Truly, it's been hard to think in terms of blogging because we aren't traveling anymore. However, that doesn't mean we aren't wandering: geographically, mentally and spiritually. We took some of our settlement money from the Navy and went to England in early April with the boys. We had an absolute blast, although, as it was sub zero temps the whole time, we nearly froze to death after our temperate Oregon winter. We spent some time in southern England trolling graveyards and looking up long dead family members. Our search was rewarded by finding Donald's great, great something or other, Thomas Twisse, who was rector in 1641 of a tiny church where his name still stands. That was pretty cool. Rev. Twisse's son, Peter, was the first Twist to immigrate, landing in Salem, Massachusetts, where the name took on its current spelling. #1 celebrated his 13th birthday by going to a service at St. Paul's Cathedral in London and then to Legoland Windsor. All in all, it was a fabulous vacation.
Pigeons in St. James Park
May found the boys and me on a looooong road trip through Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming, via Yellowstone National Park, along with my parents. Believe it or not, I grew up in the six hour shadow of Yellowstone but never visited until this trip. Wow. We toured many national parks on the Big Adventure but Yellowstone wins, hands down! I only wish we had a week and a tent - the bare minimum for scratching the surface! Then we spent a couple of days at my parents house seeing my sister and brother. It's been several years since we were all together and it was a really great day!
|Hairy D and Half-Stache Jill at their local Watering Hole|
|The Facial Hair Gang Rides Again!|
|Yellowstone Mama and Baby|
|One of my favorite things about Wyoming: my parents' back yard!|
|And this is what we do on a bored afternoon - we learn the fine art of roping!|
|William and Grandpa, Dan and the old Willys|
|Thomas and Grandpa|
|Haven't seen snow like this in, well, never! Not for the boys, anyway!|
|Who is King of the Mountain?|
The boys and I headed home by way of I-80. I've never been through that part of Wyoming either (what can I say, I didn't get out much as a kid and I left home at 17) so it was all new to me. Absolutely gorgeous drive. We passed Independence Rock, where the Oregon, California and Mormon Trail pioneers celebrated July 4th in 1841. They signed their names to the massive rock and used it as a sign post for later pioneers. I read about it in 4th grade Wyoming history and have always longed to see it. I can now check it off my bucket list!
|Nick Tormey, something Cavalry, USA, 1860 something. It was really weathered and hard to read.|
|Northern Utah - early morning, low clouds. Taken while driving but shhh, don't tell.|
Three days after we got home, Don took the boys and headed to his parents in Montana. No photos because they didn't take the camera. What was amazing about this trip is that I never get more than an hour or two alone in my house. I actually spent Five Whole Days, just me and the dogs. It was a little too quiet but then again, my house has never stayed so tidy for so long! I was giddy at having a clean sink/toilet/mirror that many days in a row and I have never done so little laundry!
I stayed home because I had a job interview. Which suddenly became two separate, totally different job interviews, both of which are mine for the taking. Both involve teaching English but the similarity ends there. One is a one semester substitute job, full time, at a private Christian school to jr/sr high schoolers. The other is three afternoons a week to preschoolers in our primarily Spanish speaking local public school, kids who need a bit of a headstart before kindergarten. One job would drastically change our lives, after four years of homeschooling, and the other would be a mere ripple. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be wanted. This is a good problem to have but weighing and measuring pros and cons is exhausting. So is praying and not having an answer.
It's all part of my wandering and not being lost, as per my friend Tolkien. I've spent 2,500 miles on the road, wandering, in the last two weeks. I've spent nearly 40 years wandering (although I'm only admitting 29) and not being lost. Criminy, our family travelled 20,000 plus miles wandering the country. Sometimes the wandering is a means to an end. I don't know what I'll do with my "two different employers want me" conundrum.
Wander with me and see what happens.