23 May 2011

slightly bitter; mostly sweet.

Happy Monday, dears! As I said, today is the 23rd, and, for me, it's the official ending of the last year.

Let's recap, for those of you who haven't been around very long. This time last year I was leaving to spend nearly three months in Jordan, becoming a part of a friend's family. Leaving is a relatively normal thing for my family; I've moved an estimated eleven times in my life, and the four years we've lived here has been the longest I've lived in any one place for one stretch of time.

Last year I was sitting in an airport in Atlanta, waiting for a late flight to Paris. Very long story short, our flight to Paris was delayed, and the two hour layover we should have had turned into an overnight stay at an airport hotel. We toured Paris for a few lovely hours, and, the next day, boarded a plane for Jordan.

I won't forget my first sight of Jordan. I was in the window seat, so I had an unobstructed view of the country as our plane dipped closer to it. It was sunset, so the desert was covered in gold and pink and orange. (” . . . but I don’t know what your favorite color is?”, he says. A smile creeps onto my lips. ‘Green. What’s yours?’ ‘Orange,” he says. ‘Orange? Like Effie’s hair?” I say. ‘A bit more muted,’ he says. ‘More like . . . sunset.’")  

The desert. Right about then my stomach twisted into a million little knots. See, I hate the desert. For a girl born in Arizona, it's a bit surprising. I suppose I've lived in lush, rain-drenched Holland and Indiana long enough that the desert is foreign to me.

There's a story my family tells from when I was younger. We were flying into Arizona from Holland, maybe? and as we got closer to the ground, I gasped. "It's so beauti- it's not very beautiful, is it?"

thank you, Philip, for insisting that there be at least one photo 
of me at the archeological dig. :)

That's a bit of what I was feeling as we landed in Queen Alia Airport. I just couldn't imagine spending my entire summer in the desert.

me + five of my favorite boys.
So last year I left. For the longest time I was counting days; the first week I was in Jordan, two weeks, the first month, one week until I went home. I counted the days after I was home too...home 24 hours...home a week...home a month. I don't remember when I stopped counting, when I stopped announcing to my mother on the 12th of every month how many months it had been since I'd been home.

I miss it so much. I have family in Jordan. There are six little boys there who I miss like crazy; my summer parents, who treated me like their daughter. Mimi, who I've written about before, one of my bestest friends in the world. Philip and Paul, who I haven't written about before, but were the source of many laughs during the month or so that I knew them.

Most of me can't believe that it's been an entire year since I left.

Because really, I didn't think this far ahead when I left. I didn't think about sitting here an entire year later and musing about the long days with no air conditioning, playing Pinochle in Philip and Paul's dining room (for whatever reason, Mimi and Paul, both of whom had played before, decided it was a good idea to put me and Philip, neither of whom had played before, on a team. Needless to say, we lost), attempting to make pizza crust with Mimi, women jokes at the archeological dig (we did not approve), and my favorite memory of all: coming home from the two-day archeological dig. I walked into through the door, Philip right behind me with my suitcase. Gabriel careened around the corner of the kitchen and attacked me. He hugged me tight and told me, "Katie, I missed you."

my parents told me about the Dead Sea when I was younger, about how you can float on the water without trying, how all the salt will hold you up...I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to go, and there I am.

I miss my family there so much. Every so often I'll get hit with this wave of homesickness, and I'll wonder if it was worth it. The answer is, of course, always yes, but it's hard to leave everything behind.

SO. That's the gist of it. This past year was the best so far, and it's a little bitter that it's over, but overwhelmingly sweet that this last year has been so fantastic.

miss lauren over here is giving away a darling little camera, and miss lauren over here is giving away a personalized copy of her lovely book AND an arc of the sequel. check them out, why don't you?


  1. Amazing photos, Katie! I'm a new follower =)

  2. Hunger Games quote! :)

    That is so cool that you get to Travel all over like that!

  3. Wow, that is amazing all of the places you have lived in your life. Getting to grow up all over the world, pretty much? That sounds so fantastic. Though, at the same time, I can certainly see how difficult it would be to have to keep moving around and leaving people and missing people. I bet it's hard to believe it's been an entire year since Jordan! But that's awesome to know that that year has been quite a good one. :)

  4. It's so super cool that you have a second family in Jordan!!!! Though, not being able to see them very much....that must be hard. And yeah, I think I'd be the same way about the desert. (:

    love always,

  5. i hate you:) you get to go everywhere. i love that hunger games quote, clever how you fit it in.

  6. You are the most globe-trotting girl I have ever known. I am always stunned when I find these people who are not just a citizen of one country, but can call the whole world their home. I've lived in the same village all my life, and I can't imagine travelling as much as you have.
    Lovely post.

  7. Iona Nicole- thanks dear!

    Jodie- oh yes ;) The Hunger Games are the best!

    Natalie- it has been pretty amazing. yes, it has been hard, but definitely worth it.

    Lily- hahaha yeah the desert is not my favorite place in the world, to put it mildly.

    LF- pshhh I love YOU! why thank you :) I love the way Peeta sees the world.

    Libby- fact: I. Love. Your comment. you never cease to make me smile :)


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