Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hugs to Last Two Years

I like hugs.  A lot.  Sadly, I live my life with a fear of making strangers uncomfortable, so I don’t always give or get as many hugs as I would sometimes like to.  Last Sunday, however, I received (almost) enough hugs to last me my entire two years in Puerto Rico.  Last Sunday was my going away party, and I hugged people when they arrived, when they left, and sometimes while they were there…just because I could.

Reactions to my leaving vary, depending on the person.  One of my uncles assumed he wouldn’t see me for two years.  When I told him I’d be home for Christmas, he scoffed and said, “So since I’m seeing you today, I’m probably seeing you MORE than I would normally!”  Not quite true…but close.  Conversely, one of my cousins told me her 3rd grade son, who couldn’t make it to the party, has been crying because I’m leaving.  I think I’ll have to introduce Aiden to Skype (with the help and permission of his mom, of course). 

But let me tell you a little bit more about my day, and the party.  To say I found it successful is an understatement.  It was a perfect day.  The weather was great—sunny and 65—and the day was beautiful.  Spring has finally found Wisconsin, and the trees finally have leaves, the grass is green, and flowers are in bloom.  We rented a great shelter in one of my favorite parks.  It was big enough inside for me to get creative.  In one area, I set up a scrapbook station (thank you Grey’s Anatomy for the idea, haha).  My creative and artsy friends made me beautiful pages for the scrapbook/journal I’m bringing with me to Puerto Rico. 

In another area, I put out paper and…finger paints.  This was by far the biggest hit of the day.  I knew my friends would have fun painting, but I didn’t quite imagine the extent of their creativity…  definitely paint well used. 

At the back of the shelter, there was a fireplace, which meant, obviously, s’mores.  With the gigundo marshmallows. 
Wait a minute...are that marshmallow and that water bottle almost the same size?

And the final use of space in our huge shelter?  Well.  Some of my friends are great musicians, and the beautiful thing about great musicians is that sometimes, they know other great musicians, and then they get together and form bands.  And sometimes their bands are willing to come and play for free at the going away party of the drummer’s roommate.  That may or may not have been the case for me on Sunday.  So a special thank-you to The Song’s For for giving us some great music!  (As a sidenote…if any of the band members ever reads this, I have a feeling I’ll take some flack for calling them “great musicians.”  But I stick to my guns.  They make some great music.  And my mom really liked them.)  ;) 

I have tried and failed at finding the words to express my gratitude to all my friends and family for the party and the love they showed simply by showing up.  So to all of you—thank you. 

P.S.  If you’ve read this far, I figure maybe you know me personally and will be excited to read this.  My mom finally checked with my cell phone company, and Puerto Rico IS, indeed, included in my national calling plan!  Roaming charges apply, but I have unlimited Roaming…so, assuming I have reception when I get there, I’ll still be able to send and receive calls and texts from the US on the phone I have now.  Are you doing a happy dance right now?  Because that’s what I did when I found out yesterday.

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