So, it’s been a couple weeks that I have been home. The first few days back were fuzzy to say the least. I would ask questions and people would answer me and then I would ask the same questions. I had no recollection of asking the questions in the first place, and retrieving any answer I may have gotten was even farther from my capabilities. Friends have poured in and extended family has called to welcome me back. All of which has been wonderful since I missed a lot of summer happenings in the month I was away.

After about one week of being home my beach bum friend and I took a trip to the shore for the day. It was a perfect beach day. Warm water, no bugs, no jellyfish, light breeze, upper 80’s – Who could ask for more? It was a turning point for me, lying there on the beach soaking in the sun and surf. I realized that in the week that I had been home I had accomplished almost nothing from the long list of things I was getting home to take care of. I promised myself that I would get my self in gear the very next day, and get it in gear I did.

I completed a quilt for our daughter to take to college in a couple of weeks. It is made of her tee shirts from pre-school to the present. She and I also took several road trips to various locations for the acquisition of college ‘stuff’, as if we all don’t have enough stuff it is apparently necessary to get more stuff for the successful achievement of higher learning. I edited all my pictures and had them printed for a scrapbook of this amazing adventure. I started my presentations for the professional and classroom events that are coming up this fall. I began my official thank yous to various people to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude. Not to mention the reclaiming of the house and my studio that needed some attention. A couple of things continue to occur however that I consider somewhat unusual. I have nightly dreams about Russia or people that I was with there. I wake up thinking that I am in a tent or sleeping bag. Little things happen throughout each day that trigger a reflection on a funny story or something that happened while I was on the expedition. I seem to hear and read the word borscht a lot – which I think is pretty unusual. I mean how many times do you read borscht in your average week? Maybe it’s the pictures or the thank yous or whatever, but it has become very apparent to me what a profound impact this experience has had on me. I am certainly a different person for having lived it.

Beth Ann and her quilt
Beth Ann sprawls herself across her newly finished tee shirt quilt. She spent some time with me going through her old shirts and reminiscing about the favorite tees from far away places and hometown events.

I will say this, everywhere I go people stop and welcome me home and ask ‘How was your trip?’ I could go on and on with the words that come to mind – fantastic, unbelievable, magnificent and so on. I have decided that from now on when people ask me about the trip, I have just one word to truly embrace the scope of this journey – EPIC.

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