What I Missed

I have officially been home for over a month, and apparently I came home just in time for all hell to break lose. The shadow of coronavirus has followed me across the Pacific and is now infiltrating my home state. Hand sanitizer is flying off the shelves, toilet paper is running scarce, and everyone is starting to realize those doomsday preppers maybe weren’t so crazy after all. Although, I am not sure if CV has made it to Orange County …I don’t think Virginia’s OC is exciting enough to participate in a pandemic.

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Back when the coronavirus was just a vague threat

Things got worse last week, so we are mostly hunkering down and practicing our social distancing. Which, really, thanks to Mom’s injury and ensuing recovery is what we have been doing all along. Mom is doing much better these days. I’ve been getting her out on walks around the ‘hood everyday, and this past week saw the first TWO non-medical related outings. To get food, obvi. She has even discovered she can Swiffer! The woman is unstoppable. We’ve also spent a lot of time catching up on Netflix/Prime and have run through: The Crown, Broadchurch, Grace and Frankie, The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, and solid chunks of Psych and Father Brown. Do let us know if you have any recs!

Bro and Dad built a firepit, which we inaugurated this past weekend with weenies and s’mores. Bro has been hanging around a good bit and really, it is nice when we are all together! It has been a long while since we have all hung out together regularly, and gosh darn it, I missed it! It’s funny how sometimes you need a trip over hundreds of days and thousands of miles to remind you that the place you needed/wanted to be was where you started. After all, isn’t that what the Alchemist is about too?

Other things, besides my family, that I missed while I was away:

  • Showers: It seems nowhere else in the world can you reliably get the trifecta of hot water, water pressure, and enough space to move around. Sometimes you can get two. You definitely can end up with zero. My shower at my parent’s house has it all!
  • Pay at the Pump: Why is this not more common elsewhere? Man, it was annoying having to go in to every gas station in New Zealand to pay. Sometimes it was just a matter of reader error on our foreign cards, but so many pumps did not even have the pay at the pump option. It’s 2020.
  • Food variety: Even out here in what can only be described as the middle of nowhere (Locust Grove) we have solid Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican food. Fredericksburg, hardly a bustling metropolis, has cuisine from around the world. Outside of some truly cosmopolitan cities (London, Singapore, Buenos Aires) I have yet to find anything that compares to the abundance of options we have here.
  • Free refills and endless water: I don’t drink soda, but I’m a thirsty girl. I love that you can have all the water you want here FOR FREESIES – and if the service is on point, they’ll bring it to you without even asking and refill it before you’ve noticed it’s gone. It’s wild. And you can drink tap water! Mind blown.

But more than any one thing specifically, it is just great to come home – to the familiar, to the comfortable. It’s really true what they say – there is no place like home.