Up at 6:45a feeling a little lonely and a little sad and a lot uncertain.
6:45a. the sky looks brighter than I do.
We were off on the horses around 9am. Today I rode Spike, Roy John is still healing, but should be ready tomorrow. Started the day off bringing up the rear. That was okay with me and seemed to be okay with Spike. Pretty sure I could have been in some kind of sappy country and western music video – sitting on my horse and crying. That could be a good title for a song. I was missing my family, missing Thailand, thinking about all the goodbyes I’d said recently, and worrying about the uncertainty headed my way.
We stopped for a snack and my mood lifted. During the rest of the ride we had several river crossings and did lots of trotting and cantering. My hip wasn’t very happy at the end of the ride – had many pops and some pain while riding. It could have been the fact that my stirrups were shorter than usual, it could have been the volume of riding. Things seemed to be returning to normal after resting at camp.
I went to bed at 7:45p. I wasn’t really tired, but I needed relief from the fresh air. Not that a tent is a huge barrier to the fresh air, but it was better than sitting in the pollen filled out doors. I’m currently taking any and every medication that is offered to me. It’s a cocktail that is barely keeping things under control.
why does the air hate me?
“but then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass” – stephen king salem’s lot.
i am so ready for september.
ok, that’s not totally true. i’m currently eye ball deep trying to plan our family vacation to tokyo. what feels like our last family of five vacation (that may or may not prove true). and i’m liking being the one in control, cuz i’ve been able to throw a few things into the itinerary that i’m pretty sure no one else would have considered. like a meat theme park. that’s made the final cut. a parasitological museum? we’re doing that. and 7 days of just the 5 of us? mastercard got that right – priceless. i’m totally sure it’s going to be worth the crazy way we’re getting there. two of us on one airlines. three on another. different airports and different layovers. memories galore.
but then we head to america. i’ve got a whole lot of mixed feelings about that. i know that the “omg – chan’s going to live in america even after the rest of us return to thailand” situation has me all kinds of out of sorts. (chan is C19’s real name – or at least his real nickname – he’s an adult now. no need to protect him any longer.) but there’s also the perceived expectations i’m already feeling (i bolded perceived on purpose, because i know there’s a slight possibility that it’s all in my head). our time in the states – as a whole – is not a relaxing time for me. it’s a go here, do this, get this done kind of time and by the time it’s over i’m totally ready to get back to my life. my home. my agenda.
it’s not easy to depend on others for almost everything. where are we gonna stay? we can’t afford hotels so we count on friends and family to put us up. we do have plenty of offers and i’m pretty sure none of those offers are given grudgingly. some people like us.
there’s also the getting to and fro? we need to be picked up and delivered to airports. we’ve got doctor’s appointments to make. i’ve got a few courses to attend and michael’s going to need to get to and from work. and sometimes it’s just nice to be able to get away. for one hour (or two or three). alone. or with a kid (or two or three) who need a break because we’re overwhelmed. because america is awesome and at times just way too much to take in.
it feels so ungrateful to whine and complain. we have some of the most generous, amazing friends and family who we know are spending time and money to be there for us. and i am so appreciative of that. i am looking forward to being able to spend time with people who love us and who have loved us for a long time. i crave the heart to heart talks i know we’ll have, the sharing of life that we will do (short as that time might be), and the ability let our guards down – to just be. but the scary part of that is that i’m not sure i know how to do that anymore.
every once in a while i think of our move to thailand and what it’s cost. not monetarily – that’s too depressing – but more of what the trade has been (which is slightly more depressing). the value of one rich cultural experience vs. another rich cultural experience, because i do consider the culture of family to be one of great value.
my memories of growing up include so many that are flooded with family. i lived very close to extended family. easter, thanksgiving, christmas, birthdays, random sundays, and many summer days were frequently spent with my great grandmother, grandparents, great aunts and great uncles, my mom’s cousins and their kids. and those memories are wonderful. even though it’s been several years since i’ve experienced a holiday with so many relatives i couldn’t keep track of them all, that’s how i remember them. and that’s what i know we’ve caused our children to miss. that deeply rich experience of knowing and being known by generations of your people.
i think i feel it most deeply every year at thanksgiving.
as we recreate american thanksgiving in a foreign country i’m conscious of wanting for my kids the kind of thanksgiving we had in america. the one where you know who’s coming and what they will bring, because it’s the same thing they bring every year and it would be sacrilegious for them to bring anything different. the kind where you create the sort of memories and inside jokes that become a language spoken only by you and those who experienced them. like the year i flicked whip cream into my mom’s cousin’s husband’s face for no reason whatsoever. and, now, anytime i see pumpkin pie with a dollop of whip cream i’m immediately taken back all those years ago. those memories are priceless. and i wouldn’t trade them for anything.
i can’t count the times i’ve patted myself on the back for being the kind of parent who takes their kids abroad. and just as many times i’ve thought, “man, i wish my parents had done the same for me.” but, when i sit down and really think about what that would have meant – living away from our family, not having the opportunity to know and be known by them, i’m not so sure i really wish my parents had done the same.
don’t get me wrong, i’m not regretting our move. i struggle thinking of someday moving back to the states. but… in a perfect world, there are sacrifices this move would not have cost and spending holidays without family is one of them.
but i’m beginning to think this shade doesn’t really suit me.
michael’s headed to the states. again. and i’m not. again. this time he’s headed to colorado. where the temps look like they are gonna range from the high 40s to the low 80s. and while we’ll be having some low 80’s here, that will be our overnight lows. and during the day we’re managing to get into the mid 90s. again. and – while i’m plenty jealous about the cool nights and not too hot days he’ll be enjoying – it’s really the opportunity to be there that i’m missing.
it strikes when you least expect it.
or maybe if i were more observant i’d have known this was coming. being left behind this summer was probably the beginning. add to that the medical scares we’ve recently had. and then this weekend we were blessed to experience worship with worshiplanet – mark and carrie tedder just happen to make their home in colorado springs. so i guess it’s not really all that surprising that i’m feeling like a little bit of home would be nice right now.
and that’s got me thinking what/where is home to me? i can’t really pinpoint it as a location. texas? colorado? thailand? they’re all home to me now – but also? they’re not. i’ve heard that’s gonna be a life long struggle for us – figuring out just where we belong. and while that makes me a lot uncomfortable, in an odd way i also find it comforting. and in an effort to try to solve this conundrum i went searching for some lyrics (cuz that’s where the answers are, right?) – they go something like “home where the la la la la home where the la la la la home la la la la la la patiently for me” – but instead of finding them i came across this song. and it hits the mark.