Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Almost two months

We've been back in Oregon for nearly two thirds of the time we were gone. It is kind of a sad thought ... as if a time that was so consequential to us could feel meaningless by passing so quickly. The morning we left for home, Jake told me, "I don't know if I should feel happy or sad." I assured him that it was perfectly normal to feel both at the same time. We all were.

We have so enjoyed returning. And we have so missed Austria. We bravely called our Iranian neighbors a few days ago. We were nervous about all our forgotten German and the ability to speak without the oh-so-necessary hand gestures that aid those who are not fluent. It wasn't easy, but it was beautiful to hear their voices. They moved into our apartment and had news for us: shortly after we left they went without heat for 20 days during a cold snap.

I remember how crossing cultures can affect a person. But this was the longest trip I've ever taken. We wondered how it would affect us. I didn't expect too much struggle in coming back. It seemed to me one would have more trouble returning from a third world country. But I had forgotten that the people to whom we were giving aid came from nothing. From destroyed Chechnya, land-mined Afghanistan, beatings, hidden night escapes, traveling by foot with children, .... We're not known for extravagant Christmasing, but it wasn't nearly as easy to buy those presents this year. It just didn't sit quite right.

Above, you see Si on his airplane bed. The boys all got great behavioral reviews from anyone in earshot over the Atlantic. But Silas' grades dropped dramatically over the United States. He finally slept on the fold-out trays. We almost didn't make that flight. Lucky for the people sitting in front of us, we made it with 12 minutes to spare. They got to enjoy Silas (evil laugh).
And below ... home sweet home, full of food and some new things. We were very blessed by our dear friends who took care to make sure we had an easy homecoming. Since sickness hit us right away, this was a bigger blessing than they probably thought it might be. A huge thank you to Rachel ... who lived for two years in Mexico with all her boys and knows exactly what a returning family needs. And to our dear church home, what a blessing you all are!

St. Niklaus found us three days later on the sixth of December with euro chocolates. How DID he know where we would be? The tooth fairy is up on her stats, too. Having delivered money to Eli for one lost tooth in Guntramsdorf, she turned around and found another tooth in Bend. Smart girl, she is.

The hastily-obtained Christmas tree that looked every bit of it's hastily-chosen self.

And, Silas ... who is FINALLY learning how to talk, tucked away in his crib with a mattress that doesn't sink a few inches on one side. Yes ... he had quite the bed in Austria. Now that's something I should have gotten a picture of, but didn't!
Considering more blogging,


Spinneretta said...

FUN :) Our tooth fairy is apparently a man... ;) He almost forgot one the other day... :p

Anonymous said...

Hey Aunt Brooke. Thanks for blogging, I enjoy reading this blog. I love the pics and knowing what you guys are up to!