Help at Home

We received our air shipment today.  We have no idea why it took so long, but now we can close the “waiting for our stuff” chapter of this adventure and move on to all the other (and more exciting) parts.

While we’ve been here, getting relatively settled, and waiting for our stuff, we’ve had a ton of support back at home with the mountainous pile of tasks that were left undone after our departure.  My mom has been doing a tremendous amount of work for us: preparing our house for sale and dealing with getting my car inspected so it can be sold.  My dad and my brothers spent part of this week painting our old apartment.  And that is all on top of the fact that we literally would not have made it to our plane if it had not been for the help of my collective family.

I am so grateful for their help and support.  (Especially considering that, on the whole, I think they’d rather we hadn’t gone at all.)  It is nice to have my stuff, but I’m truly fortunate to have the support of such wonderful, loving people.

To my family:  I love and miss you all so much.  Thank you for all of your help.  We feel very loved.  I can’t wait to see you and show you Vienna!

Five Senses

This morning, I was looking through my luggage for a necklace that I swear I brought with me, and I opened a duffel bag that my mom lent to me for our trip here — it smelled just like her house.  It was great.  I miss home.  It’s not a bad feeling, but a wistful one.  I’m still enjoying my time here (even though there have been some challenges) but I wish I could be experiencing what I’m experiencing while surrounded by my family and friends from home.

The sights, sounds and even smells that remind me of home are lovely and sometimes surprising.  The sound of someone speaking American English on the street is pleasantly startling.  Seeing something (a sign, a menu, even graffiti) written in English in a place I don’t expect it makes me smile.  The taste of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, a Starbucks chai or “American Ginger Ale” are all unadulterated flashes of home.  The scent of my mom’s duffel bag or a piece of as yet unworn clothing from home that still smells of Dreft or Tide or Downy are familiar and comforting.

Giving my boys a hug or a snuggle feels like, home, too, but in a different way — they’re with me on my journey here, so they are less a reminder of home, and more a reminder that, for now, this IS home.