Thursday, September 15, 2011

Madison Observations - Day 6

We're back in the USA for two weeks and I thought I'd share my observations of being back.

Cool Crisp Weather
After months of hot, humid UAE summer, I had forgotten how nice a crisp, cool breeze feels. The weather has been absolutely perfect. Crystal clear blue skies and so much green I can hardly believe it. Temperatures have been mild and even a little chilly, which is perfect after sweltering all summer in Abu Dhabi. Couldn't have asked for more perfect weather for me.

So Many Shades of Green
I know I just mentioned this, but it really is the biggest surprise to me. After growing up in this area, I would never have thought I'd be so surprised and enthralled with the  greenery, but it's just such a contrast to UAE. I've gotten used to all different shades of brown (which is lovely in it's own right) and of course there is a lot of green planted in Abu Dhabi, but the sheer amount of vegetation and how uncontrolled and wild it is is really amazing. I can't help but think of the contrast - all the work we do in UAE to get a few trees and flowers to grow and prosper and all the work we do in Madison to keep the greenery from overtaking our lawns and parks.

Like We Never Left
Another interesting surprise has been how normal and natural everything seems. After an initial shock about the weather, how green it is and hugs and kisses all around, it's really just like we left it. We've found ourselves slipping into the same patterns as before we left. Yesterday we were faced with a free afternoon to do anything we wanted and ended up at a movie - because what we really wanted was to slip into our old routines and feel normal.

Seeing Friends and Family
This is of course the best part of the journey. Facebook, Skype, Blogger and email are amazing tools and have helped us keep strong connections to everyone, but there's nothing like a physical hug, real time laughter and just hanging out with the people we love. If for no other reason, we'll be home each year just to experience that connection.

It really is just like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

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