Tonight is one of those Oklahoma nights I was looking forward to when I found out I would have until the end of September to soak it all up, one last time, before I left for Ukraine as a member of the Peace Corps.

 

Its perfect baseball weather.  A little muggy, but with a nice breeze, blowing the trees around.  I’m sitting on my Aunt Martha’s back porch, rocking on a glider and listening to this sweet country mixed tape that I made when I needed some of the old school sounds I listened to when I was little, kicking it in the Corsica with mom or dad at the wheel.  Vince, Reba, George, Alan.  Clint.  Alabama.  Brooks  & Dunn.  Joe Diffee.  Kathy Mattea.  Ronnie Milsap, Shenandoah, Diamond Rio.  These people are still out there, doing what they do.  But not like they did it in the nineties.  I’m sure I’m getting mosquito bites and freaking out the neighbors, but I can’t help it.  I’ve been in a strange mood lately, and I think something about this night, paired with a 59 cent Big Gulp, is just what I’ve needed.  I’m sure God and all the angels and the saints are laughing at me wherever they are, because I do the stupidest things most of the time.  I let my heart get too heavy.  I get anxious about things that I can’t control.  So anxious, in fact, that I stop controlling the things that I can in an attempt to set the balance.  Here I am again, realizing what it is that I do (and that I do it over and over again), trying to figure out if anything makes this time different and hoping that I’ll stop feeling like I’m forgetting something really important.  I know that life is what you make of it, but I think the thing I’m forgetting is that I have to trust that it will all work out.  That if I pursue what I love…that I do what I can, for who I can, when I can…when the road ends, I will have a freakishly ecstatic sense of delight and joy.  

 

I’m looking forward to leaving for Ukraine, regardless of (sidenote: a beatle just landed on the “p” on my laptop.  I flicked it off.) the fact that I haven’t looked at the packing list and seem to have less idle time than I intended to this summer (what’s new?) to become an expert on all things Ukrainian.  

 

With that in mind, I’ve decided to compile a list of the things I will miss dearly and those that I will be happy to live without while I am an expatriate (I’m not sure if I will be qualifying for expat status, but its an interesting thought).  P.S.  The following lists are not all-inclusive.

Sad face:

Fourth of July, Camp Endres, The cool side of the drive-in, Washington, D.C., New York City (Fleet Week, in particular), Tornado weather, Frank Storozyszyn, The Beast Feast, The slide of the steel guitar, Cowboy boots, Live music, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and The Economist,Gardenias, Lauren and Liz’s back porch, My bookshelf, Red popsicles, Iced Tea, The Gap, Eischen’s.

Happy face:

Driving, Buying gas, Parking lots, Tom Coburn, Jim Inhofe, Health insurance (or the lack thereof), College (undergraduate), The people that work at the cell phone kiosk outside of the Gap, Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson, Mr. Pho’s

That is all I can think of, for now (as you can see, I’m pretty easy to please).  

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