Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Transition Central and The Last Grasshopper

At just after midnight on Thursday, January 22, we walked to our house from the local bus station after a day of cross-country airline travel and a 90-mile bus ride. It was a cold, frosty walk home, and it felt otherworldly to be back in our hometown in the deserted moonlight.  We thought of marking the transition with a clandestine dip in our neighbor's new hot tub, but instead dropped the backpacks just inside our door, marveled at our cat's chubbiness, admired the welcome back signs, appreciated the fresh homemade strawberry crepes in our fridge, and fell into our beds. The next day we turned up the gas fireplace and starting transitioning in earnest.

Living with only a backpack's worth of possessions for four months, and a bike pannier's worth for many weeks before that, has certainly impacted our relationship to material things. Both kids took one look at their rooms and immediately went into purge mode. I don't blame them. It does feel like there's way too much stuff here. So now we are living in transition central, i.e. a very messy house, as we work on moving things out even as we're moving things in. Things out: books headed for Dana's school's used book sale, didn't-miss-that kitchen items, miscellany from the kids' rooms, and clothes that no longer fit (Dana) or no longer seem needed. Things in: Colegio Yeccan Waldorf projects and notebooks, Mexican artwork, gear from our trip, and groceries.  

After a few days we took a break from the ferocious sorting for a welcome back fiesta where we saw friends and shared food, stories, mescal and those chile grasshoppers we brought back. I now think the grasshoppers are an interesting personality test. Only two people ate them by the handful, more males than females were willing, and a number of kids said they ate one just so they could say they did. I finally ate one too, since it was Dana who was noticing the male to female intrepid eating difference, and I wanted to take one for the gals.

The kids bravely started back to school, as Tom and I continued the home simplifying process. Of course the transitioning of things is easier than the transitioning of people. We are finding home is familiar but different, and so are we.

I started back to work yesterday and brought the last of the chile grasshoppers with me to greet my colleagues. Once again, I got to watch people's expressions of disgust or interest and notice who was willing to pop one in their mouth. Maybe I'll start offering them to my students for fun. Or maybe, almost a month after purchasing the grasshoppers in Oaxaca, I should stop my grasshopper personality tests. Those bugs might be a less fresh these days, and I should probably let them go. But I'm not letting go of my memories and experiences of our adventures. I want those to stick like little legs between my teeth after crunching on a grasshopper.

1 comment:

Croft Randle said...

So the Great Adventure is over and you are back home! I see your house survived the Great Bellingham Flood.

We are in Cancun now. The weather here is not all that great. It rained last night and is cloudy today. We will make the ferry trip over to the Isla tomorrow to spend one night in a hotel. I have decided I much prefer the rural areas of Mexico.

Croft & Norma Randle