Tuesday, February 22, 2011

35,000 feet in the air

This is it.  We're on the plane from Los Angeles to Atlanta, then on to Tel Aviv tonight.  I can't believe it has been six weeks already.  I haven't spent more than a two week visit in Washington State since the summer of 1997.  While I would have much preferred for this visit to have taken place in August (thereby experiencing the best weather of the Pacific Northwest while avoiding the worst of Israel), it was a great visit. 

I met my nephew, Ernest, in his NICU room, then watched him come home and grow from barely 5 pounds to over 7.  I visited over a dozen family members all across the state including all my grandparents.  My good friend Erin, from Wellesley, came up from Santa Rosa, CA to visit for a weekend in Seattle.  I had a crazy night out with my best friend from high school, Leigh, and was asked by my best friend from elementary school, Stacy, to stand up in her wedding in July.  It is exciting to be going home, knowing I will be back again this summer to see more friends and family whom I missed on this trip.  It is amazing how quickly days can pass when a member of the house is on a 3-hour eat, sleep, and diaper cycle.  I spent many mornings and afternoons cooking, and many evenings babysitting.  And I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

I took full advantage of the exceptional local seafood - oysters, clams, and salmon.  And realized how much I miss access to raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and all the local native versions like salmonberries and huckleberries.  Unfortunately the local varieties are only available in August, so I will miss them this year.  I will also miss the tulips and daffodils that will sprout up all over the Skagit Valley in a month.

Dan joined me for my last few days in Seattle, and we wrapped up our visit with a weekend in Los Angeles for his cousin Ariel's wedding.  This provided a bit of easing back into my new reality in Hebrew.  I have a bit of trepidation about the inevitably confounding struggle to communicate that I will face upon my return home.  But it does feel like I am returning home, and that's a nice feeling. 

I am looking forward to stocking up on fresh produce from the shuk, and not layering my clothes to keep warm anymore.  And I am excited to see Israel in springtime.   

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