USA Lovin’

I wrote a post like this in August of 2011, but I thought it’d be good to update it this summer. Here’s the summer 2013 edition of “Things I Love About America.”

Fresh air. My hair hasn’t smelled like an ashtray in SO long. Yay for no smoking indoors! (Side note: When we went out for breakfast the other morning, the hostess greeted us and my mom said, “Table for five please. Non-smoking.” The hostess paused, looked up, and looked at my mom to see if she was serious. My brothers and I started to snicker. “Ma’am,” she said, “We don’t have any smoking tables.” My mom was dead serious, and didn’t understand why we were laughing at her.)

Listening to old stories and seeing old pictures. My grandmother is a wealth of information. I just enjoy listening when she talks! She has a treasure trove of old pictures, too. Whenever I drive around the Lehigh Valley with my parents, they point somewhere on the side of the road and tell a story about when they were a kid/teenager/young adult… I’ve heard lots of the stories multiple times, but I don’t mind.

See any family resemblance? Grandmom as a little girl!

See any family resemblance? Grandmom as a little girl!

Babies! Several of my cousins have visited our house with little additions in tow. I’m happy to lend a hand and hang out with/hold/feed the little kids. Gotta love that fresh baby smell! And I’m always glad to give them back to their parents at the end of the night 🙂

Baby Zachary was so calm and content. Look at that expression!

Baby Zachary was so calm and content. Look at that expression!

My brothers. We speak in our own silly language, unintelligible to those around us. We make fun of MIB and Faps (aka Meg and Frank). We fight and get frustrated with each other. We give each other back scratches and good hugs. They share their Hulu and Netflix passwords with me. I’ll be sad when they go back to college, but before they know it… SISSY’S COMING TO VISIT! Until then, we have some absolute gems from our trip to the photo studio to keep us laughing….

Awkward family photo to the max!

Awkward family photo to the max!

Fast internet (and no need to use a VPN). I still instinctively go to turn on my VPN when I use the internet. Then I smile and relish my freedom to read the New York Times and stalk people on Facebook.

Saying please and thank you. Americans in small towns are ridiculously friendly and polite. When people ask me, “How’s it going?” I get startled, mutter, “Fine,” and forget to ask them in return. Oops! I need to get back in my friendly-stranger-small-talk groove.

Super attentive wait staff at restaurants! Therefore, more beer refills for me...

Super attentive wait staff at restaurants! Therefore, more beer refills for me…

Fires in the fireplace. Right before I arrived there was a heat wave in the northeast. Ever since then it’s been unseasonably cool. One night I turned on the heater in my room! In early August! I love the crackling of the fire, and it turns out every other member of my family is a pyromaniac so I haven’t had to make any of the fires… I can just sit back, enjoy them, and take in that distinctly sweet fireplace smell.

Toasty toes!

Toasty toes!

A house full of relatives. I’m starting to realize more and more what a special family I have. I really do love my cousins, and enjoy when everyone gathers together to eat too much food, catch up and play at the lake. We had two back to back weekends at our house– one with my mom’s side of the family, and one with my dad’s. One night we had sixteen people sleeping in our house. Crazy, but full of love!

Helping some cousins go fishing at the lake. We improvised with our fishing poles!

Helping some cousins go fishing at the lake. We improvised with our fishing poles!

I’ll keep you updated with my transition as time goes on. I think I’m still in the “honeymoon” phase!

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2 thoughts on “USA Lovin’

  1. Been waiting a long time for your return. Loved your post but noticed you forgot to mentioned Perogies. Looking forward to doing some day trips together. So glad your back as well as your brothers.

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