Monday, August 24, 2009

guilt and goodbyes

alright, alright. I feel terrible that I've been blank for so long but the departure and then re-entry have been crazy, needless to say and I owe the blog lots of photos from our last set of travels in both North and South Island and since that is a heinously tedious process I have put that off. Here is one photo to whet your appetite -- and make you dizzy. It's us with the Turner-Reales, friends from Vermont who braved the NZ winter to come visit, about to go caving at Waitomo. I thought maybe MJ would never talk to me again when she said, "We're doing what for 30 meters down a dark, narrow hole into a cave?!?!" But all was good and it made a very special birthday experience for Alex.

Then there is the emotionally fraught process of doing an appropriately sensitive farewell and hello-again-to-Vermont posting. Trust me, I've been writing this in my head for weeks and it will be forthcoming soon!Here is a photo of Alex's classmates who came to say goodbye to us at the airport - taken through the airplane window.

(Further weak excuses: Our summer visitor for the last three years, Nick from the Bronx, also arrived shortly after we came home for his 10-day visit during which I try to focus on that...and which hasn't kept me off Facebook of course, but has prevented long stints writing etc. on the computer.) Here are Nick and Alex tubing on the beautiful Lake Champlain thanks to our friends Steve and Pauline who have a boat and, more importantly, are following us to New Zealand in January with their three kids!

It's hot and humid here in Vermont, as is customary in August, and feels very far away from the chilly New Zealand we left less than a month ago. Sometimes it seems almost as if we were never there, that it was all a dream. But then I turn the signal on instead of the windshield wiper (I've only driven on the wrong side of the road once), as I did this morning, or catch a slightly musty whiff from the clothes I've finally rehung in my closet that reminds me of the charming but damp and cool (ok, cold!) house we left behind.

Mostly, of course, we remember the wonderful adventures we shared as a family and with dear friends we made in Wanganui who we hope we can introduce to our other home here in Vermont. Come visit any time.