Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Again

I always forget how positively horrible I feel the day after crossing 6 or more time zones. In addition to being quite jet-lagged, I have a sinus headache that makes it hard to even keep my eyes open.

But despite my pounding head, I managed to drive an hour each way to pick up our loveable canine friend Jake. Actually he seemed rather ambivalent about coming home, perhaps preferring the company of the other (now 3) dogs. He must have behaved acceptably well because he has been invited back in May when we go to Italy.

Whereas my husband hates preparing for a trip, I dislike coming home to wash all the dirty clothes, replenish the empty refrigerator, go through the stacks of mail, and get back into my normal routine.

I already miss the miles of walking we did each day. Yes, of course I could do it here, but experience says I won’t. I miss deciding where to eat dinner. I miss trying to make myself understood in someone else’s language. I even miss riding the subway.

The sole purpose of our trip was to make sure our son was doing alright in his adopted country. I’m happy to say he is really doing fine. Although he has very little money to spare, he has managed to buy the necessities, like a winter coat and a good pair of shoes. His job teaching English gives him enough to pay his living expenses.

I’m in total awe of the way he is embracing this totally foreign culture, where he didn’t know a single word of the language when he arrived. He has a good grammar book and a pocket dictionary and he arranges language exchanges several times each week with German students who want to learn English.

It’s still a little hard for me to accept the fact that this career detour to teach English abroad is not part of some master plan with a known time frame. He’s very noncommital when asked about the future.

But his success in realizing his dreams should be all I need to convince me to trust that all will work out. There are times, however, when I would just love to look in a crystal ball and see where he will be in 10 years and what he will be doing.


Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

welcome home - I'm happy to hear that the trip provided the needed reassurance that your son is doing well (we parents do need this periodically! as there is much truth in that oft said saying that 'a parent is only as happy as her/his unhappiest child'

I'm will you on going vs rentry.... it always takes me quite a while to get back into my normal routines. when time zones are involved, I subscribe to the notion that one must give oneself a day for each zone before one's really back into the home zone.

jake looks very content to be back at home; perhaps his fun being part of a pack will have you contemplating an addition to the family? I bet if jake could talk, he would be saying 'can we, can we?'

I think when I really think about it, when comes to my kids, I'll take my faith that all will be well and work out over the idea of a crystal ball!

you will be having a very busy spring!! look forward to the 'cosmic convergence'!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I also have re-entry problems! I think I have resolved that with my summer plans. As you know, Arizona is unbearably hot in July and August, so my plan is to leave here July 29 for 2 weeks at Venice Beach. On July 12 I will leave for four weeks in Australia and New Zealand. Upon return I will head back to the beach house for three weeks. I am hoping that the beach respites will gear me up for my trek to Oz & Kiwi land and give me a chance to come back from there fairly easily.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's hard to believe that you're back already. It seems you've only just left but in between, you managed to do so much, see so much, of a different part of the world.

I'm not keen on coming home and getting back into the swing of things. I swear I never fully unpack from one trip until I leave on the next. Of course, mine seem to be stacked fairly close together.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Glad to know you're safely home and that you can feel assured your son is coping. Looks like I will have to travel vicariously through my blogging friends this year - my son and sisters will come here this summer rather than my flying out to spend time with them.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

20-somethings are smart to experiment, try different living situations and different working environments. Lots of folks of Daniel's age go into the Peace Corps or travel around trying this and that. I'm so glad he's enjoying his time in Germany. That is excellent!!

Welcome home! We have subways! We have restaurants! We have so many places where you can walk and walk and walk. Make yourself at home, dear! And give Jake a big hug from me, ok?

9:06 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Glad to hear that you had a great trip and that your son is adjusting very well to his new home (temporary as it may be).

Jake does look content back home. Although, we all miss him here too. Even Belle (our second houseguest).

BTW- do you really NEED to do the laundry now?

11:43 AM  
Blogger media concepts said...

You beat me by 3 time zones. I just returned from the East Coast, and it has taken me at least 2 days to adjust. And if you are religiously inclined, you might believe that your son's adventure in Germany might just be part of a master plan with a fixed time frame after all. If not, it still sounds like a terrific life experience.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mouse -- You're right. Day #2 is already a lot better than day #1. The headache is gone!

As for a second dog, I'm biding my time. But I'm not sure Gewels would want to take care of 2!

Kate -- Sounds like a fantastic trip halfway around the world! What a great idea to include the beach going and coming. Isn't retirement great?

Kristin -- I'm surprised you ever unpack at all as often as you leave town! You must have traveling down to a fine science by now.

Pauline -- I can't wait to hear about your visits with family on your turf this time. You won't have those west coast photos, but your east coast pics are always just fine. I'm sure you will have a great time together!

Reya -- Make me walk more, please! I realize how much better I feel when I keep my feet moving!

Gewels -- I think Jake really misses all of the excitement at your house. He is slowly adjusting to being sedentary once again.

MC -- He would cringe at the thought of religion being connected in any way to his destiny. He's very comfortable with the idea that he's in charge!

4:37 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Barb, it is so hard to just leave them alone isn't it?
Reminds me of the flowers I planted when I was a little kid that i just watered to death. Literally.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Glad you had a great trip and are relaxed a bit now about how your son was doing. He just needs to do this as a part of his own long journey. it may not even resemble in the least what he was meant to do...but he has a long time yet to figure that one out!

11:21 PM  

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