Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Welcome Home

I was lucky enough to be able to come home this weekend and spend some time with my family. It had been too long since I had been home last, and I was happy to get up early and make the voyage North. We discussed the foliage and how incredible that in May, the majority of the trees were not yet green. It is sad actually, how the seasonality cycle of the trees has been set off track because of the cold weather we have been having up until the past couple of weeks. Shouldn't all of the trees be green by early April? Once Chris and I got off the highway, we rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof. "Do you smell the grass?" Chris asked, as I took a deep breath in. Boy did it smell good. And the view was gorgeous. Lush, green fields dotted with cows grazing on the hills. I think that everyone gets a little touch of seasonal depression by turn of winter. How could you not? And our moods have been lightened by finally being able to enjoy the shining sun.

"On a Bench" @ the Culinary Institute of America

My family was traveling back from Florida when we arrived. They were on the annual vacation for my father's business trip. I always enjoyed traveling with my family, especially because we were fortunate that the convention my father has attended for twenty years, has been located in a different city each year. Although I am not a world traveler, I have been able to visit many places around the country thanks to my father's work. Some of my favorites include; Seattle- Washington. Albuquerque- New Mexico, Tybee Island- Georgia, and the Grand Canyon-Arizona. I'm lucky that I was able to take part in those trips, but this time unhappy that I had to miss the sunny beach in Florida. Apparently the sun stayed here in New York though, because it was cloudy the whole time they were in St. Pete's Beach. 

While waiting for the troops to arrive, Chris and I strolled outside to pick some flowers and explore the hay field. Pheobe joined us, wagging along and stopping every few yards to make sure we were still behind her. We urged her to cool off in the pond, although she could only make the skirts of it, as she was not able to wade through the cattails blocking her from open water. We laughed and hand and hand strayed from the path to trudge through the long hay. I fashioned a crown out of dandelions and Chris' food-tuition (:An INtuition you get from paying TUITION to attend culinary school that intrigues you anywhere at anytime to think like a foodie) led him to reach down for the greens and to pick some of the hay. He asked me to taste each green he plucked with his knife. He found something in the mint family, I could tell not only by the smell but the sweet touch to my tongue. Then the car pulled in and we made our way towards the house, Pheobe now panting behind us. 
"Home, Home on the Range" @ Lansing, NY

Mom greeted me with open arms. They all had uneven tan lines from bathing suits and were wearing plane clothes. After showing me the newest bathing suit in her collection, Margot hurried down to the barn to check on her horses, and minutes later she was riding out in the field. She is preparing for her international competition in August, and is very committed to her riding responsibilities. 
Lansing was fashioning a goofy hat with sunglasses on top, and he seemed uninterested in my arrival. Everyone is growing up, he is now a teenage boy. It seems like just the other day that I took him to the movies to see "Meet the Robinsons" and had to carry him out because he had growing pains in his legs. He is now anti social and a teenager-not the brother I remember. But is right into baseball season, and almost an "upperclassmen" in middle school so, it's gotta be a rough life. 
My dad was so happy to see us. He always gets teary and hugs me with a "how are you my girl?". It's amazing how many small actions add up to the comfort of home. Surprisingly he did not make it onto the lawn mower at all when they returned, even though I bet Chris it would only take forty five minutes for that to happen; he saved the lawn for another days project.
I was able to have a little stress release session with my mom, which was much needed. I explained that I was worried that my future is to start in just three weeks and there are so many variables that have not been solidified yet. She told me not to worry, that everything would fall into place and work out. She told me that she was not worried that I have not found a place to live yet, or a job which reassured me that I was not letting the family down by not having my plan set out for me. She told me not to put so much pressure on myself, and I relaxed a little. It's nice how the comforting sound of my mother's voice is able to soothe me and recycle my unproductive feelings. 
"Love @ Sunset" @ Myers Park on Cayuga Lake

After we gorged around the dinner table, the younger crew went to the park to bike/blade around a bit before the sun set. We arrived just as the sun hit the horizon of the sparkling lake, and it was a wonderful sight. Lansing biked ahead, racing after Chris (on his rollerblades), while Margot and I were able to do a tad bit of long needed sister bonding. My sister is six years younger than me, and often is too hard headed to ask for my advice, although I really wish she did more often. My mother assures me that as we both mature, we will grow into great friends. As we finished the loop, Margot mentioned something about ice cream and we all jumped in the car. We decided that if you didn't make the trip, you missed the ice cream, and we all enjoyed our first cone of the season, only to find that mom had rushed out to get us all Ben & Jerry's. She was happy however that we were all able to enjoy one another's company without any sibling bickering. As everyone peeled off to their beds, Mom and I continued to reassure Chris about his interview the following day, and then we all said our goodnights.

