*8Signs of Re-Entry

8things from Magpie Girl

It’s vacation time—a time when we so often return to a place we’ve once lived, or a holiday spot we love and come to again and again. I’ve recently returned to the States after a year and a half abroad, and I’m finding the reverse culture shock rather intriguing.  So this week’s list is all about the *8Things you experience upon returning to a favorite spot. What is is like when you go to your childhood home? Are there patterns you immediately fall into? (When I walk into my mother’s house, I always have to check the pantry for Oreo cookies, even if I’ve juste aten.) What happens when you return to a favorite vacation spot? (My daemon downloads poetry to me the second I see the sea.) Here are my *8 Signs of Re-Entry:

1. Feeling energized and giddy with the way people dress in my home town. (Jeans under second-hand dresses! Dredlocks! Practical funky shoes! Recycled and re-purposed clothing!)

2. Getting teary because the cashier at the organic co-op chatted with me as she checked me out, and thanked me for bringing my own bags.

3. Smiling giddily just because two teenage girls said, “Oh, sorry!” when they walked in front of me at Target. Ditto with how small children interact with me in the check out lines.

4. Being pleasantly surprised that the smell of fast food joints makes me nauseous and I no longer crave fries.

5. Enjoying driving. (Course, I am borrowing a convertible…)

6. Crying in the produce section of the organic supermarket because, as Catie put it, “Everything in here is like ART Mommy!”

7. Laughing a LOT more, especially with my Mom and Dad, and watching the children laugh, play and just generally have lighter countenances.

8. The deep, satsifying hum of knowing Iwill see someone wonderful, fascinating, and dear to my heart every couple of days as I reconnect with friends.

What *8 Signs of Re-Entrydo you experience on vacation or when you return to some place familiar? List your *8Things in the comments below or grab a button and play along, by adding your post’s permalink in the list below. Thanks for being here!

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Helene Eriksen June 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm

On Coming back to Seattle:
1. Remembering how much I like the light in this city at different times of day/year…particularly on the drive along Pacific looking over Lake Union and downtown, and the view out of my bedroom.
2. Being able to go dancing every night.
3. Walking to yoga class…knowing there are so many yoga studios that even if this one closes too the next one is equally walkable.
4. Walking into a house where I live together with people.
5.The guilty freedom of driving and getting to amazing wilds in a short time.
6. The concept of thrift stores.
7. Stepping back in to a large network of loosely connected people who can be chatty and friendly.
8. the concept of free WiFi everywhere

On coming back to Goettingen:
1. Loving being in a town where I can walk anywhere.
2. Just running downstairs to go to the organic food store or cafe or pub or restaurant or park (one of each of those in less than a block).
3. The sane freedom of not needing a car to get anywhere easily.
4. The pleasant formality of being greeted in my bank or store as Frau Eriksen (instead of the cashier at the supermarket who doesn’t know me at all glancing at my credit card and saying “Thanks Helene!”)
5. Knowing that my friends will take time and help me even if they haven’t seen me in months.
6. Affording going to the doctor (because my artists’ health insurance is working).
7. Remembering with relief that when I have a gig or a workshop that the venue will take care of most of the details and pay me decently.
8. Noticing at the train station the people look slim, healthy and well dressed.

On coming back to Istanbul
1. Being greeted like a long lost friend even if I haven’t seen someone in a very very long time.
2. People having time and the emotional energy to constantly pause and invite you in to tea.
3. Feeling the strength and foundation that people’s families provide them.
4. The pervasive uncomplicated pursuit of the art of preparing food.
5. Heartfelt generosity and hospitality on every street corner if one is willing to engage…and even if not.
6. Sipping tea on a ferry watching the sun set over the most amazing and ancient skyline the world has to offer.
7. Music all around.
8. The haunting beauty of the muezzin…providing rhythm to the day and collective energy for many.

On coming back to the cabin in Montana
1. No cars or planes or trains.
2. The sound of water all around…Wise River and Boulder Creek surround us.
3. Cooking on the Monarch…with all it entails…chopping the wood, keeping it stoked, knowing how to control it’s temperature and where to put what to cook it right.
4. The stars at night.
5. Being alone and primal in the forest.
6. Playing endless games around the table with family and close friends.
7. Drinking real water (Dad called it Mountain Champagne).
8. Having an inkling what self sufficiency is like.

Ashley Ann June 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Wow! Couldn’t have come at a better time. As I sit in a Starbucks in Pasadena, Ca, waiting for my Dad and youngest brother to pick me up at take me to my “old” home. I sit here skyping my husband who left only minutes ago as he works in a building two blocks away…making statements like “If I don’t cleave to you this weekend or if I fall into old roles, squeeze me. He told me he would tickle me until I said Uncle. Then he recanted, since him being my uncle is sort of peevy. I laughed.. I really needed this post.
Thanks girly!

Becky June 26, 2009 at 4:21 am

I’m going to have to pass on *8Things this week. I don’t have a childhood home that I return to, since everyone has moved to their own corner of the country. Even now, being in NC for six years, I don’t feel settled into my home the way I want to be — it doesn’t sing to me…

Susan Young June 26, 2009 at 7:09 am

Oh Rachelle, makes me jealous to read this, thinking about Seattle and it’s surrounds. Also nice to hear about the lighter countenances for you and the girls. I hope you gets lots of love on this trip.

Lori-Lyn June 29, 2009 at 4:00 am

This is beautiful. And thought-provoking.

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