My trip home started out with a quick zip down to Florida. My parents and Grandfather were a sight for sore eyes. We even got to visit with some cousins who live near by!
There was a bit of Serbian “flavor” in our trip south as well. We visited with my wonderful friend “S” who now lives a few towns over. I met her and her little lovelies in Novi Sad Serbia for the first time Christmas 2010(?). We had been writing back and forth for some time and skyping…She and her family made my Christmas away from home so special. I now consider them family too.
I just love these old civil war era homes. I saw Pennsylvania with new eyes and it was beautiful!
For Thanksgiving, I was was with my brother and sister in Pennsylvania about a thousand miles north of Florida eating my face off with turkey and all the fixings. Oh how I have missed the GMO, preservative ripe, processed to death food of the US. I did not deny myself anything. T25 workouts are now a must for my lard laden body!
A week or so later, I was thrilled to be able to go back to the place I called HOME for the last 20 years. Ocean City, Maryland!
I saw so many of my sorely missed friends and the Atlantic Ocean. My heart was so happy and sad to see them all knowing is was just for a couple of very short days.
Thanks to my very dear friend MN who I sadly have no pics of. She let me crash at her condo. We are truly grateful for such a wonderful place to stay. We had some hearty talks I wish could have stretched on for days.
Salmon dinner made by my oldest friends, “P&M” in OC made one of my evenings absolutely perfect. My eyes can easily fill with tears just thinking about how happy I was to see them and Mr. L.P. Thank you so much for taking time to see Munchkin and me.
Munchkin had a blast playing with all the Christmas merry making toys and decor.
Reunited with with work buddies and their offspring was the most hilarious fun time. Munchkin was joined by a set of twins a year older than her and a little boy just two months her junior. They had a great time running around together and beating each other with crab mallets. No permanent damage was done. 😉
Crab buckets are the best protection against crab mallets!
So many good friends and just not enough time!! I love you all so much!
If it wasn’t so cold, cold, Cold and windy or we would have walked down to the ocean for beach pic. Next time…
Then it was back to PA for more time with the siblings and cousins. At the end of the trip I got to pick up some side-work with my brother and we finally had some quality time to chat. He works with a a bunch of Bosnian people in Carlisle, PA. While we waited for work and chatted I met a few of them. They understood my Serbian as crappy as it is. They were patient and happy to talk about life in former Yugoslavia, give advice and discuss the problems in Balkan lands.
Signs are in Bosnian and in English… soon French may also be added!
The funny thing about Serbs and Bosnians and maybe even Croatians. When you are living in country so far from home the ache of recent wars and wounds still healing are less of a problem. The shared language culture are bandages.
They were a joy to chat with. They understand the difficulty of living far from home in a land whose culture is exotic. All of them come home about once a year and one even confessed he cries every time he is leaving his country of birth. This is pretty common for most expats.Land of birth, home of your family and friends, the land of your culture and traditions is a hard thing to leave even for a better life or a loved one.
Sometimes the joys of the adventurous expat life is so far eclipsed by the loss and distance. The heart breaks over and over. I miss my friends and family. I didn’t cry until I returned to Serbia.
The Munchkin is just happy to have her Mommy and Daddy back together again. She won’t go to sleep unless we are on either side of her. The joy on her face is priceless! She doesn’t care where she is as long as we are there too.