XX. Impatient In-Between

by valerie shultz

July 25, 2011

I have no idea what time it is.  I have no idea what time zone I’m even in.  I’m on the flight from Frankfurt to Denver, nearing Iqalurt over the Davis Strait.  Our flight from Krakow to Frankfurt went fine other than it being delayed, which made for a very tight connection, especially because we had to go through customs and security (and Dave got stopped going through security again).  I’m pretty sure the other team missed their flight.  When we landed they had nine minutes to board, and the bus ride to the terminal took at least that long.

I am in the in-between stage of being desperately anxious to get home and see my boys, and busily reflecting on the trip and everything that has happened the last twelve days; the hundred things that made it into my journal, the hundred more that did not.  I know some things will be forgotten with time and faulty human memory, but some things will remain with me forever.  Like praying around Joanna yesterday.  She was terribly nervous about translating Dave’s sermon in front of the congregation, so Carol, Karen, Court and I each said a bit of prayer around her.

Joanna teared up afterward and said it was a good thing she’d worn her special wedding mascara she’d saved for several years.  She made the rest of us tear up, only we didn’t have special tear-proof wedding mascara.

I will always remember the goodbye for Karen and Court.  Karen knocked on my door just before 4am.  I was sleepy but remember telling her I’d miss her and she said she was thinking about visiting at Thanksgiving.  Later when it was time to part ways with Court, she said the same thing.  It would be a lot of fun if they did, and I sincerely hope even if they don’t make it for Thanksgiving, they decide to come another time.

I was sad I didn’t get to say goodbye to Ethan.  I still can’t think of him without hearing the kids calling him: “E-tan!  E-tan!”  We were on the same flight to Frankfurt, but he got off on the front of the plane, we got off on the back, we got on separate busses, and that was that.

I’ll remember “Schmotzschniego!” and even when I can’t remember how to say it anymore, I will remember the way you couldn’t take a bite to eat without someone seeing you and vibrantly announcing, “Schmotzschniego!” at you.  I was walking down the hall at the camp house with a mouth full of tostada and Sebastian spied me.  “Schmotzschniego!”

I’ll remember playing “soccer” with Sebastian in the tourney, and how the first time I held my hand up for a high five he looked at me like I was a very blue goofball and hesitantly obliged by holding up his hand for me to gently slap.  Pretty soon, if I didn’t get my hand up soon enough, his was right there waiting for me.  He caught some of my blue as well as my redheaded competitiveness.

I will remember Ethan and Jeremy saying we should do “street tricks” after watching the street performers in front of the cloth market in Krakow, and how they broke out singing “Money, Money, Money” in unison because that’s what the performers played when they were done dancing.

I’ll remember Jeremy sharing his music and drawings with me, particularly the song about a mountain to climb, not conquer, and share the view.  And I’ll most definitely remember us girls having a discussion about “bare down there” and vajazzling, while Karen looked at us like we’d lost our minds and grabbed her journal to document our blatant open discussion of girly issues.  I’ll also remember the very genuine bond I formed with her and with Court.

I will most definitely not forget Vang and my optimistic declaration to get married there, after hearing they are very well known for successful marriages.  Sebastian offered to find me a nice Polish man and to marry me.  Of course, Dave said he’d have to fight him for the honor.  I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.

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