First, let me take this moment to say to all of you that I had a chance to see in the
To all of those that I didn’t have the chance to see on this trip – I hope and pray that the next trip will be the one for you. There are still so many stories to share and lives to be updated on, meals to be eaten and walks to be taken – my blessings abound and my cup overfloweth.
In a brief summary of the blessings of this last trip: I spent my first days/nights with my grandparents and aunt and uncle over Labor Day
Then it was back up to Decorah for a quick breeze through the ole alma mater grounds and to grab my sister from her weekend army reserves drill and head back north. We stopped over at her new grad school accommodations for the night before going home. She made only a brief stop-off to pick up the loveable monster she calls a dog (but resembles more of a pony), so most of the time I had to spend with her was in the car. Then I was off to catch up with the local crowd.
I made some local excursions to see a variety of local friends, was invited to give a couple of presentations about
The next week our home was invaded by my father’s family celebrating the marriage of my oldest cousin. My cousin and her new husband, who were married in their home in the
Family time in this journey was all too short as I didn’t have the opportunity to reconnect with cousins on my mother’s side or spend more time with that family. There were also other friends that I didn’t see and can only hope to see in future travels home. My life is simply too large to piece into a single month, and for that I am grateful. But I am also grateful that there was time for silence, time for reflection, and time for future planning – something that all too often gets shoved aside or is impossible to find in my daily life over here. And so, inevitably, the first of October came and found me waiting for (a yet-again delayed) airplane that would take me on the first leg of a journey halfway around the world.
But my story doesn’t quite stop there. I also had the chance to stay for two nights in
The next day was my final return to