We have been waking up every morning to a thick blanket of fog over the jungle in every direction. It reminds me of home. Not Utah "home", but California "home" where I grew up and where every winter we had thick "pea soup" fog that would roll in at night and hang around to greet us in the morning.
I used to love to go walking in the fog. I loved that feeling of being wrapped up and nearly invisible. I loved that you couldn't see anything --even just a few feet ahead of you. It is, admittedly, very scary to drive in that same fog...but to walk in it is just peaceful to me. So it has been making me feel happy and nostalgic to wake up every morning and greet the fog once again.
Today is our 7 month mark! It is unbelievable to me that we only have three more months here.
I couldn't fall asleep last night and so I laid in bed thinking about TIME. About how the time here has been speeding by, even though each day feels like the normal 24 hours. But I think when life gives you a distinct experience like this...a time that is bracketed and separate from your regular life...time ALWAYS speeds up. The clock is always ticking toward those final moments when it will all be over and you will step back into "reality".
I am sure that it will all seem a little surreal to us--that we actually lived in India for a year at one time. It is so different from the life we will return to and probably not something we will ever have the chance to do again.
It was an unexpected blessing and a singular gift to have this opportunity.
I will be forever grateful for it.
I was also thinking about the TIME we have with our children. I feel lucky to have Brooklyn back "with" us (even though she lives next door) for another year. Because she skipped kindergarten all those years ago, she left home a year early and it feels like another little gift to have that year back together...for my other kids to have her in their life again on a daily basis.
I was thinking about how different our lives have been for these months. How we spend all of our time together. How I am actually doing better than I thought I might do...I was honestly a little afraid that I would end up in a straight jacket after all our "togetherness".
Anyone who knows me well knows that I L.O.V.E. my alone time when Lon and the kids are all gone to school! ; )
I was also thinking about the TIME we have until another child leaves for college.My heart sunk to think that we only have 18 months until Camry will also fly the nest. And I know how fast that Senior Year goes by!
It was one of those moments that made me think, "Where have all the years gone?" And it made me realize that I will always be nostalgic for the time when my girls were little.
Potty trained...but still little! ; )
We are happy for this new year. It is going to be a great year! We did some counting and were surprised and delighted to realize that we leave here on the 100th day of 2015. I don't really know why...but I thought that was kind of cool. ; ) So my kids have started counting down and each day it makes me a little more sad at the thought of saying goodbye to these adorable kids that I have come to know and love.
These girls are my little sweethearts. I love their bright, smiling faces and no matter how my day is going, it is always better after a rambunctious little hug from one or all of them!
We had a special opportunity to get to know two of the students really well over Christmas Break. Elina Mary and Praveen are brother and sister and had just returned to Rising Star from their home in Delhi (8 hours away) about a week before the holiday, so they stayed on campus all during the break.
We were able to go play with them every day and it was a rare privilege for my kids, Cohen especially, to have some one-on-one time with kids here. He had a blast and everyday would be ready to go over there with his bag of Christmas toys and books and the frisbee.
Another long-term volunteer and I went and did some shopping for them and the housemother that was caring for them so that they would have Christmas gifts to open.
Here's the cute little outfits we got for them...
Praveen is BRAND-NEW at Rising Star. His sister has been at Rising Star for a number of years, but he just arrived a week before Christmas. He is in UKG (upper kindergarten) and he is 5 years old. He is so delightful and just bubbling over with personality. We love him. (Since he is brand new, he has 4 open spots for sponsorships...so if anyone is interested, let me know!!)
Elina Mary is a beautiful young woman. It was great to get to know her better and have more time to visit and enjoy some quiet time together.
Lon and I had a wonderful New Year's Day which included a long walk out to my favorite spot in the Indian jungle. It is a peaceful and beautiful spot on a raised path surrounding a small lake. There were the most adorable baby goats and cows and countless birds. And there happens to be a temple nearby that was broadcasting Hindi devotional music. So much sound in the jungle. It is something that I will miss, I think.
It was heavenly...and a great way to begin our year together.
Our 21st year together...talk about time speeding by! I have now spent more of my life with Lon than without. ; ) Crazy! ...and wonderful, too!
It is always a rare treat to get a little alone time here.
We even held hands and sneaked in a kiss since no one was looking. (shhh! don't tell!)
(There is NO public display of affection allowed here.)
This has been a great adventure for us and I am grateful for the things we have learned.
20 years in...and we might actually be figuring each other out. : )
Happy New Year Everyone! Make it a great one.