We have been adjusting back to life in the US. Everything is so loud, fast paced and we are bombarded with commercials constantly it seems. Everything is expensive, even basic groceries. I feel slightly stressed everyday. We are also really, really busy. Several web contracts we had been negotiating came in all at once. We signed a contract to make 2 more educational games for Legends of Learning. Plus we have a bunch of personal stuff to take care of.
I needed to renew my drivers license and luckily I could do that by mail. Howard will have to do the same in August. We need to renew our passports too. Our passports so are full of stamps, plus a whole page was taken up with our Vietnam Visa. It’s going to be weird to have a blank one again. Our truck had been parked behind my parents condo for the last year an a half so of course the battery was dead. The hood release some how broke too, so that was a pain to get the battery out. My Dad’s battery charger wouldn’t charge it fully either so we ended up calling AAA for a jump start. We had an enormous pile of mail to go through. Most of it was junk but there was a recall on the fire extinguisher in our RV. Apparently a few of them had gone off on the road and people ended up with a camper full of foam. Also, the airbags in our truck were recalled again. I swear we’ve already replaced them 3 times.
After a couple hectic weeks staying with my parents, we packed up the car and headed to Michigan. Packing for a week or so is much easier than packing for more than a year. I basically just threw some clothes and toiletries in a suitcase and was done. Not much thought went into what I took.
There was snow, ice, and freezing rain as we drove through New Hampshire and Vermont. Then we hit a dark red band of thunderstorms in New York. Lightning was flashing in front of us and it was raining so hard we could only see a few feet in front of the car. We stopped for the night outside of Syracuse. The following day we hit more snow at the Canadian border but then it cleared up and the rest of the drive to Midland, MI was fine. It was a long mostly boring drive, littered with a surprising number of dead raccoons on the side of the road, but taking a short cut through Canada saves several hours.
The last time I was at my in-law’s house in Michigan it was full of people. Besides Howard’s parents one of his aunts had been there, plus one of his sisters and an uncle came to visit for Thanksgiving. This time the house is empty. It’s just us and Howard’s dad. Howard’s mom is in a rehabilitation center. Her health isn’t the best right now and she’s taken a couple bad falls. She really wants to come home, but will probably be at the rehab center for several more months, if not longer.
It’s really sad to see my Mother in Law unable to walk and having memory problems. She’s such a nice person and had been wonderful to me, along with all of Howard’s family. My Dad also isn’t in the best health. He’s had cancer for a while now and fights with my Mom and the doctors about taking any medicine. He’s 89 though and didn’t expect to make it to 80, so I guess he’s doing pretty good considering. My Mom is in her 90s and still drives, cooks, cleans and takes care of my Dad. She’s doing really well. They are both happy to have Howard and I back in the U.S. to help them with various things around their house. This is the main reason we came back from Europe. I would be sitting on a Greek beach or exploring Istanbul, Turkey right now if we didn’t have family members with failing health and needing help.
We stayed in MI for 2 weeks, spending time with Howard’s mom during the day and hanging out with Howard’s dad in the evenings. I celebrated a Birthday while there. For fun, we explored a semi-dead mall, saw a movie, and ate out a lot. We even managed to get some work done, but we’re falling behind. Our clients are certainly understanding but on the other hand we have bills to pay.
On the drive back to NH we stopped at the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for a break. We looked at the falls, ate some good food, and won a little money at a slot machine. The next evening we were back at my parent’s condo. It’s been work, work, work since then, which is why I’m a little delayed on publishing this post. It’s good though. We are happy to have the work.
The weather has been cold and dreary here too. We’re anxious to move back into our RV, go kayaking and hiking (if my ankle can handle that. It’s still not fully healed). Once we are caught up with work and settled back in our own place, we can start thinking about our next adventure!