Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer 1/3 Completed

If I were to divide my summer into 3 sections (which is what I’m mentally doing right now), the first section is nearing completion.  I have been back in my hometown for two weeks now.  It has been…rejuvenating, and fresh, and I feel blessed as always that I have this double life and homes in two areas. 

My trips home have changed in mood and style in the last three years since I started teaching abroad.  My trips home used to be defined by the word, “whirlwind.”  I was rarely at home for an entire day.  Sometimes I would meet up with two or even three groups of people in the same day.  It was almost too much to fit into the tiny boxes on my monthly calendar.  I would find myself orchestrating groups of 5-15 people to get together for happy hour or a game night, or being invited to events organized by others.  I loved it.

My trips home now are much more relaxed, however.  The number of people on my “need to see” list has dwindled.  Some of them have moved away, and some I’ve just lost touch with through no intention of mine or theirs.  It’s just too hard to keep in touch with 20 people "back home" while also building relationships with your present co-workers.  So these past two weeks have been comprised of meeting in groups of 2-3 for a drink or a meal and a few hours of conversation with people who really matter to me.  I’ve spent time reading and running and passing time with my mom and my sister (and my dad too, sometimes). 

Frozen yogurt stop with Liz.  Yum. 

Making pie with fresh strawberries...yum.

I also cut my hair off this week.

I’ve gone on some mini-adventures, too.  One or two day excursions of a few hours’ drive to see friends (I spent a day with Kelsey and Kezia, which was an unexpected blessing!), run a 10K, or celebrate the 4th of July.  I guess the desire to keep busy hasn’t completely left me yet. 

Love these two! 

We spent a beautiful day in Wisconsin Dells.

Summers here always remind me what I love about my hometown, and the things I miss (without always realizing I miss them) in Guatemala.  I take simple joy in sweet well water from the kitchen faucet.  And I love that at the grocery store, my mom rolls down the windows and leaves her car unlocked as she goes in to shop.  It makes me smile that driving through my town, it’s not uncommon to see a television or something on a front lawn with a sign that says, “Free. Works.”  I love that I can set my purse on the chair next to me in a restaurant and not worry about it disappearing.  I love that any street or sidewalk is fair game for a run—all by myself, at any time of the day.  It’s nice to pull into a parking lot without taking a ticket at the entrance, or to parallel park downtown without someone trying to direct me with hopes of a tip afterwards.   

No matter what my travel plans, I will always make sure to have at least a few weeks at home to enjoy these little things and reconnect with good friends.

And speaking of travel plans… three days from now, Liz and Rachel and I will take off on an epic road trip which will span 7 states and 2 weeks.  There’s been more compromising in the planning of this trip than I had originally foreseen (on all 3 of our parts), and we’re faced with the task of merging several very different travel styles.  But these two women are my best friends, and there’s almost no one else I could imagine being cooped up in a car with for two full weeks with the expectation of keeping my sanity.  I am really, really excited for this trip.  

Bring on the open road! 

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