Keke family was honored as a "National Civilized Family".

The honor made the couple feel a heavier burden on their shoulders.

  "It's hard to part, so I won't part" "I have been there for so many years, and I can stay for so many more years"... No one understands her husband's stubbornness better than Liu Junlan.

Eternal support and company is also her regretless choice as a military sister-in-law.

  Not long ago, it was my daughter Tiantian's birthday.

The villagers at the foot of the mountain sent the cakes that the couple had ordered in advance, and the company cadres also brought flowers and gifts with their comrades.

  A mountain, a home, an outpost.

In the long time, they moved forward hand in hand - this is the watch that the Shou Shou family engraved in their hearts.

  Picture ①: Zhao Keke and his wife Liu Junlan patrolling in the mountains; Picture ②: Zhao Keke carefully inspecting the cave; Picture ③: The flag-raising ceremony at Beishan Post.

Photo by Li Jiajiu

a mountain, a home

■Our reporter Chen Xiaojing

  The morning sun shines on the forest path.

Road, extending into the distance.

Ahead, there is an open seaside road section, and the breath of the sea is blowing.

  A dog, chasing in the footsteps of a couple.

Every morning like this, the couple goes out to patrol the line to the sound of birdsong.

Stopping on the edge of the cliff, they watched the sunrise on the sea together.

The Beishan outpost behind them is bathed in the sea breeze and sunshine with them.

  Year after year, the days are as plain as water.

For the guard couple, Zhao Keke and his wife Liu Junlan, the first sergeant of a warehouse of a certain naval department in the Northern Theater Command, the thousands of meters of patrol road and this mountain, as well as the cave on the mountain, are the watchmen engraved in their hearts.

All this has become part of their lives.

  This mountain is not high above sea level, and it takes only twenty or thirty minutes to patrol along the road.

The couple usually parted at the entrance of the cave.

Liu Junlan went down the mountain along the road, and their daughter was still sleeping soundly in the post.

After carefully reminding his wife a few words, Zhao Keke, the warehouse keeper, turned his head and walked into the cave.

With the weak light of the flashlight, the first inspection of the day began.

  The stove was steaming hot, and the tableware and chopsticks were neatly arranged. At this moment, the post was filled with the atmosphere of home.

Awakening her daughter, tidying up the housework, going down the mountain to buy vegetables, going up to the mountain to carry vegetables... all stemmed from the choice 9 years ago. In order to support her husband in guarding the post, Liu Junlan resigned from her job as an art teacher in the county despite the persuasion of relatives and friends, and moved into the mountains. outpost.

  Liu Junlan gave Zhao Keke a home.

With each other's company, life will not feel hard.

In my memory, every time I return from a mission, Zhao Keke's eyes are no longer the cold wall and the cold stove, but the smile of his wife, the hug of his daughter, and the warmth of the family together.

It is also these warm bits that make the veterans who have been guarding the mountains for a long time instantly forget the ice and snow between the mountains and the sea, the wind and rain on the way back, forget the hardships of guarding the mountains and watch the sea, and stay away from the bustling loneliness.

  When he was young, the veteran had dreams and was obsessed with the distance in his heart.

In the years of staying with his wife, he gradually understood that those dreams were the mountains and seas and the long road in front of him.

Watch, let the distance no longer be far away, the dream shines into reality.

You guard the mountain, I guard you - this is the promise of the husband and wife to each other, and it is also their determined happy life.

  The farther and farther the road goes, the warmth remains the same.

In her spare time, Liu Junlan would paint the scenery of the post with her pen.

Years are like water, and under her delicate brushwork, "the mountains are beautiful when you first see them, and then you see them like high walls, and finally they regard them as home."

After years of creation, she focuses on different landscapes, but "watching the 'home' of Beishan" is an eternal theme, just like her decision when she went up the mountain: watching his watch, the years do not feel long.

  Li Muqiang Wang Yuanbin Luyun