Thursday, June 10, 2010

In a month

I sent Eloise outside to hang out with Dadoo. It was my plot to get some quiet time. All I hear now is the muffled commands Eloise has learned to boss the dog around, like: "Maxi NO!" and "Sit Down Max." There is also the wonderful sound of the carpenter ants eating away at the log walls of the cabin we are living in for the summer here in rainy Spokane, Washington. We are living the dream folks, living the dream.
In this semi-quietness I will share some of our summer adventures and reflections. We front loaded our break with travel. One month ago Eloise and I began our journey back to Spokane. Paul arrived in Spokane a couple days after us. We all left for my sister's graduation and commissioning in Oakland, California a couple days later. Paul returned to Spokane the following Monday. Eloise and I (along with my sister, the graduate) headed to Florida to visit my dad and grandma. We spent a week visiting and deliberately taking all possible measures to relax. Eloise and I returned back to Spokane on the 26th. Several days later Paul headed back to Anchorage for a week long conference. We were without our Dadoo for a whole 6 days. When Paul arrived back in Spokane last Friday night we let a collective sigh...ahhhhh no more traveling until we go back to Deering at the end of July. Phew!
We are settling into the cabin nicely. We have had to pick up a few necessities upon returning. We needed bath towels, knives, serving spoons, a refrigerator...trifles really. Things are coming together nicely and we are finding our routine. I am once again amazed at the necessity of a routine in our daily lives. When we first got to Deering last year, that was the first order of business, FIND A ROUTINE. When is nap time? When is bath time? Where do things belong? All those same questions were being answered again as we have returned to Spokane.
It has been an interesting adjustment to being back here in Spokane. We used to live on a main thoroughfare before we moved to Deering and now we are back in the boonies. One change that we have had to make is avoiding going into town every day. We could find a daily excuse to head in to get something accomplished, but then once we are in we end up wasting half the day schlepping from place to place. It is draining to be in traffic and dealing with the hustle and bustle of errands.
I found that while Paul was gone in Anchorage and I was trying to get a routine in place with Eloise, I became so much lonelier than in Deering. Interestingly, I craved the diversion of TV, something I never miss. I have not gotten to the bottom of this phenomenon yet. In my thinking so far, I feel as though there is a great deal of loneliness when we are a small, insignificant part of the masses. Being in a village of 130 people forces interaction and the reality that you are known, but the same is not true of being in an area with the same amount of people as all of Alaska. I guess I have all summer to ponder this.
Eloise has a new favorite past-time. After spending all winter amaaq-ed in my coat she now has a passion for going on walks. I truly believe that she would live outside if she could. At this point she has talked her Dadoo into taking her for her 4th walk of the day. She wakes up in the morning with nothing else on her mind except going for walk. It is hard to convince her that there is some preparation required for taking a walk. Clothes are always an appropriate thing to have. Shoes perhaps would be helpful. In her mind these things are all fluff, nonsense really."Come on." she says. Although is comes out more like, "Ome on." When she finally gets us to take her on a walk, she dilly-dallies like no one I have ever seen. She reminds us to slow down and take things in. We are enjoying her exploration and her ever-developing love for the outdoors and nature.
In our family this summer we are celebrating life. After visiting my grandma in Florida, less than two weeks later, she passed away. It was shocking and devastating news for our family. Though she was physically weakened by kidney trouble, she seemed to be her same old self. I left thinking that it would be nice to visit her again in a couple of years. In the midst of our sadness, I feel so fortunate to have spent time with her and also that Eloise was able to meet her Great Grandma. If you are the praying type, we would appreciate your prayers. We are celebrating the life that she lived and the relationship that she had with her Savior, Jesus. Another celebration of life in our household is the joy of preparing for another baby. We are looking forward to having a second child in mid-November.
In a month we have traveled THOUSANDS of miles. We have assembled another home and a new routine. We have celebrated the passing of one life and the joy of life to come. We have been fascinated by the cultural changes of entering back into the lower 48 lifestyle. We have also learned to slow down our adult pace as we experience the joy of daughter's exploration. It has been an action-packed time. I have a feeling that the next month will provide similar lessons and reflections.

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