Thursday, June 23, 2011

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

We're here!  We're really here!

Okay.  I didn't kiss the ground when we arrived after our 14 hours in the air.  But I sure love being home in the US  for awhile.  After a year living in the Seoul area, eating primarily Korean food, and living on the 15th floor of an apartment, you might say there's a bit of culture shock.  So, first impressions back?

Everyone is so white, they all look the same.  No, really.  My family was cruising around the Madison square at the Farmer's Market with a few other hundred people (felt like the Seoul subway, it was so crowded).  Anyhow, I lost track of my family!  And I couldn't find them.  Everyone was the same height and had blond hair!  Now that hasn't happened for a long time.

The Farmer's Market was a kick.  It was our first outing and we wanted to try everything and we wanted it NOW!  We walked the square with my mother-in-law and father-in-law.  Tastes included: fresh garden sugar snap peas, pastries, and cheese curds.  We also couldn't pass up the tomatoes, mushrooms, and radishes.  Since then we've managed to have Culver's frozen yogurt, Benvenuto's Italian, mom's strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream, local lefsa, cheese, and sausage.  The list of foods never ends.
The drive?  Well, thank you to my parents for supplying us with wheels for our trip!  Getting behind the wheel of a car took me a few days because I first needed to replace my lost driver's license.  Initially, it was a bit weird sitting in the driver's seat, but now I feel comfortable.  Just "like riding a bike".  I've even been able to drive their manual with only killing it once!  The kids are re-adjusting to booster seats and mandatory seat belts.

The kids are rotting their brains with their old favorite television shows.  Thanks to a few rainy days, I think they are caught up on an entire year's worth of TV!  But might I say that this craze for reality TV stinks!  "16 and Pregnant"?  Really?  Do we really need to enter these poor people's lives?  The local news is fascinating, but I don't think I need 15 minutes of weather anymore.

Out - not up!  No need to look up, except to hope to catch some stars in the overcast night sky.  Now I'm enjoying endless corn fields with family farms tucked in here and there.  There's mile after mile of lush green countryside nestled between wooded hills.  Even walking for a few miles without another walker in sight.  That's Midwestern America, eh?  As you know, the Midwest experienced a harsh winter and a harsh spring with tornadoes and flooding.  So, it's no surprise that a few days ago we were under a tornado watch.  And, it has been raining for a few days.  Where's the hot weather and sunshine?

So, first week:  Focus on family and food.  What a joy!

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