52. Chop wood and stack in the garage.
53. Fill out online application for OU
54. Wash our smelly South American clothes
55. DRY our smelly South American clothes (Hallelujah! Finally!)
56. Translate an MBA application
57. Dig a compost hole
58. Call grad school recommenders
59. Deal with guilt of having called recommenders after a long interim of non-correspondence
60. Find a place to stay while visiting OU (Yeah Mindy from Couchsurfing!!!)
62. Plan JooYeon's surprise birthday party
63. Wonder why there is no number 61 and if it was important
So, despite the long list, I can't complain at all because they were all quite enjoyable and light tasks. And I don't think I've spent this much time with my parents since high school (even when I lived here for a year in my early twenties, we barely saw each other), so that has been a real blessing. Here we are on a little sledding fiasco on our hill...
Joo has been gungho on helping out with everything- inside and outside the house, as can be seen here by her valient attempts at chopping wood...
There have been quite a few funny moments on the homestead, mostly due to a synthesis of my dad's humor/partial hearing and JooYeon's willing and gentle spirit. For instance, the other night I came upstairs looking for Joo around midnight and all the lights were out. I called out, "Joo?" and a small voice came from a dark back corner of our dining room, "Over here!" She had been working on translations in the pitch dark for the previous two hours because when Dad went to sleep he jokingly/casually told her, "Joo, you're responsible for turning the lights off when you go to bed." And she was afraid she would forget. :)
Another one was at the dinner table tonight when we were talking about some Quechua (Incan) words we had learned and Joo mentioned "Allyiyangchu" (hello). A minute later Dad asked, "Joo, what was that word you just said?"
Dad: Yeah, that's it! What does that mean?
And then there are the games we play a couple evenings a week - Rook, Outburst, Sequence, Mexican Train, and here we are during the charades of a Cranium game...
My life has tended to more often than not be one of swinging pendulums between extremes and now is no exception. After charging through six countries in under a month, we've now been in my parents' house for about two weeks with only a small trip into town a mile away and a couple days over at Justin and Angie's house. Not to mention going from the smoldering heat of a Costa Rican beach to freezing Ohio winter within an airplane ride.
While I have now applied to three schools (in Ohio, Arizona, and Connecticut), Joo continues to explore various potential fields while she carries on her translation work for now. One thing she's quite interested (and talented) in is cooking. I'm sure she could be a wonderful culinary artist, and little Clay probably agrees with me...
So we continue to treasure this time as our next steps (three weeks in Korea, a couple weeks gathering our belongings back here, and then moving to our new home wherever it may be) draw closer and closer. One thing I've noticed... having more free time now than in the past three winters... snow is much more beautiful!