Monday, April 18, 2011

Playing Catch-up

Once I got back on Washington soil, I decided to take it easy for a few days, and let my body clock adjust to the 17-hour time zone difference. Then it was time to start: Operation Do The Things I've Been Missing. I played this in Australia, after 11 months in Korea, and it mostly consisted of eating cheese and drinking vintage port and riding a bike in a straight line where I didn't have to constantly dodge people walking in front of me.

So far in Seattle my catching up has looked like this: walking around Greenlake, ridiculous amounts of coffee, Capitol Hill happy hours, obscenely cold and grey weather, CSA farmbox dinner, much-missed Western breakfasts at Glo and the Hi-Life, square dancing at the Tractor, and gardening in said cold and grey weather. Actually, there have been some nice-ish days, and I really can't complain anyway because I'm just so gosh-darn happy to be back. The highlight of being home so far though has been seeing my nieces, one who is 10 and so old and the other who is 2 and a half and so old. I mean, I know it's a very basic fact of life that kids grow up, but it just astounds me how much they have grown and changed in the last year. With the little one, I mostly marvel at how much she can talk while we play with balloons and have dance parties. The older one likes to cook, so I took her to a Korean market with me and then she helped me make the marinade for Korean galbi, the whole time just acting so old.

I also had to catch-up on car maintenance. My old Camry has been sitting at my parents' house for the past year, so I cleaned out the inside, got the oil changed, washed it, got insurance, and was pretty happy to be back on the road a few days after getting home.

I headed up to Bellingham, the drive alone filling me with elated nostalgia. I know I'm a total dork, but I actually started cheering when I got north of Mount Vernon and Mount Baker peaked over the hills. There is something about that 15 miles before Bellingham that make me feel like I'm really coming home to something, like the snow-dusted Chuckanuts are holding you in a little embrace before you round that last curve and see the sign shouting "Bellingham: Next 7 Exits"! After living there most of my adult life, it might be nestled a little deeper in my heart than Seattle is. I had to walk along the water to Boulevard Park, eat an Avenue Bread sandwich, sip a Black Drop americano, catch up with friends over cheese and wine at the Temple Bar, see some local live music at an ever-changing State Street venue, drink a Boundary Scotch Ale, wander around the Farmer's Market, hike to Fragrance Lake, and people-watch at the co-op. There are still so many people I want to see and things I want to do around that little city, and I will definitely be back up soon. I just love this place and it feels wonderful to have the time to sit with that love, adore and appreciate this life with these people. I'm not sure exactly where I'll head next, but for now I've never been more content not going anywhere at all.

No comments: