I think I’ve officially recovered from my mini, cross country vacation. I had a really good first time flying experience. Thank God, really, the security gate at 3 in the morning in Seattle is pretty quick. Also, surprisingly, the Security check at O’hare wasn’t bad either. I was standing in a huge long line but they opened a second place to go through & the new line started only a few people ahead of me. So, I was in & out. I also was about 2 hours early for that flight as well. I think the worst part was driving back from Indiana to Chicago in my rental. I’m not entirely sure why they refer to it as the Dan Ryan Expressway, when it’s more like the Dan Ryan Slow as Fuck, took me an hour to go 14 miles-way. But other than that- the weekend was really fun.
I got in Friday evening & went straight to my Dad’s. Again with the rental car, I had an appointment to pick up my car at 11:30 & didn’t get to the check in counter until 1pm – so I was a little later getting back home than I wanted. But, regardless, I made it safely. The first person to greet me was Jake, my dad’s dog. I know that may sound sad but really, he jumped through my car window with excitement. So, it was worth it. The weather was hot & muggy, I kind of forgot about the 150% humidity mixed with 80 degrees with pending rain. I had to change into a tank top, I could have skipped packing make up & hair products (Actually, I did skip hair products & just used my sisters, she has no idea). I had dinner at my mom’s, some good ‘ole Polish sausage. Then I stayed at my Dad’s, I woke up after about 45 minutes of being asleep in a panic, not knowing where I was.
Saturday I saw my favorite person in the world, my best friend’s mom and her dad & one of her younger brothers. Rosa couldn’t get the weekend off from work, so she wasn’t able to come back to Indiana. But either way, her mom gave me some beers at 11 am & made me breakfast tacos. Then it was lunch at Tjo’s – if there’s any theme to my visit back home it’s something related to food. I had lunch with my BLTMS group of friend – BLTMS stands for : Bacon (Me) Lettuce (Lauren) Tomato (Tjo) Mayo (Marianne) Sourdough Bread (Star). 🙂 Another theme to my weekend is dogs, I got to see Tjo’s dog Duke, who was just a little baby the last time I saw him. Now, he’s a giant & peed everywhere when I walked in. After lunch and some extreme gossiping & more drinks, I went to my dad’s for a cook out with both of my sisters & my grandma & my sister’s boyfriend. And obviously my dad & his girlfriend. Again, we had sausage (brats).
After the cookout, everybody went out to Hacienda. Everybody being Rosa’s mom, dad, brother & his girlfriend, my sisters, my sisters’ bf, my mom & bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo & my friend Kristin. We had margaritas & generally shitty service, Kristin ended up getting her meal for free. Which is pretty common for this specific location & has happened multiple times before but it’s an iconic restaurant in town, so we suffer for the margs. Afterwards we walked over to a new bar in town, the Smokestack. They had a live band & no air conditioning. It was mostly an older crowd but still fun. We didn’t do much dancing because we were too busy sweating but after an entire day of drinking beers & margaritas & vodka tonics I didn’t mind the sweat. A few of us finished up the night at Rosa’s mom’s house with some homemade Apple Cinnamon whiskey. I went back to my Dad’s, I only tried to moon my sister once & she didn’t even look. Boo.
Sunday was the best day, I got to go to my church – Granger Community Church with Rosa’s Mom, Dad & Tjo showed up as well. I was kind of worried because the first two songs that they sang I didn’t know. But the sermon was really good, educational & worth every second of going with my God given family. After that, I ran over to Kristin’s to meet her new puppy Lucy and chatted with her for a little bit. Then on to another cook out with my mom’s side of family. This time, no sausage but some bomb ass pasta salad. One of the best parts of that cook out was when my autistic cousin, who I haven’t really spent a lot of time around and who probably doesn’t know who I am at all, even though I owe him $10 from the day he was born when I needed to pay for parking at the hospital- told me goodbye & gave me a hug before he left. That was pretty cool. Also awesome, getting to see my little cousins, especially the girlie who is coming of age & was just baptized a couple weeks ago. I got to tell her how proud I am of her. And of course see my the rest of my family, especially my Aunt Doris who cried when I left the first time & this time. I tried to remind her again that she still has my mom but she rolled her eyes at me. >.<
After that, dinner at the best wings restaurant- Wings Etc with my Dad’s side of my family. Not the entire family but the ones who lived close by. I was happy to see the small percentage of cousin’s who were in town & spend a little extra time after drinking beers with my Aunt Lisa & her husband. Then got some beers & a margarita at Scotty’s Brewhouse.
Monday morning I went on a walk around the riverwalk in Elkhart, waiting on my old boss to show up to work. I really, really tried to look at the riverwalk with new eyes. Hoping to see a glimpse of the beauty here in Washington but they were very small glimpses. Especially when the river is gross & you’ve got some radioactive green slime build up by the trees & these turtles jumping in & out of it. I got a chance to spend a couple hours with my old boss & an old co-worker. I may or may not have had some PTSD like flashbacks when I pulled up to my old job & listened to the other workers complaining about our temp workers & talking about how crazy busy they are. That was a big motivator to feel grateful I was coming back to Washington. Not that I don’t appreciate my struggle but forreal, God Bless the fact that I am no longer that stressed.
Met up with my Mom for lunch at Barnaby’s another historical site in my hometown for delicious food. Then we hit up Goodwill afterwards, then I was off. I started my should have been 1 hour & 45 minute trip back to Chicago that in fact took 3 hours because traffic was so shitty in Chicago. I think my GPS said 14 miles left for about 30 minutes at one point.
As soon as I hit the highway, I started crying. Not because I was sad to be leaving Indiana because I do not think anyone could actually be sad to leave such a boring state but because I want, so much in my heart to find the kind of friends (but not better) & the kind of support I have in Indiana, in Washington. And I was crying & praying & jamming with the windows down & the air conditioner blasting on my feet. (It’s a rental, of course I’m going to abuse that privilege.) The clouds looked so much closer than the clouds here in Tacoma, it was almost unreal & I wanted to remember that forever. I also wanted to remember for at least 6 months before my next trip home the feeling of driving 80 miles per hour on the highway, rather than 60 on I-5. And then I realized that what I really should be praying for is that I can become that kind of support, that I could give the kind of love I received while I was home to all of the new people I’m meeting in Washington. How great would it be to make people feel the same way I feel when I have such loving, encouraging, nurturing, strong friends & family back home. I prayed that I could give that to everyone in my life new & old. (One is silver & the others’ Gold #girlscouts)
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some version of – “We may not have talked in a long time but as soon as I’m around here it’s like we hadn’t spent a day apart.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said that same exact thing about my friends. If I had a superpower, I’d want it to be that feeling of comfort. That no matter the distance, the circumstances, the good or the bad – I’ll always be there. I’ll always love you. And we’ll always pick right up where we left off, without holding a grudge. If I had a superpower, I’d make a home for you, in my heart so that whenever you are near you’ll feel safe.
I’m so grateful for all of the people in my life, it overwhelms my heart to the point where I think it might explode.