Stunned and coddled

It took some doing to find a PCR test site we could walk to from our hotel, but we managed and tested negative and finally got to insinuate ourselves into my sister’s home for a few weeks. Jack and I were suffering severe culture shock and were barely communicative at first. The sale of the boat happened so quickly, we had no plan for what’s next, and the Covid situation in America was much worse than we’d experienced previously, especially compared to our safe little island in Malaysia. But my sister and brother-in-law gave us the space to process and kept us fed and watered while we adjusted to a culture that’s familiar and alien at the same time.

Eventually we rented a car and started off toward Pittsburgh, our old home town and still home to other family members.

We took a few days to drive what normally would take one day, zigzagging north and south, shopping for warm clothes and exploring back roads along the way.

Pennsylvania, we learned, boasts more covered bridges than anywhere else in the country and we made it our mission to find a few and appreciate their construction.

It was comforting to be on the move again, and even though we miss the endless blue of our life on the water, driving through the hilly piedmont and over the familiar Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania helped calm our uncertainty. Lovely as it is, even in the bleakest of seasons, we agree we don’t want to live here anymore. But we’re on our way to see some of our favorite people, and that’s the joy we’ve been missing.

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One Response to Stunned and coddled

  1. danagreyson

    Yes, our culture shock returning “home” to the USA was far greater than anything we experienced going to any other “foreign” country.

    Feel free to drop us a line anytime if you want to chat with someone empathetic about it. I promise I’ve got one story so good about our trying to find a place to call home that I’m trying to figure out how to write a screenplay about it and option it to Netflix. Guaranteed to make you laugh.

    Meanwhile, we’re with you, friends, family, backroads, mountains, covered bridges . . . those are the things that help assuage the shock of returning and remind you of why you are here.

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