Chapter Forty One    Summer, 2008

 

America!  We’re spending the summer in America.  For the first time in 5 years.  All sorts of family events – a family reunion and three important weddings – conspired to convince us that we should forego a summer’s sailing and spend the time “back home.”

 

It feels strange to be back in the USA for an extended time.  We won’t go into all the logistics of our trip, and we won’t bore you with a stop-by-stop itinerary.  We rented a car for the first month, and drove over 3,800 miles (6,000 km for our non-USA friends).  We drove through 11 states along the way.  The spring had been rainy so everything was very green and lush.  We really noticed it after spending the past 4 years in the Mediterranean region, where it just doesn’t rain for months on end.  It is beautiful!

 

We noticed other things, too.  After a prolonged absence, there are certain aspects of American life that stood out.  We know our fellow-Americans reading this take all this for granted, but our non-US friends who have visited the United States may recall similar sensations.  In no particular order, we noticed:

 

  • Choice.  Whatever you want, wherever you are, it is readily available.
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping.  Everywhere you look.
  • Ethnic variety.  White people, black people, Asians, Christians, Muslims, whatever.  All Americans, too; not tourists.  And all pretty much getting along together.
  • Everything is bright and shiny.  The streets are clean, the air is clean, the rivers sparkle.
  • BIG cars everywhere.
  • Well-maintained, wide highways and secondary roads.
  • Newness.  Coming from an area of the world where entire civilizations disappeared 3,500 years ago (Crete), in America everything is relatively new.
  • Friendly people everywhere.  We have been warmly welcomed wherever we have been.  (We’ve been told by foreign visitors they have had the same experience.)

 

Just a few photos, so you’ll get a little feel for some of our family and friends.  (The handsome red-headed fellow is our grandson, Ian Muir; our nephew Will McKay is the beautiful “five-and-three-quarter-year-old”, as he proudly claims.)  You’ll also see the wonderful portrait of Seraphim done by our dear friend Alvin Sinderbrand.

 

We’re headed back to Turkey mid-September. We’ll set sail immediately and let you know what we find in the fall. It will still be hot but we will have missed the bulk of the summer soaring temps (100+ degrees Fahrenheit). We have so much to see and do.

 

Life sure is good!