Made of this stuff

by Kim on June 21, 2012 · 25 comments

It’s hard to believe that we have been away from Oregon for a month already.  Time is literally flying by.

When we were first planning this trip around the world I was skeptical about starting in  the U.S.  I wanted to step on a plane and fly away to a foreign land but Brian wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of spending a summer in the National Parks.

We eventually agreed to start with a National Parks road trip and decided that, since we’d be driving around the U.S. anyway, we’d take some real time to see the people we love.

Living in Oregon did not afford us the opportunity to see our families very often and we only saw old friends when we’d dash across the country to spend weekends at weddings. One of the reasons we are taking this trip is to do and see the things we love. We penciled in five weeks to see our families and friends.

I was excited, of course, but I wasn’t jumping out of my skin excited. Starting our RTW trip by visiting family and friends in familiar cities felt safe and un-exotic. I wanted beach holidays in Bali or trekking trips Nepal. I am impatient in the most horrible way. I wanted adventure and I wanted it now.

But we took our time in Ohio and I am so glad we did because it was fantastic. We swam in the pool and cooked out on the grill and went to an evening baseball game. We sat on porches with friends and family until the wee hours of the morning listening to the crickets and watching the lightening bugs blink in the trees. It felt like summer in a way that summer never felt in the Pacific Northwest.  It was all sticky nights and cold drinks and talking, talking, talking with people we have known forever like no time had passed between us.

Unfortunately I was having too much fun to take pictures of these summer nights so here, instead, is a photo of Brian and his nephews.

After three weeks with our families and friends in Cincinnati Brian and I drove to Cleveland to visit two of our dear friends from college.  On the second day of our visit we headed out on a boat in Lake Erie. It was a gorgeous summer day: hot and humid and blue skies, the perfect day to be on the water.

The view of Cleveland from Lake Erie

As we zoomed through the Lake, music blasting, I found myself absolutely giddy with joy. I thought about the three weeks we’d had at home with our families and about the time we were spending with friends. I thought about how incredibly lucky we are to be able to do this. And I thought about how wonderful it was to be able to go home again and step back into the life that shaped me: country music and back porches and long conversations; woods and bugs and lakes and family.

My college roommate Kelly

Enjoying life on Lake Erie

Someone said that you can never go home again but I don’t think that’s true. I think you can always go home again, just not as the same person you were when you left. Home doesn’t change much, but if you leave it, you will change. Home, then, becomes the constant with which you measure your change against. Eight years in Oregon taught me that. I know that this will only be amplified the next time I am home, a whole world of experiences tucked into my pockets.

Thank you to our families and to all of the friends who took the time to see us, feed us, and send us off with love. Nothing matches the feeling of sitting with the people who have known you for years and loved you through them all despite yourself. We love you like crazy.

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