Back Into the Beautiful Minnesota Winter. It is extremely beautiful. I have never been so happy for the piles and piles of snow. I know it’s been a long winter and the entire state is weary of snow removal, but honestly, I feel a little like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. There is no place like home even if it’s all white and there is no color. My husband, Chris, and I were in the land of Oz–aka Thailand– for 2 weeks in the beginning of February, 2014. We were in northern Thailand–not by the coast–and the tropical colors were breath-taking. Bright blue skies, red strawberries, ripening papayas, and cheerful pansies surrounded us everyday.
And yet before we left, I was having a very difficult time. Leaving our four kids to travel to the opposite side of the globe was extremely heart-wrenching.
“I’m going to THAILAND!”
Don’t get me wrong. I was so excited to go, and I couldn’t wait to leave. It was an emotional road preparing to leave because one moment I would say, “I’m going to THAILAND!” Then, the next minute, I would think of all the things that could happen while we were gone. After that thought, the kids were start whining and I would think, “I can’t wait to get out of here!” And then, one of the kids would come running for a hug, and I would think, “I want to leave this?”
The night before we left, I was hugging my girls. Before I could hug my youngest daughter, I put my head down on her bed unable to control the flowing tears. My shoulders shook from the force of my emotions. Would they be okay? What if something happened to them? My heart was ripping in half.
The next morning on the way to the airport, I fought my emotions. We stepped onto our first airplane, and I lost the battle. A very kind flight attendant saw my tears and found me some tissues. I cried to calm my heart and by the time we landed in Chicago, I was looking forward to our adventure.
While in Thailand, we experienced a world of color and heat.
We made some friends from California and they were very curious about winter weather. “Do you still have to go to work when it’s that cold?”
It was great to forget about the piles of snow and the sub-zero temperatures. Instead we experienced fresh pineapple and watermelon everyday, a sparkling blue swimming pool, gentle breezes blowing through our hair, tigers, geckos, and lush green lawns. We ate bamboo, pad thai, pineapple fried rice, guava juice, and many other tasty (and not so tasty) culinary adventures.
Adventures awaited us everyday, and we soaked in the heat.
But by the last two days or so of the trip, I couldn’t wait to get home and hug my kids. Both Chris and I got sick and missed out on the elephant rides. And while that was disappointing, it was a blessing to look forward to going home. I don’t know what would have caused our hearts to long to go back to a cold Minnesota winter.
But our hearts were ready.
When we stepped off the plane and hugged our kids, there was no place we would rather be. Thailand is beautiful, but our hearts are in Minnesota.
Two days after we returned home, I was suited in my winter gear, pushing our snowblower down our driveway and getting hit with roadspray.
And I couldn’t be happier!