Back in the USA
Late Tuesday night, we made it back to the USA…. the land of the free, the oversized, and the paved and clean roads. It’s nice to be “home” for some time. It’s also weird. Weird on a lot of different levels. We’re living with my folks, in the house I grew up in since I came home from the hospital as a newborn. This isn’t weird per se as we’ve done this before. What has been weird is that some things haven’t changed. For example, the shampoo and conditioner in the shower is the same stuff I left 17 months ago…yup, total time warp. We know life has been happening here while we’re gone but there’s been a few things that makes us stop and ask, “wait, we were gone, right?”
There has been numerous little things that we’ve been reveling in. Here’s a few:
* welcome home tri-tip and BBQ chicken dinner, Wuertz-style, complete with artichokes, salad and guacamole. If you’ve had my dad’s cooking… you know what I’m talking about…. DELISH!
* Berries of every kind… strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries!
* Non-fat milk! Ice cold non-fat milk…. <sigh>
* OK, so there really is more than just food…. like, fast and reliable internet, the ability to drink tap water much to the kids awe and excitement, cooler temperatures that mean jeans and sweatshirts… and snuggling under duvets at night.
* The ability to blend in!!! (which means that we’re not being pointed at, stared at, touched or having our picture taken!… the kids love this part– Jamie misses the above…. haha, just kidding… or am I?!?)
The first 72 hours has been jam-packed, as our teammates like to say, “in true Shattenberg style”. We’re jam-packers… it’s our nature. We’ve unpacked, done laundry, gone to Costco and met friends at the park, the kids have played for endless hours outside on bikes and skeeters and in the sandbox and playhouse. We’ve been in the hot tub. We’ve had haircuts and have done a little shopping for new clothes and shoes for the kids. We’ve seen family and friends and enjoyed Mexican food over a dinner date discussing Alissa being a labor support/doula for an upcoming birth. Jamie’s been surfing and when the waves didn’t cooperate he enjoyed good conversation with a friend over breakfast burritos instead. We’ve had our PODS (portable on demand storage) unit delivered and have desperately searched for the keys… to no avail. We’ve gone by our old beloved house and were even invited into the backyard by the new tenants for a little sweet reminiscing… it was bittersweet as I felt the sun shine on me in such a familiar yet long-ago way. We’ve been up for hours upon hours between 1-4am fighting jetlag in our kids. Last night was better and we’re praying we’re on the upswing. Though our kids haven’t made cookies with grammy and grampy just yet, they did manage to make mini berry pies last night… and go to the donut store. We’ve gone all these days and still haven’t acquired any cold-hard cash from the bank but rather have paid for everything with a little signed piece of flimsy paper or a small piece of plastic… this would be unbelievable to our Malagasy friends. Speaking of which, we’ve talked to several on the phone.
Tomorrow is Sunday and we’re looking forward to church and then a little day of rest… in true Shattenberg style.
Gavin enjoying the hot tub for the first time
There’s nothing quite like enjoying the comforts of “home”