I’ve been promising a post for the last couple weeks about settling in, so here I am. I’ve realized that there are times where I mention I’m going to post about something and then never do. Ooops. Definitely trying to work on that.
So, settling in. How does that work after some of the stuff we’ve been through, after not having been here as a family in a long time, or actually ever? As a family I mean. Or, how does it work when you know you don’t need to be running around and cramming everything in? Well, for us it seems to be working out pretty well.
As of today it’s two weeks since we landed. They’ve been busy, but this week we’re sort of falling into what will be more normal for the next few months. Monday was a home day so we could sort of take a break from all the busyness of the week and a half before, and catch up on some “housekeeping” stuff. It was good to accomplish a lot and to get some of that nagging stuff out of the way, and yet not feel rushed. Yesterday we were gone for most of the day but it included visiting with my grandparents and some other people, doing some errands, Chris doing a fix on the van that has left him much happier with it, and meeting with the team from my home church (when you and your spouse come from two different countries, when does it become “our”?) that will be going to visit the mission in November.
I love the fact that we don’t have to be rushing around. Usually when we come home we have to make the decision to see some people but not everyone we would like to. And, there are days where we might do three visits back to back, just so we have a little time with people rather than none. I love that we can be connecting with friends and family and know that we’ll get to see them more than once, and that we can have really good, quality and quantity time together. I do have to admit though, out of all of the adjustments to coming back this has been probably one of the hardest for me, and I think it’s safe to say for us. I keep having to tell myself that we’re here for several months. I noticed that right from the time we landed Chris was wanting to plan and schedule and be busy. We’ve had to stop ourselves and just breathe a bit and change gears. I wasn’t really expecting that.
I love that it’s fall. Normally we come home in the summer so we can enjoy summer, go camping etc. And it’s mid-year so it’s a good time to take a break and re-charge. I haven’t been home in the fall since before I moved to Haiti. Chris hasn’t ever experienced an Okanagan fall. The leaves are just starting to really change color. We’ve had days that have been wet, and we’ve had days that have been warm enough for short sleeves and flip flops. Our area is farming area, so there are fields that have been cut. We also have a lot of orchards and fruit stands and we’ve had fun visiting one and wanting to stop at others that have bins and bins of colorful fall fruit and veggies. When we were at the orchard on the weekend we got 30 lbs of apples and have been happily munching on them all day long. I was looking through some of my mom’s magazines last night and realized that I can cook some of those really yummy looking soups and dishes with things like squash and sweet potatoes, because we can get them here.
One of the things that I really love is that I get to share this with Chris. He grew up in the lower mainland of BC (Vancouver area) and then moved down to Washington state as a teenager. When we talked about being home through the fall and winter he wasn’t thrilled, but the need for a vacation took precedence. I realized part of the issue was that he was used to sun or rain, and not much in between. I love where I grew up because it really is one of those special places. We have four distinct seasons and all of them are lovely. Summers are hot, but not humid. Fall is crisp with a bit of rain, but not too much. Mostly it’s sun and changing leaves and eventually frost and rosy cheeks. Winter is usually only about 4 months long and the first two or so are the best with fresh, white snow and usually some clear sunny days in there. It can get cold and crisp or it can be warm and bright. The dreary days of winter don’t usually hit until February and by then we’ll be back in sunny Haiti. Spring here is fun too with all the new flowers and tree buds popping up. We’re also a very “outdoorsy” area. There are lakes within a five minute drive, and the summit of one of Canada’s great ski hills is only about 45 minutes away. There is camping, hiking, fishing… all sorts of things. The local communities in our area have really made an effort to beautify and make each place nice to walk around in. We have nice parks, great services etc. I’m excited about being here and getting a chance to really enjoy that stuff rather than just running around trying to see people and get stuff done.
It is a bit overwhelming to go shopping. It always is, but it’s even more so for me when I have Olivia, or Olivia and Chris in tow. We’ve been to Walmart several times since we got back and every time I find I forget something simply because there is so much to look at and I’ve had a little person saying, “Want that Mom!” or Chris saying, “Okay, what else is on the list?” Yesterday Chris had to get some stuff for the van so we divided our efforts and he dropped me off at the store and went to do his thing and I think it was probably the first time I didn’t feel like I was going to have a seizure before getting what I needed, simply because I had the headspace to process everything. These are the things people always ask us about when we come back, so now you know. Shopping can make you feel like you’re going to hyperventilate. That, or you wonder where your ability to do the simple things has gone. Deal with a car accident in a third world country??! No problem! Go to Walmart???!? Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…. And the choices. I’ll be honest. When it comes to having multiple choices on things, I’m finding I find the no name brad, or whatever is cheapest, and just throw it in the cart. Done.
Before I forget I want to mention that on the side bar we’re going to be letting you know about upcoming speaking engagements where we’ll be sharing about Clean Water for Haiti and our work. If you’re in the area we’d love for you to come out and say hi. Our first one will be in a couple of weeks on October 17th at Vernon Alliance Church, 7pm in the Hall.
There will be more to write as I think of it. Until then, I hope you have a happy Wednesday!