Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Easter

I'm finally getting around to the Easter post, including some photos. 3 are of Easter, the towel one is just cute, and the last one is M enjoying our hotel room. Apparently she doesn't have any gripes about the current set-up!
The AdventureFamily had a very nice Easter, one that we never would have experienced if we weren't uprooted from our regular routines. We spent the day with extended family that we had never met before, namely my cousin's wife Christina(he's on an RLBTof his own at the moment), and their eighteen-month-old son Gavin, in Austin, TX at Christina's parent's house. We also met Christina's sister and brother-in-law and their children, and together the kids had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful, and their was a huge green lawn and a sand box for playing in, so needless to say our little tomboy M was happy as could be.

I've been wanting to meet Christina for a long time, and Gavin too, for that matter, so this was a wonderful opportunity. I have to say that what could very easily have been an awkward moment (Easter at your cousin-in-law's parent's home, none of whom you've ever met?) was made very comfortable and friendly by the warm acceptance we felt. That in itself seemed a very fitting celebration of what Easter really means.

Other than Easter we haven't been up to too much. Jimmy is of course busy the bulk of every day with his classes, and so M and I spend the bulk of every day strolling around to the various play areas that are nearby. We also got a bike seat for her, and although I'm not comfortable riding in traffic with my precious cargo behind me in such a vulnerable position, it does increase our range quite a bit. We went for a 12-mile family bike-ride last weekend on a trail that follows a greenway up a creek that is very nearby, which was a wonderful experience. We hope to make that a repeat performance as often as possible. Luckily M loves her bike seat, and I'm getting used to lugging the extra weight around!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Feeling Lucky

M and I are safely arrived in San Antonio, TX. What a change to get off of the plane into summer weather (70's and 80's) after our week in MT where it snowed several times during out stay!!! Both the drive and the flying went well, and M was a trooper as usual. That kid has more miles on her than a lot of cars do when they die. Judging from the aplomb with which she accepts most travel situations, I think she qualifies as a seasoned traveller. Anyhow, back to the story, for those of you who don't know, San Antonio is where AdventureDad and I met, where, you might say, the whole adventure began. It therefore will always be a special city in our hearts, and I'm happy to be here, not only for that reason, but because of course that means that I get to spend the next 2 months with my husband rather than alone in a new town in WA.
San Antonio is a 180 degree change from the life we have been living in Germany and WA (and MT)... from rainy winter green to sunny desert and palm trees... the land of the grizzly bear to the land of the enchilada. Luckily there are lots of places to escape from the big city, and we're already tallying up a list of places we want to go on the weekends.
During the week days, M and I are trying to find a new balance in life. The three of us are sandwiched into a single hotel room, which means a lot of adjusting of routines for AdventureMom and Dad to work around a 2-year-old's schedule. Luckily there is a microwave and small fridge, but no other cooking arrangements (can you see lots of salad in our future? I can!) Luckily there is a playground right at the hotel, and M has gotten brave enough to use the slide all by herself (mommy's in trouble!). We just need to find a swimming pool and a good park and we'll be set.
Our lodging also happens to be right near Brooks Army Medical Center, as well as the Center for the Intrepid (one of the two major amputee recovery/physical therapy centers in the US), in fact it is where a lot of the families come after the Fisher house, when their soldiers are released from the hospital but still have months to years of recovery left (our 2-month stay here is relatively short... imagine that!). I have seen wounded soldiers before, mostly randomly around on post, but of course never the concentration that are here. It is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching to see them on the playground with their kids, learning how to be dads in new ways, some still in so much pain or so debilitated that they can barely get up out of a chair. Yesterday while M and I were at the playground a guy came out wrapped in burn bandages from his toes to his waist. His son kept trying to play with him and he kept having to remind him not to grab his legs. You could see the pain and the patience he was trying to find. It makes me feel so incredibly lucky that I got my husband back in one piece, and that I am able to spend this time with him. The hurdles that some of these families are overcoming are truly gigantic, and it is inspiring to see the strength and cheerfullness with which the ones that I have seen seem to be approaching them with. I guess they feel lucky in their own ways.