Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stuff I've Loved About This Year

I see I've been conditioned to think about years in terms of school years. Since the end of the school year is coming, it has had me thinking of what this year has been like. This is what I've loved about this year:

Em driving. Scary, but exciting, too.

College. She's doing so great in college. She actually got a scholarship that reimbursed her tuition for the entire year! It was based on grades, so we didn't find out about it until mid-year, but that tuition reimbursement was nice for her. She's got next year's schooling paid for now!

Baseball. It's been great getting into it, and by association, into the community here. We've made some good friends through baseball, and we enjoy sitting and talking during the games.

Weather. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have blue sky, with huge, billowy, 3-D clouds floating by. It's something we've missed for so long! We catch ourselves just looking at the sky in wonderment. And the sunsets are amazing. We also have been re-introduced to Texas electric thunderstorms, with lightening that streaks across the sky. It makes for fun light shows, as long as there's a safe place to sit.

Lawn. We have a lawn to take care of, and that has been something we've missed. T and I love to get our hands dirty and work outdoors, and we haven't been able to for far too long. No lawns in Taiwan. At least where we live. We even love the dandelions, Craver!! ha!

Sonic. Half price Happy Hour has replaced the teas we miss from Taiwan. They are completely different drinks, but at least they are priced about the same.

Sidewalks. I can't tell you how good it is to walk down a poop-free sidewalk. Even after almost a year, it still is exciting to be able to do that.

Texas manners. *sigh* I never realize how much I miss this part of living here until I'm back. People waving at each other as they pass each other on the road, men tipping their hats and saying, "Morning, Ma'am" and opening doors for me, even kids in school saying "Yes ma'am, no ma'am." I just want to close my eyes and take it all in, but that's bad when you're walking into a building and someone is holding the door for you. It's not that things are being done FOR me, it's just the courtesies that are part of living here. I've missed it a lot.

Friday Nights. Friday Nights really are big nights in small Texas towns. Football games, baseball's real community time, and a time to come together as a town and root for our home team. I love it.

Music. I've enjoyed the 70's and 80's channels, actually. It's fun, because that music many times brings me back to a moment in time from those days. I love how music does that. I found a music site online that played Raffi songs, and I played them for our kiddos. You should have heard them talk about times they remembered, and some of those memories have absolutely nothing with the topic of the song: Our green car from back then, the pink house, someone who slept over.... it just made them think of those days.

Family. Having free long distance has enabled us to call Florida and speak to the Hughes' and Hotchkiss' any time we feel the need. That's nice. And, living close to my family means a quick trip to the Ledbetters, visiting with extended family, spending holidays with them for the first time in ages.

It's been a good year.

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