Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our time in the Delta is running out

On Friday as I drove over this bridge, I found myself getting a little emotional.  I even dropped a tear or two.  This was one of my last trips over the bridge we have come to know so well.  School is out tomorrow and our time in the Mississippi Delta is coming to a close. When we moved here I never imagined that moving on from this stage of our lives would be difficult, much less something that would bring me to tears.

We have 2 weeks left of living in the South. It is not long enough.  I am fighting it.  I am pretending it isn't happening and have yet to pack a single thing.  How can I just pack in as much of it as I can in the next 2 weeks?  As much as we will miss this place, we have decided that it will be best for the future of our family to move.  We are headed to Colorado.  We will be living in Littleton for now, but where we will permanently be has not been decided yet, although it will probably be somewhere in Colorado.

The South is something else, especially in the Mississippi River Delta.  It is a place you just have to experience for yourself. There are so many things that I will miss about living in the South, and of course a few things I certainly will not miss.  I will miss driving through the country listening to country music.  There is just something right about that. I will miss the beauty of the farmlands, the cotton plants, the cypress and magnolia trees, and Brinley's new favorite, the corn stalks.  I will miss the small town feeling.  I will miss the fried chicken, crawfish, turtle soup, and fried catfish. I will miss the "little baby turtles" and the Egrets, and the cardinals. I will miss the southern drawl and the little boy whose favorite primary song is "Take a ride on my big green tractor."

More than anything I will miss the friends that we have made while living here.  Something about being away has made it easier to build relationships with friends as well as with each other. Everyone becomes closer when all you have is each other. You are important to those around you, and they are important to you. I worry so much about going back to where we are just one of many, and getting lost in the crowd.  There is not enough room here to get lost in the crowd. I just wish I could bring all of these wonderful people with me. 2 weeks really is not long enough.

Of course, living here has had its fair share of difficulties. I will NOT miss the poor customer service, or my inability to communicate.  I will not miss the giant mosquitoes that for some reason love the taste of my blood, and the hotter than anything summers. I will not miss having to drive to a park to be able to go for a run, although I have come to love that park.  I will not miss the lack of elevation, lack of fabric stores, or lack of decent restaurants. When we first moved here I thought all of these things were important.  Oh how minor they really are.

We have so many memories that we built here, from seeing our first alligators, to entering new states, to even having a child here.  We have had so many learning experiences and cultural awakenings.  I wouldn't trade the past two years for anything.  Yes, I just cried a little bit more.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another first: Florida

I said a month ago I would post some pictures soon.  A month counts as soon right?

A couple of weeks ago Brent had a couple of days off school.  Since our time here in the south is coming to a close (more on that later...hopefully sooner than a month) we decided we wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been yet around here.  On Wednesday night we decided we would go to the panhandle of Florida, and right after school on Thursday we took off. This is not like us (or me to be more correct). We are boring, stay at home, save money kind of people.  But for some reason we did it and are so happy we did.  We built some great memories as a family. 

We started off by driving to Biloxi, MS and sight seeing around there.  Our first time to the Gulf of Mexico.  It threw us off a little when we realized we were still in Mississippi.  It was not like the part of Mississippi we love and are used to.  You know, there were things like stores there and nice houses too.  Yeah, Target and an outlet mall.  Happy day. 

The next day we drove to Panama City Beach, Florida.  Florida was one of just a few states that I haven't been to.  Brent and I got to cross a new state off our list together for a change.  Before our adventures in the south Brent had only been to a handful of states.  He is now turning out to be quite the world traveler.

Well I realize I am now dragging on. To keep it short from here.  We camped out...In a tent.  Apparently people don't camp in tents in the south.  They thought we were crazy. 

We swam a lot. The beaches were beautiful. The sand felt like powdered sugar. The waves were a little bit strange.  They were very small and didn't roll in in sets like they do in California, but were still powerful.

Elsie loved the beach.  Or she just loved finding all the little things in the sand and putting them in her mouth.  Lovely.  She wasn't quite so keen on going in the water though.  We are working on that.

This girl loved the water.  She has asked me if we can go to the beach almost everyday since.  Good thing we have a trip to California on the schedule for the summer. I can't wait until Elsie is old enough to play with her and keep her entertained so she doesn't have to try to steal toys from all the random people at the beach anymore.

On Sunday we visited one of Brent's mission companions and his wife and son. Her family owns a cattle ranch so we got to spend some time feeding the cattle and getting to know more about cattle weaning.  Funny as it sounds, it kind of made me want to own a cattle ranch.  Perhaps someday,. but probably not. Brinley was in love with their son.  She is a hand holder and he would hold her hand and drag her along.  She was in bliss.

And of course we saw an alligator.  You can't go to Florida without trying to see an alligator.  Brinley named her alli.  This poor little gator was missing a leg. Yet another thing Brinley asks for everyday.  "See alligator mom!"

I apologize if I dragged on.  I blame it on a mix between eating a bag of plantain chips and watching the firm.  We will see if this blogging thing becomes a habit.