Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Let's see, I last wrote on the day I left Dagupan.  That night me, Daddy, Josie, and Roger went out to eat in Manila.  Let me just say, Manila IS NOT like the provinces where we had been hanging out!  On the way in we saw a Wendy's, a Dairy Queen, an Outback Steakhouse, you get the picture.  Well we went straight to Bubba Gump's where we ate for Roger's birthday (which was actually the next day)  How happy was I to see mashed potatos on the menu!!!  Whoo!  I don't want to even see sticky ol white rice until the next time I am over there!  Maybe that is my new rule, I only eat that when I am there since you have to eat it so much over there!  Ok, I'm straying but it is only 6:50 a.m. and just got home and was reminded another reason I wish I was still over there!  

Daddy dropped me off at the Manila airport and they wouldn't even let them in so I was thinking that Roger and Josie were going to drop the van off and come in and tell me bye but they weren't even able to!  So I didn't even get to tell them bye!  I had to take all my luggage in alone and buy the tears were streaming down my face!  After I had checked in I still had over an hour long wait before we could board so I put my Zune on and put it on shuffle.  The first song that came on was "Heart Half Full or Half Empty" by Stephanie Bently and Ty Hernden.  The song is obviously about something completely different but I thought that it was very appropriate sentiments.  Don't get me wrong, I was so excited to come home.  I really missed Leigh and Louise, the rest of my family, and my friends and I love my job and my church and my house.  On the other hand, everything I have ever done here doesn't even come close to being as important, in the grand scheme of things, of things that I did there.  And I love the people there!  I really felt so torn (and I do know how corny this sounds) but I did feel like I was leaving half of my heart in the Philippines and was on my very long way home to the other half.  It was actually a terrible feeling.  The ride to Tokyo wasn't that bad, it is about 4 hours and I had a window seat right by the wing (which I found out that I hate by the way, all the sounds and feelings are magnified...I won't keep you in suspense....guess where I am on the long flight from Tokyo to Chicago?!?!?) and was seated next to an engineer from Nashville who is married and has a child with a Filipino.  It made the flight go by pretty fast and it was nice not to just sit there and dwell on things as I had been doing for the past two hours.

Tokyo was nice, I got some candy and rented some time on the internet and caught up on my e mails, myspace, and facebook. I then watched Music and Lyrics on my portable dvd player.  When we boarded the plane I was thrilled to see no kids behind me this time!  I watched Horton Hear's a Who and Definitely, Maybe on the plane and a couple of episodes of The Office.  I do love those little personal tv's that let you choose from a good selection of movies and tv.  This time I did have a horrible time trying to sleep, I hate airplane seats!  I got off in Chicago finally and had to get my luggage and go through customs, which sucked up and hour of my 6 hour layover.  Then I spent close to the best twenty bucks ever by getting a twenty minute massage!  Next I was off to get a water, apple, and some deep dish pizza!  I killed a lot of time there talking on the phone and texting.  It was so good to have use of a cell phone again!  Before too long (and after TWO gate changes AGAIN...what is it with the people at O'Hare??) I noticed that they moved our boarding time from 7:45 to 8:15.  Not that big of a deal, huh?  Yeah, you can think that because you haven't been traveling for over 24 hours and in the same nasty clothes!  Then it moved to 8:30, which, of course, was later moved to 8:45.  Now it gets really fun because after we board and taxi out to the runway we get to sit there for an hour!  So, we don't leave until 9:45, which is 10:45 in Chattanooga where I was being picked up, which was ironic since that was the time we were supposed to ARRIVE!  Ugh.  And did I mention that our plane was the size of a medium size toy plane?  Lovely, I survive the food in a third world country, flying over half the world and the entire Pacific Ocean only to die flying over Kentucky in a toy plane (ok, obviously since I am alive to write this and I can only assume we flew over Kentucky, but that's how I felt sitting on this tiny plane on the runway in Chicago!)  When we finally got there Mom was waiting for me and we got my bags and were off to the most logical first place you would go after being out of the country for 2 1/2 weeks.....Wal-Mart and then IHOP!  Yay for home!  We arrived here at home at about 5 a.m. 

Now, since it was appx 35 hours since I had left Manila so you are probably thinking that the shower and bed was my game plan.  Well, it was.  Until I walked in my bedroom and saw everything from my bathroom sitting in my bedroom!  I really try to leave my bedroom and bathroom as clean and neat as possible because it makes coming home a lot less stressful.  This time I didn't get all my clothes put up but Leigh was washing my sheets and taking my comforter to the cleaner and I had taken the times to scrub my bathroom and wash the mats in my bathroom.  Of course, that doesn't mater much when your bathroom floods!  That's right, ladies and gentlemen, that's why all of my bathroom stuff was sitting in my bedroom, Leigh had taken it out to dry since it was soaking wet from the leaking pipe in my bathroom!  Ugh!  Life is grand!  Want to guess my next step?  I'm sure it's obvious....I walked into the living room, turned on tivo and watched the last three episodes of The Bachelorette, of course!  I don't know if you watch it or not but I almost died!  Holy cow!  I can not believe she ended up with Jesse!  It SHOCKED me!  And successfully kept me awake until 7:30 when Leigh got up.  I
Which is where we are now.

Actually, that was all I made it to because I got distracted by Leigh and Jon and Kate Plus 8 and finally went to sleep around 11 a.m.  I slept pretty hard until Mom came in and woke me up when they got home from church service.  Louise and Dirt came over and I gave everyone their presents and we watched the Braves while I told them stories from the Philippines.  It was good to be with all of them

Now, I am sitting here and talking to this stupid computer, which seems to have become my only constant companion for the past month.  I need to get this down so I can remember this feeling.  I remember, years ago, my Grandma telling me about what a depressed like state my Granddaddy would be when they had to come home from the Philippines.  It only came back to me when last year my my mom said almost the same thing about my Daddy.  I couldn't possibly imagine.  I mean, sure they did great work over there but how could you be sad to come back to all the great things Americans have in their lives and your friends and family?  Now, I am back and have loved having things such as toilit paper, papertowels, air conditioning, and mattresses.  And, even though I haven't gotten to send very much time with them, I have loved being back around the rest of my family and am looking forward to seeing my freinds.  However, since I got back I always seem to be on the verge of crying.  What in the world?  I wonder if it would be this bad if I hadn't had to come back before Daddy, Julia, NaNa, and PaPa?  It is almost amazing to me that I can miss and love people so much that I hadn't even met three weeks ago.  I know that my family is happy to see me and my friends will be to, but those people thought their lives were better because I was there in them.  I was teaching people about Jesus that had NEVER even HEARD about him!  I did make those peoples lives better, not great, but better.  They need me over there and I am pretty sure I need them.  Don't get me wrong, I know that my family loves me and wants me around and I have never been someone who had the need to be "needed" but maybe t was because I never really had been.  I have only been home for a few hours and have already (in my moodiness and that even a word..if it is, I surely didn't spell it correctly!) gotten on Leigh and my Mom's nerves.  Not that they weren't happy to see me, because I know they are and it has been my fault, I have been so tired.  Before this gets to pathetic and I start crying again, I am going to unpack, clean my bathroom, and going to go sleep on my huge, wonderfully padded, mattress!  


Bev said...

Welcome home Laurie! People love you and need your love and kindness all over the world. I am so proud of you--way to go Champ! XO Steve & Beverly

The Holtons said...

Home, Sweet, Home!!! YOu just have to love it even if it is flooded!!!! Sorry about that. Glad you made it home safely and have a new appreciation for the work both your grandparents are doing and your Dad. I love you!

Hicks Family said...

glad you are home, hope to see you soon.