We had the strange experience of arriving back into the States at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. While November in England often seems merely a wet precursor to the festivities of December, here it is one big build up to the family-gathering, turkey-guzzling Thursday at the end of the month.
And we arrived back on the Monday before the Thursday.
Jet lag, exhaustion, re-orientating ourselves after our trip consumed us…and we looked up to find a ghost town, with everyone having disappeared to far ends of the country for feasts with family. It was an odd few days without the expected rhythms of our American life. To be honest, it was a hard week of re-entry having come from the peopled, familied surroundings of the UK.
But familiar faces have reappeared, we’re rediscovering the furrows we ploughed before our trip and we’re beginning to remember that we like American life, and particularly the people who surround us.
As the last mouthfuls of sweet potato and marshmallow pie were swallowed, Christmas begun…and we’ve been catapulted into light-filled nights (despite darkness arriving by 4.30pm) as houses up and down the streets are festooned with lights, Christmas trees, baubles…and even a glowing blown up dragon at the end of our road.
The dragon is a highlight, and he gets a daily viewing. We loop around with bikes and a buggy to say hello most days after nap time, eager to make the most of being able to be outside before the ominous freezing weather sets in. Wonderfully, Rufus’ imaginary word is ever flexible and expanding, and so while Mary, Joseph and the shepherds have been swept up into fire engine rescues, the dragon is making frequent appearances amongst his Duplo space ships.
Alongside dragon-viewing, cookie eating and bookshop dwelling have characterised the last week or so as we have popped up a 10ofThose bookshop for December. The ‘popping’ took some hard work, but worth it…especially as ‘Daddy’s work’ is now a place to visit that has sweet treats on tap, and potentially fun people coming to say hello.
Reconnecting, re-grounding, re-orientating. Dragons, books and Christmas trees all helping to bring back the smiles and giggles.