Thursday, August 4, 2011

Goodbye Arkansas... For Now

Our flight leaves tonight, 9:15pm, from the Northwest Arkansas Airport. We will arrive in California at 10:40pm - a two hour time difference is the explanation for the seemingly quick flight. So while, California, your sun is still shining, we will be waiting under a darkened sky to board our not so jumbo jet home.

Rudy will be joining us, visiting home, for a week. Can you believe he's lived here, in Arkansas, for 6 months already! He has earned a weeks vacation, so it really makes sense to use the time spent with his family rather than going to... Well, I don't know where. But you would expect nothing different, right?

Aside from the heat and humidity - and the constant hum of air conditioners; and not much to do but shop - which, for me, isn't too fun unless I have a purpose; going to the movies is relaxing but once a week is good enough; and eating out - which we did, but we, - well, mostly me - came to the conclusion that if we weren't careful we'd return 10 pounds heavier eating oh-so-good, mostly greasy food.... other than those things, I will say Arkansas is okay.

I made a point of simply just living as though I actually lived here. Tea in the morning. TV watching, throughout the day. Cleaning, straightening. Laundry, every other day, or so. Made lunches - sandwiches, milk, and fruit - poor Brad, I so lack creativity in the kitchen. Reading. Writing. Walking. Running. Weekend road trips, very cool indeed.

Brad's strategy was a bit different. He had to adapt to our lack of, or hardly any - during the week, specifically - away from home activities. About half way through our visit he began staying up later, and later into the evening; eventually pulling all nighters on a regular basis.

Rudy and I realized that that was no big deal - give the kid something to talk about - as he would spend most of the next day sleeping, just sleeping. We had nowhere to go, so why not? I would check in on his quietly-breathing self, watch his shoulders rise then lower with each inhale and exhale (so peaceful); then I would go back to my daily living.

Brad would wake to eat a late lunch, a snack, then dinner. He did get exercise thanks to his big green ball - that thing has been kicked every-which-way around this place; and of course, his hand dances and shuffling were strength and endurance builders as well.

The problem will be getting our soon-to-be 7th grader acclimated to his need to go to bed at a decent hour school schedule; which I will have approximately 3 weeks to work on.

Arkansas has provided me a beautiful landscape to encourage my almost daily walks/runs. I will miss pushing myself in the extreme heat while enjoying all the critters of nature I encountered; of course, collecting golf balls has become a passion, like no other. I will miss that activity..... for now.

Most important of all, I will definitely, for sure, miss Rudy. We have developed a new way to have a relationship. We both agree that the distance, or let's say our own time, has actually enhanced how we approach our marriage.

We did not feel irritated with each other - okay, we did, but at a minimum!, that's for sure. Our patience with one another - mostly Rudy's, actually, as mine is already very calming - was wonderful. We really have lived in moments; as though we were newly weds. I was excited to see the truck pull up at the end of his work day, him entering the house, and me hugging him hello; instead of just saying "hi" as I would routinely mumble, back home, as I walked away to another location; just a bad habit, really. In general, watching TV shouldn't be a concern but we developed another bad habit of not sitting together in California; instead Rudy watched his shows in the garage, in his man-cave, while I would sit alone in another room. (In case you're about to debate this..., yes, there are two TV's here, in separate rooms - so that argument won't hold!). In Arkansas, we sat together - and talked a lot during programs!

We've truly enjoyed each other's company as we should have always been doing. We feel closer, more connected. What I mean by all this is that, strangely, the distance has been a good thing for our relationship rather than a concern. Instead of just taking each other for granted, we have focused on the partnership.

We, Brad and I - Liz and Roberto, too, if their school and work schedules will allow it - will be back during Thanksgiving? Christmas? Easter? Not until next summer? Not sure; not yet, anyway. We will decide as those days approach. Rudy really, really likes to be home in California so that may be the best approach; unless I want to experience the different seasons (which I definitely do) in this southern state.

In the meantime Arkansas, goodbye.

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