The 91/2 hour return trip was pretty uneventful; and the time passed quickly thanks largely in part to an AWESOME mix CD from my mom and her husband. Will is just getting into "real" music, and this had all the perennial favorites (Love Shack, I Love Rock N Roll), and a few new ones as well (Pokerface, That's Not My Name). This is a huge step in the right direction from Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Old MacDonald. Maybe Juicy will be on the next one.
Things have been busy since we got back. I have had hardly any time to be the internet slut that I fancy myself, and have visited Perez only once or twice since we've returned, and have cut WAY back on my Facebook habit.
The unpacking is ALMOST done, but still occurring at a now sluggish pace. I am realizing that I have saved and consumed way too much; particularly in the 4 years since Will has been born. Stay posted for news on a massive yard sale that must occur by the Fall. Brett has been checking items off his "To Do Around the House" list, and I've been trying to make progress as well. Just today, I even spent two hours renewing my license (3 if you count the time it took me to dry my hair and put on wedding level makeup- hey, this picture could possibly be with me for 10 years!)
I can't say how happy I am to be home. I miss the view from my window in Pennsylvania; the rolling hills, white fences, and trotting horses. But, let me tell you a few things..1.) I don't look out the kitchen window nearly as much since we have a dishwasher like most people, and 2.) there is no view more beautiful to me than my little neighborhood; full of modest houses, neighbors walking their dogs, and Will learning to ride a bike.
As I gain some perspective, I already do feel lucky to have had the opportunity. We got to live right near a farm. An actual working farm. There aren't too many people in this country who can say that, and sadly, there are going to be fewer and fewer if things keep going the way they are.
I learned that Brett and I would be okay if we ever had to pack up the kids and make a go of it in some strange place. I can rely on my husband to make me feel safe, keep my children amused, and unclog a toilet no matter where we are. I understand that just being "close" to someone doesn't always make you "close" to them. But, being near friends and family makes a world of difference for me. I always thought I was pretty independent, but I guess I had no idea how much I relied on everyone here. I will never take them for granted again, and I hope I can show my appreciation and happiness as much as I feel it.
I learned a lot about myself, too. I tend to put disclaimers on myself. "I'm no feminist, but....", "I'm not the outdoorsy type, but...", "I'm not an environmentalist, but...". Maybe I'm much more of an outdoorsy, athletic, feminist/environmentalist than I give myself credit for. I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of my husband. And, I'm extremely proud of my children. We all returned to our home, but, really, we realized that home is just where we all happen to be.
And, since it is the question we have heard the most this past week or so, I will answer it here. We have no idea what we are doing next. Brett and I are both completely unemployed at this point, and are open to accepting almost any new challenge that is presented to us. I am very scared. Yes, I know the economy is in the shitter. But, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We stepped off a huge ledge, and I have faith that eventually (soon, I hope) we'll hit the ground.