There are some surprises worth flying half way around the world for.
Blowing the socks off of one of your best friends, by turning up completely unexpectedly, is one of them.
Some of you know my buddy Lois. You might remember that she’s the mama that went cross country with me this time last year on The Mama Bus trip with all of our kids (11 altogether!) She’s one of those people that I talk to every day, no matter where on the planet we are, and no matter how many time zones separate us.
Randy picked me up from Robin’s flower shop, where I’d passed the morning working in a sunlight filled studio overlooking the river, creating a garland of flowers for a wedding and laughing with girls I miss much and don’t see enough of. We’re blessed with so many sweet friends in this corner of the world.
I hid behind the van while Randy went in to let Lois know he’d “picked up a surprise for her in Tilton.” Jillian, who’s twelve, held the video camera and giggled.
There as screaming. And a little crying. And a LOT of hugging!
Miraculously, we pulled it off… she had not one inkling that I was coming… and Lois is HARD to surprise.
The rest, as they say, is history. I spent the day inhaling crisp New England fall air, and being pulled in two directions by the smallest of the Wood daughters who were both determined to show me everything, from their new fort, to the bushes loaded with yellow raspberries, to the poofy-headed chicken, and the new calves at the top of the hill.
I made Tom Yum Goong for dinner, and a fruit salad made with a very green pineapple, passable mangos and two dragon fruit that didn’t taste a thing like dragon fruit because they’d been shipped too green. But for the wrong side of the world, it made for a passable Thai meal.
Yoga pants, tank top, hoodie, long corduroy jacket and giant man sweater on top of it all… I was still chilly as we sat on the deck and looked at the stars after the sun went down. I’m feeling the latitude change.
I’m feeling the time change as well. At 2:43 a.m. I am wide awake.
It’s mid afternoon on my side of the world. The house is quiet. The sky is still dark. I hear Jeremiah, the oldest Wood boy, talking in his sleep intermittently. Their new couch is a perfectly comfy sleep. I’m relishing the pile of big quilts and handmade blankets that they heaped on top of me to keep me warm and am basking in the velvet darkness. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the body shock that is continental shift, but there are a few things about it that I enjoy, like the extra few quiet hours that are found between the cracks in time zones as my body realigns.
So, here I am. Awake on the wrong side of the world. Up writing, and talking to my family, who are two thirds of the way through their Saturday in Thailand, about what they need to get at the market this evening and where I put the list of standard ingredients for six of our basic meals to make that process easier on Gabe, who is in charge of feeding everyone while I’m gone.
It’s a funny thing to feel so far away, and yet be right at home.