I haven't taken the time to inform you all on how blessed we are here in our neck of these United States. God's people are so good to us, and we don't deserve any of it. I guess that's what makes it a blessing, right?
Let me start with Thursday, when we arrived at the train station. I knew two families were coming, because they were going to truck us and all our 'freight' (as the train conductor called it) home. Imagine my surprise when we exited the train and there were most of the ladies from my prayer group! This is no small feat, since we only decided the night before (after dinner time, I might add) to come home. So I am sure the mighty Prayer Group Leader ('Erin'**) made many sundry phone calls to pull all that off.
They were there with balloons, and roses (Thank you 'Erin'**), and many, many hugs. And a few tears of relief and joy thrown in for good measure. Which I appreciated.
Oh, what a blessing!!
On the way home, my friend (whom I will call 'Sandy'**) went through Tim Horton's and bought J-Man a HUGE iced cappuccino, and me a bottle of water and a passion fruit drink. AND she also bought the new 'Devil Bits in a Box'. Which may or may not really be called Tim Bits.
When we got home there were groceries and more flowers waiting for us (thank you 'WendyMom'**), and two people had slipped us envelopes containing gift cards to our local AWESOME grocery store. (Thank you 'Sandy'** and 'Nana Mary'**). Socks officially blessed off.
Friday we went looking for a vehicle. Can I tell you how much I hate this process? If someone were to hand us the keys to a brand new car, it would be a lot easier. But all the research, the data checking, consumer reports reading...it's all starting to turn my brain into jelly. A very viscous and decidedly un-tasty jelly. There are some nice vehicles out there. It's just trying to decide what's a good balance of mileage, consumer reviews, body condition...and it is FAR from easy. So any used car suggestions would go a long way to relieve my jelly-filled mind.
Then we went grocery shopping. Um, I know I'm not stupid, but when you're used to three or four KINDS of bread, and then there's a WHOLE AISLE full on BOTH SIDES with choices of bread, you get a little overwhelmed. And grocery shopping for just a few days takes you over an hour.
Let me put it this way. We started out in the store with three girls with us, and when we left there were none. And I can't even tell you when 'WendyMom'** snuck them away. I was a bit dazed. And I admit I started crying about three times. America is a little overwhelming.
I actually think I did pretty well. That is, until we finished with cereal and juice, turned the corner, and faced the most enormous freezer section I have ever seen. I mean, it was like I could hear the dramatic music in my mind, with the voice over 'Will she be able to do it? Or will the vast quantities and varieties of food break her totally down? Stay tuned'. So, I grabbed two packs of chicken nuggets and then fled.
Whew! Crisis averted!
And I was so exhausted all I did the rest of the day was go through school stuff (It arrived! Yay!) and watch television. HGTV is way too fun. And so is Food Network. We were pretty much vegetables.
Our first Sunday in our home church was GREAT! Lots of people in the Deaf ministry are on vacation for the long weekend, but it was great to see those who were there. They ALSO had flowers, fruit, homemade bread, and juices (Thank you 'Jocelyn'**) waiting for a good fellowship. Which we engaged in after the service.
Hugs abounded. Literally. People were bounding over to us to give hugs. It was great! My little one's love tank should be quite filled. (She's a physical touch kind of person.) It was weird seeing some people change their total style, so much so that a first glance didn't make me recognize them. (And other people have just grayed a bit. Others a lot. But they all looked good to me!)
It was weird in the evening service when our pastor announced we were home, and people clapped. It's hard to know what to do. We were all still standing during the announcements, so it wasn't like he asked just us to stand. Not sure how that would have gone down. I know I'm not on a game show, where the camera cuts to me and I have to wave frantically and look all excited to be there. I really was excited to be there, but I didn't want to scare anyone.
But it's hard to know what to do. (I may or may not have already used that phrase. I blame the jelly-filled mind.) Do you turn around and smile at people? Do you wave enthusiastically so people know you're alive and not cardboard cut-outs? And so the new people will know who you are? Or do you stand there awkwardly like I did with your fingers laced in front of you, and smile at the pastor, turning slightly toward to the other people, but making no eye contact, while the applause dies down, and try to pretend like it doesn't make you feel weird?
I think any of those are acceptable. Just don't faint.
So that brings me to this morning. Actually, let me back up. Last night my family had time together alone for the first time. One of those nights that's just fun. You get out a bunch of food that is usually not an acceptable dinner, spread it all out on the counter, and let people go to town. It was great. And we snuggled up on the couch and watched TV. Can you believe it? I was determined that we didn't need (or want!) television when we came home. I was actually adamant about it. And yet, it's already taken over our lives. Something must be done! (I might need an intervention.)
Anyway, today my friend 'Nancy'** is picking us up and carting us out to the outlet malls. Oh, brave, brave soul. I have lots of shopping to do. Artsy Sis and Book Worm both need about four pairs of pants each. And winter coats. Mittens and stuff too. And long-sleeve clothing. And they all need boots.
And it was a good feeling when I asked J-Man what my budget was, and he said: "Just spend money. I trust you."
Great cap to an awesome home-coming.
**So, it's their real name. So what. I don't have time to come up with cool pseudonyms.