well, I'm coming to the end of my stay in Yakima--just one more day here and then I'm off to all kinds of places. I'm going to Chicago on Tuesday, to Boston on Friday, back to Chicago 10 days after that, then on to Southern CA a few days after that, then to DC for World Communion Sunday. And that's just one month. Dang. I'm excited to make these trips--to go places I've never been, to drink tea while sailing in Boston Harbor, to visit Cape Cod, to see friends and family, to get to know my cousin Max, to preach in a new place, to maybe visit the Smithsonians again or the National Zoo (pandas!), to meet new people, to look for somewhere to live and probably even buy my first house (well, condo...), and do all kinds of things I don't even know about yet! It's such an adventure. I love adventure. Too bad this particular one involves so many trips to heightened-security airports! Luckily, however, it doesn't involve any trips to no-security airports that allow explosives ("mining souvenirs") into baggage...
While I've been home, I've noticed some things. First: I seem to always be found sitting in my mom's spot at the dining room table. I don't know what that's all about. Yes, I'm a girl. Yes, I'm my mother's daughter. Yes, it's the closest one to the kitchen and I'm the one who cooked and may need to get up and grab something. But what's the deal with the boys on one side and me on the other? I'm not my mom, I don't like sitting in her spot. It's creepy. But it keeps happening, and it's definitely the most natural place for the cook, but still. hmm.
Second: driving is bizarre. I haven't done much of it, mostly preferring to get my bro to shuttle me around--you know, quality time. But when I have driven around, it's been strange. There aren't many cars around here--it's a small town with basically no traffic. Everyone drives pretty slowly--at least in town (I haven't driven on the freeway). People use their turn signals, they wait for pedestrians, etc. I find myself paranoidly (is that a word?) looking for speed limit signs because I feel like I'm speeding, even when I'm going 30 or 35.
Third: sometimes things are very complicated, and it's nice to have nice people who speak english to explain them. Like buying a house, buying a car, deciding whether to get refried beans at the mexican restaurant, etc. Well, okay, for that last one he wasn't a native english speaker, and he ended up giving me two different answers, but that just confirmed that I shouldn't eat them, so it all worked out in the end.
Fourth: it's really cool to be able to look up all kinds of things on the internet--at any given moment--and even buy stuff and have it actually appear at your house without you having to pay a bribe to the post office or something.
Fifth: I can do all kinds of things here by myself--shopping, choosing my own vegetables, etc--and no one thinks it's the slightest bit weird. Also, I can get everything I need in one stop so shopping doesn't take very long. However, I have found myself basically unable to plan ahead and find myself going to the grocery store every day.
Sixth: I still miss Naadia and Marsa. I know they must be lonely at Dawson Hall, with no one there. I know Dawson Hall probably looks totally different now that they've done/are doing all that electrical work--no more exploding light bulbs! But, as much as I enjoy doing my own shopping, I really liked having Naadia and Marsa ask me every day if I wanted anything, letting them get things for me, letting them run out and grab some fruit or juice or tomatoes or whatever. I miss speaking Arabic with them. I miss hearing about Naadia's grandson. I miss talking with them about their families, or about their days in Dawson Hall, or about "Miss Carole," or about what vegetables are in season and how best to cook them. They're wonderful women and I hope they are well.
That's all for today--my arms are beginning to hurt from lying on the floor and typing. So....ttfn.