Yesterday, JB and I left the kiddos with Grama Di for an hour and we made a trip to Target. Time to buy some of the ol' faithfuls (lollipops, uncrustables, sugar, etc.) for our trip home.
We also bought some things for us. Things like Entenmann's donuts and these fudge-dipped Oreo cookies. Things that we can't get in our tiny commissary on Base.
We stocked up on Kashi bars and all-natural jelly/jam. We'll mail those back home. (Along with about 10 other boxes. How did we accumulate so much stuff in just two months?)
Our Graco stroller, which has survived three children, was already on its last leg when it made the trip back to America with us two months ago. It's majorly mildewed since arriving on the island (as many things do there). The wheels are bowed out too. But the final straw was that the tray table, which allows the infant seat to click in, went missing. We have no idea where it went, but without it, we can't use the infant seat and the stroller in combination.
We decided, last minute, to buy a new stroller -- just a lightweight, cheap, $60 Graco stroller that will allow us to click the carseat in for trips around Base. Our other stroller just wasn't going to make it through a fourth child.
Today I also decided, last-minute, that I wanted to print a few photos for my mom. I could do that. I had my pick of Walgreens. I mean, I think there might be a Walgreens (and a Dunkin Donuts too) on every fifth corner. I could order the pictures through Snapfish and have them printed right in the nearest store within minutes.
I wanted to get one last bacon/egg/cheese croissant from Dunkin Donuts. And, heck, get a few donuts while we were there. And munchkins too. Why not?
We finished the night off eating Organic strawberry ice cream from Whole foods. Oh yum ...
And we could do all this. Easily. Just get in the car. Drive. Sure there's traffic. But the world is at your fingertips. Everything you need within ten miles of the place you live.
For one more day.
Big sigh ...
Tomorrow, we will go home.
My emotions are mixed. I'm comfortable in America. South Florida is the place I know best. I lived here the first 18 years of my life and have made trips back here, probably every year, for the 18 years that have followed. Oh how I will miss my Dad and Mom and the memories we have shared during the last seven weeks.
But our house is not here. JB's job is not here. Our life is not here.
And so it is time to go back.
To a 12 x 19 mile-wide island with no Target and no mall and no fast food restaurants and no Entenmann's or place where you can buy a Graco stroller at the last minute. To a place where I said good bye to two of my closest friends right before we left.
Going back is probably a good thing. Fast food is stinkin' expensive! Especially for a family of six! There are too many things that I can spend money on here in America. It's time to zip up the wallet and eat at home and entertain at home and be at home.
Our home, for the next year, is in the Azores. It still doesn't really feel like my home. But it is. It's where the Lord has called us. And it's time to go.
Good bye America!
Onto the next part of our adventure.