It's very comforting to wake up in your own bed. Not that I have ever woken up in someone else's bed, but I mean your own bed, where you have slept the majority of your nights. I slept like a rock- do rocks sleep? I know babies don't so I am not sure why people say that they enjoy "sleeping like a baby". Anyway, I ironed Chris' jacket, and laid out his clothes while he hopped in the shower. My dad made us pancakes and then we headed towards the hotel so that Chris could drop me off and he could go off to his interview in Rochester. I pointed him in the right direction and he was off. I decided I might go visit my cousins and helped my mom with lunch. She got hit pretty hard for a Monday, and ended up preparing 44 lunches. I made two sleeves of burgers and one tray of cookies, and was able to help her out through the rush. I then traveled to visit my cousins. 

Sarah is about to turn three, and she is the energizer bunny. She is up and ready to go go go! My aunt goes through a lot in order to keep her in line. I'm not sure how she handles it, but she does a great job. Claire is my god daughter, and she has been through quite a lot in the short time of one year. Claire was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder when she was about six months old. Luckily she only had the temporary form of the disorder and grew out of it and is now, healthy as ever. She is going to turn into a bright young lady. Although she is not walking quite yet, she is the happiest baby I have ever seen. It seems like she may turn into somewhat of a tomboy, which I'm not upset about at all. Quietly proud I guess you could say, I was not the girliest of girls and although my current pair of slippers are pink, and I enjoy sun dresses, I am still not afraid to get my hands dirty. So it was nice to visit with the girls. It's difficult now that I have to work on Saturdays, because I missed Claire's birthday party, and will miss Sarah's as well, but it was nice to catch up with them on a sunny day. 

My mom and I were on our way to my sister's softball game and I made a few calls, lining up appointments for Chris and I to look at apartments in the Rochester area for the following weekend. I then started a list of items we would need to gather for the apartment, and those furniture items that we had already. My mom and I talked through the list, and she mentioned a few things that she had that would work well in the apartment. She also mentioned she would keep her eye out at the "re-use" center for other listed items. She is very good at hunting down "like-new" furniture for a bargain of a price. We sat next to the field in the sun, enjoying the conversation and the game. At home I gave Margot a few pointers on her batting, but she rejected the advice. Turns out at her next game, she changed her mind, and decided she had nothing to lose- next thing you know she is hitting a home run. 

Dad grilled some chicken for dinner, and I made a fruit salad. The five of us sat around the island. "it's just like old times," Dad exclaimed. And it was. I felt very much at home, and as if nothing had changed. I helped Mom with the horses, it felt good to be romping around in boots again. After dinner, Mom and I patiently waited for Chris to arrive home. 

His interview went well. He also had to stage at the restaurant, which means that he had to work there for a day, so that management could observe his habits and skills and also so he could get a feel for working in their kitchen. He explained that the interview was different than any he had been in before. There were many culinary knowledge questions; they quizzed him on his knowledge of the products and basic culinary terms. He assured us he knew every answer except for one, which I feel is great. As he sat there, describing every detail of the restaurant, I could almost picture it in my mind and instantly wanted to go check it out. They told Chris that they would make a decision within a week or so- now it's just the waiting game. 

We have a three day weekend coming up at the end of this week. Although it really spans from Sunday- Wednesday, we have adjusted to that weekend schedule. As I mentioned we will be going to look at some apartments during that time. And in between we will be able to spend time at the local zoo and around the area of where we will possibly be living. It's very exciting. Also the fact that we will not only be looking for our new home, but be able to spend time with my family again. Family is what makes home so special. It was tough leaving. I am excited to start building my own home with Christopher. But I will always celebrate those members of my family who have been able to give home such a wonderful meaning to me. This chapter of my life is coming to a close, and I am preparing myself to turn the page. This is the end of my time as a student, but I cannot wait to step into a new way of learning, through the new experiences I am about to face. When God closes a door, we all know He opens a window. Cheers!

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