Sunday, June 28, 2009

We're back . . .

Ok, we've been back now just over two weeks, and I must confess to some jet lag. Rachel sent me to the supermarket to buy some flour, and I couldn't bring myself to choose. Did she want bleached flour or unbleached, organic or whole wheat, another specialty flour or simply baking flour? Or was it bread flour? Three shelves and 20 minutes later, I left -- without buying flour.

And we bought the new computer to replace the one that was stolen. But reloading my programs (and attempting to reload files from my back-ups) brought back a sense of loss and dislocation. Some picture files are truly gone. Priceless, as the ad says. But many pictures remain, some 1500 waiting to be named, organized -- and backed up.

The air everywhere is so clean. No buses belching carbon monoxide. No crowds of people darting across streets, striving to avoid becoming hood ornaments. We drove down from Spokane to the Willamette Valley. Our farms are so tidy, so well organized these early summer days. I don't see people working the fields. I don't see llamas grazing at the side of the road. I feel a sense of nostalgia for my temporary homes in South America -- Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, even as I appreciate the sunset here in the Willamette Valley, turning the sky pink, and to the west, the coastal mountains, layered shadows of purple.

We leave again on July 15 for the wilds of the American midwest, northern Michigan, by August 2, and then to Philadelphia by August 15, a quick drive across country, and then to Scotland for 6-8 weeks (Inverness, Edinburgh, and Orkney). Then back home to Philly and on to Costa Rica for 3-4 months, a settling down time in one place. Perhaps my jet lag will dissipate by then.

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