What the What is Going on in ‘Merica?
I’m home. Sort of. I’m back to being able to recite the pledge of allegiance, drive on the right side of the road and converse fluently. I’m back in the US of blessed A. And I’m happy. I’m proud this is my country. Perhaps I even feel a bit freer and braver than before. Certainly, the bravery is needed right about now.
My home country is foreign in many ways. I am surrounded by sincerely nice people. Good people who I like immediately. But it takes guts for me to meet them on their own terms – invite them over for a BBQ when I know not how to BB nor Q. It’s how friendships are made here and I want to be their friend. I have to pretend for the moment that offering to drive is not a scary proposition. I am swallowing my gasp when I see how much it costs to have health insurance and trying not to judge when others’ patriotism appears more like nationalism to me. But, overall, USA and I are getting along well.
So first, the overview. I moved home. My family was there with all their love and comfort and fantastic-ness. There was a family reunion in quintessential Michigan style in a cottage on a lake with my rocking family, cousins, aunts and uncles who are really just plain fun. For a moment there I stopped and wondered why I would ever move away from Michigan. Then came time relaxing and enjoying my family whilst kayaking, horse riding, biking, and hammock-ing. All the while my dog by my side. Michigan summer at its absolute best. Then packing, sorting, anticipating and giggling about my Washington prospects with my mom. U-Haul in tow and we were off to traverse the wowing wild west. Eight states in twelve days left me with more blog-worthy material than I can convey just yet. From Tiger Town Fill ‘Ep in South Dakota to red solo cup Livingston, Montana we drove, we camped, we explored. What a pleasure!
Suddenly we were here. Right when the scenery changed from Beautiful to Gorgeous I realized I’d arrived in my new home. Here the people are grown friendlier, the wildlife more accessible and the scenery more splendid. In short, I love Washington. I was home before I’d even unpacked a box. Then Mom put her mark on things and suddenly my little cottage was ship-shape-fantastic, complete with organized tool shed and freshly dug campfire pit. She took such good care of me. The immediate connection to the ocean’s ever-changing mood is a show I could watch all day. I am equal parts comforted and energized each minute I’m here.
Except there’s no JD. This is not a footnote; it’s a Big Foot Note. Home has no capital H without him. Our immigration interview date is coming on quickly and – holding thumbs – he’ll be here soon. Then Real Life begins with all its adventure and sharing of jokes. Ours is a reservation that can’t be sat until our whole party arrives.
But in the meantime, I’m gathering sticks for our nest. Here is where I’m meeting fantastic new friends. Here is where I’m missing the family and friendly friends elsewhere. Here is where I’m starting at a new American High School; fielding flashbacks of the fun of actually being in high school while euphemistically telling current high school students to sit down and shut up. Here I am having a ton of fun being able to speak quickly and use idioms with my native English-speaking students, but also struggling to breathe under the weight of 133 papers per round to grade when I’m used to having 41. And here I am overwhelmingly overwhelmed by what Mother Nature can make happen seemingly so easily. Each evening is a glimpse across the ocean or through the forest into what nature makes. Here I am spoiled by beauty.
What a treat this is and will be. Good friends, good people, good nature. All’s that’s missing is JD.