We are home – a day and a half back into our Vermont life. The trip went well. We are fortunate to have children who are wonderful travelers. We are managing the jet-lag pretty well up to this point. Our house was in great shape thanks to some wonderful care-takers. It feels so huge and plush after the past year. Montpelier is great, too. Bright sunshine and blue sky are startling when your experience of the sun and sky have been clouded by smog. I can honestly say that I cannot remember the time I say a sharply defined shadow instead of blurred degrees of relative light. It has been so wonderful to see folks and have them say, “Welcome home.” Everyone remembers us and knows that we were in China. Our neighbors filled the fridge with good food before we even got home, some came out to help us unload the car when we rolled up to the house at midnight, other picked some strawberries and brought them over to us this morning. In addition, we have arrived home just in time for the neighborhood potluck and yard sale. This morning we went down to the farmer’s market and stopped to hear some live music at the library’s summer reading program kick-off.
So, in other words, things are going pretty well. I have had a few moments of melancholy. For example, when I was tacking up Mei-mei’s kindergarten class photo I felt quite sad at the loss of the experiences and relationships we have left behind. I also realize in a way I never though about before how little opportunity there is for us to use Chinese or any other language besides English. It feels very strange to go for so long without even hearing Chinese being spoken. China is so far away…
Although I will probably stop posting daily, I will continue to share my reflections on my experience in the past year.
Right now there is one thing tempering my ability to really enjoy and reflect upon my homecoming – the elder of our 2 dogs who have spent the year with my brother began having medical trouble while we were enroute to Vermont. As a result the dogs, who were supposed to join us here yesterday morning, are still in California. My older dog needs surgery to remove a benign but infected lump. Surgery would mean that the dogs could not fly for at least 2 weeks but both dogs need to be out of my brother’s possession by the weekend because Sunday he is moving into an apartment that does not allow dogs. All of this, combined with my desire to avoid flying to CA, having the surgery, and driving both dogs all the way back to VT have left me scrambling for alternatives.