Here we are ending January without a clue how this month has passed so quickly. It could be that we spent less than half the month in NYC, or that we spent only half together. This week was the end of a whirlwind of travel activity for a bit. A bit.
I arrived at LaGuardia on Tuesday night and non-intentionally stayed on Pacific Time for the remainder of the week. After work on Wednesday, while every other New Yorker rushed home to avoid the severe winter storm, Dominic and I put on our boots and caught the D train to Manhattan to grab a drink with a friend and fellow RPCV who was in town for for an interview. After reminiscing and getting caught up we were on track to get home well after midnight.
Thursday afternoon I got a call from one of Dominic's cousins who had been trying to fly into JFK for days. About a half an hour later she arrived at our apartment and we spent the evening getting to know one another. She was also in town for an interview [perhaps the state of our union is improving?] and would only be sleeping over for a couple nights, but it was a terrific opportunity to visit, learn more about the cousins, and hear about her international lifestyle. The willingness to travel and visit family members - no matter how often you talk or how well you know each other - is one of the best things about my in-laws. We were up late by default because of Dominic's class times.
On Friday night we hosted a Growing in Faith 101 class in our living room. The church we started attending regularly doesn't have a building yet so the mid-week classes, groups and studies typically take place in someones home. We're thankful for this community and honored to have the opportunity to host our neighbors. More on this to come...
Saturday we said goodbye to our cousin and then Dom voluntarily sacrificed his day to help people complete their taxes at a local nonprofit. I headed down to the South Bronx to read with elementary school students - the least I can do to address the failing school system in this city. We met at the train station and headed to Manhattan for a Mediterranean dinner with our Peace Corps friends. We ran from the restaurant - literally - to Broadway to see Mary Poppins. Mary couldn't have provided a better way to end such a hectic week.
Do you remember Mary Poppins? Surely supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, taken down with a spoonful of sugar, is a delightful memory from childhood. Of course humming Let's Go Fly A Kite is a lighthearted tune for Saturday afternoon chores, but do you remember the message of Mary Poppins? The magic of a talking umbrella and hopping into chalk art, the value placed on family over money, the focus on stewardship? This musical could have been written in 2008. It was a perfect way for Dominic and I to relax, refocus and remember our blessings. We are so grateful for the balance we've found here.
Now if you'll excuse me, I must go feed the birds.