Aliens in the Apple

On being home

Franci 15 Aug 2012 Christchurch Family Friends

So yes, as Ben informed you about 2 weeks ago, we’re back in Christchurch! I can hardly believe it’s been two weeks, because it’s been so busy with unpacking and getting right into things here.

We were given a wonderful and warm welcome home. There were friends and family who met us at the airport, and a very clean home and tidy garden waiting for us. My parents have been fantastic, working so hard here with lots of help from friends, not only before we came but afterwards helping us unpack too.

My friend Miriam had organised a whole basket of groceries for us,

and we had a fridge and freezer full of food and meals (I’ve only cooked once since we’ve been back!) from friends and family. My mum’s a fantastic cook, and to have had a whole heap of meals made by her in the freezer and eating at their house the first few days we were back was great. A real taste of home, you could say.

Being back is filled with mixed emotions. Mostly it just feels really strange, as if we’ve just woken up from a 2-year long sleep, as if our time in the States was just a big blurry dream. Things here are just the same as always, and yet subtly different (sometimes not so subtly, like all the many buildings that used to be there that are gone after the earthquakes), and it’s those subtle differences that make it weird.

It’s been great reconnecting with people — lots to catch up on — and I do enjoy the fact that people can just visit without having to plan a visit 2 weeks in advance. New York distances sure made just popping in for a visit nigh to impossible.

Ben’s getting into the work here, having to readjust to working from home again, and the perks and challenges that that brings. The kids seem to have handled the transition well, and Esther is getting used to the idea that she’s going to sleep in the same bed (oh, I forgot to mention the beautiful white bunk bed with matching bedding and dressers my parents got the girls as a welcome home present, so lovely!) for the foreseeable future. She’s starting preschool next week for two mornings a week, and we’ve gotten into the routine of doing homeschooling work with Marica again too.

I won’t deny it, I’m very glad to be back. But I also can’t deny how much I miss the States. I don’t feel quite ready for the change, but there’s no time to get ready! — I just have to jump into life here whole hog! I thought that two months on the road would work well as a transition, but if anything it just made me more attached to the States — it’s such a vast and beautiful country.

It’s been pretty grey and dreary with rain almost every day since we’ve been back, and our yard is turning into a bog.

I was about to feel miserable about all the grey the other day when this beauty brightened up the day:

Anyhow, we’re now close to being all unpacked and settled. I just need to unpack my music books, some ornaments and little bits of junk that usually live in my bedside table, and hang some pictures on the wall and I’ll feel all moved in! Then it’s just a matter of time to get my head moved into the routines of Christchurch life. Once I do that, I hope to resume posts about the rest of our roadtrip — I have some really amazing photos to share. The photos aren’t so amazing, it’s the subject matter: things like Garden of the Gods that I went and photographed before and during sunrise, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, oh boy, there’s some good stuff there. I look forward to sharing it all with you soon, hopefully!

Comments (5)

Hannah 15 Aug 2012 at 9:11am

Good to “see” your house again and hear how various people worked to make your first few weeks back easier! If you get a chance to send pictures of the girls’ room (with them in it), that would be great. Can’t wait to see Garden of the Gods at sunrise! Cooler, I hope? And Monument Valley, which we haven’t yet visited.

Lillian 15 Aug 2012 at 6:08pm

I would love to see the bunk beds… I heard about that great gift. :) So glad you guys have had a grand welcome home.

Liana 16 Aug 2012 at 8:12pm

Sick of pumpkin soup yet? ;-)
The grey days do get a bit dreary (although we seem to keep so busy that I often don’t notice them too much) - but just remember that somewhere along the line there’s bound to be some of those great clear blue skies, wonderful sunny Chch days!
Still thinking of you getting settled back in - it’s such a big transition for you. Not so much the physical stuff, but all the emotional & mental aspects to the adjustment.
When you feel like doing some of that “just popping in” for a visit, feel free!!

Franci 16 Aug 2012 at 9:54pm

Heh, no all the 3 containers of pumpkin soup were from different people and have tasted different from each other! :-)

I feel too busy at the moment to do any ‘popping in’ myself, but I might have to schedule something with you soon!

Laurel 17 Aug 2012 at 5:21am

Yes, it hasn’t exactly been Christchurch at its best, weatherwise, since you got back - I’ve been thinking that must be a hard transition for you after all the wonderful sightseeing!

Our rainy weeks have been brightened by a new computer in the lounge, now linked to the screen there (our replacement for a stereo system), to watch
(a) slideshows of Jonathan’s photos of the U.S. and other places, and
(b) some summer Olympics on TV.

Hope you find some more bright spots in your days - or you’re welcome to join us at the indoor pools in Papanui this week!