|Flowers from my garden: black-eyed susans and bachelor's buttons|
|My favorite view of the Missouri River|
When Zach and I returned to our home church a few weeks ago, several people asked us, “So how long are you in town for?” Apparently we had given the impression that we were either permanent nomads or else planning to move out west. All day long we were telling people, “Oh, we’re here for good. We live here.” Some people seemed confused that we still wanted to live in St. Charles after all the beautiful places we’d visited. I find it hard to convey that the dramatic scenery of the west makes me happier than ever to live in the midwest.
To many, the thought of returning from a trip to the realities of jobs, mortgage, and bills sounds horrible. But after having been away from everyday life for three months, I appreciate it much more than I did before.
|Cooking black-eyed peas for soup|
I loved our Grand Gallivant. But I love our home in St. Charles, too. My life here is full of simple joys, long-term projects, and time spent with people I love.
My teaching job started up this week, so the past few weeks gave me plenty of time to readjust to life at home. I thawed our frozen food, bought vegetables, and began making and stockpiling soup (including this awesome recipe). I weeded the garden (morning glories had nearly eaten half our porch), mowed the yard, and trimmed back the wildflower garden. I discovered an army of creepy-looking bugs on my asparagus and almost tried to kill them before learning that they were ladybug larvae— one of the most beneficial carnivores you can find in a garden— and I was so happy to see my integrated pest management working that I literally laughed for joy.
|Cherry tomatoes from the farmers market|
The river is here, higher than usual but not flooding. We saw two or three fireflies before the cooler weather set in. I’ve had the windows open, and I can hear trains rumbling by in the distance. I passed out flyers to the Frenchtown businesses. Zach has started making sourdough bread again. We’ve played a lot of Rock Band and I’ve gotten to the “Hard” setting on the bass (except for Rush songs because Geddy Lee is a maniac). We’ve been studying Deuteronomy and the Ten Commandments in church. I’ve started working on a piece of piano music. My houseplants are back, making me smile every time I see them. I’ve been listening to Kansas and Simon and Garfunkel on my record player. Zach and I have started biking more, dodging butterflies along the trail, seeing how little we can use our car.
|Aloe, peace lily, and snake plant|
Yes, real life is less dramatic than visiting a national park. But real life brings me a kind of quiet joy that can’t be found on a trip. And for the moment, having returned from a grand adventure, I’m ready to settle down and continue making this house into a haven.