Well……. maybe next year.
It is hard to believe that we have been back to our home in Aurora, CO for almost six weeks. Adjusting as a RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) is exhausting and daunting. This posting’s title and first line is a parody on the song “Send in the Clowns” written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1973 musical A Little Night Music.
One of the first things we became aware of as we lay in bed that first night back home was the quiet. This was very very different from the nights during the past two years in Georgia. We retired early (about 10:00 PM) but our host family stayed up late preparing things for the next day. Their activity produced a variety of sounds, like pots and pans being moved about, that echoed in our room. We made a game of it trying to image all that was going on in the rooms below us.
Our first morning was also marked by its quietness. We did not hear the bellowing of a cow wanting to be milked or the rooster crowing or the hens cackling. What I said to Suzanne as she lay next to me was: “Where are the cows?” This prompted laughter and my start of the parody mentioned above.
Getting back to our return:
When we finally arrived back at our house, some of our very special friends were there to greet us. They brought along some munchies and drinks to share and put a few essentials in our refrigerator. They did not stay long as they understood how tired we were from our long trip and shortly after they left we crashed into our nice soft memory foam mattress for a long nights sleep. We awoke happy to be in our comfortable surroundings but realizing that we only had 2 days to prepare for our son, Stephen and his wife and 3 children to arrive on our doorstep. And the next 4 weeks were full of family gatherings, trips to museums with the boys, almost constant eating, traveling to the wondrous Rocky Mountains for the Fourth of July holiday and fireworks! We stayed in a lovely home compliments of Tasha’s mother from which we watched the fireworks and played a game of Trivial pursuit which David commanded.
A borrowed car from our neighbor helped us get through the first days but soon we found the new car we wanted and we are pleased with it. Other events after the company left were to check in with our doctor and follow up with Linda and David who generously watched over our home for 2 years and rejoin our dear friends in the many activities we enjoy together. Here are a few pictures to illustrate some highlights. Click on the first picture and follow the arrow to the right>.
Then, suddenly, it was just us…Tom and Suzanne. It’s now 2 weeks later and we are still putting clothes into order, getting used to shopping at the mammoth food store, enjoying the mostly useless mail in our box, checking bank information, tending to needed work in the yards, taking naps, and sometimes just sitting quietly to ponder life and the future.