Saturday, August 17, 2013

Year Three & Wallace Falls

Year three. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we are embarking on year three here in Korea. Sometimes it's hard to believe how far we've come since we first arrived. I remember having no idea what to cook in those first few days, weeks, and months. We ate more stir fries in that first year than I had eaten throughout my entire life, I think. Thankfully, those days are over.

I remember the first time I got sick here. I was certain that it was Korea's fault. And I had no idea what to do. I didn't have cold and flu medicine, or even cough drops. Our bed was so uncomfortable to me still that I couldn't lay in it. I was miserable and ready to go home.

Of course, being sick now is no less miserable than it was two years ago, but at least I can realize now that it isn't Korea's fault. We will get sick regardless of where we live, what job we do, and how comfortable we are. We even get sick on vacation.

The new idea that has struck me lately is that fact that after two years here, it is no longer an adventure. It's just our lives. In some ways, I have felt that we were "on hold." That this part of our lives or that part of our lives would resume as normal when we return to the States. That this stage in our lives is just some sort of intermission.

I can't say that I've felt that we have been on vacation. Thankfully, in our daily lives I still discipline my children, so they don't run around like maniacs. I still work and cook and do the laundry (well, that last one I haven't had to worry about too much until this year). But, I've just had this impression that everything was supposed to be an adventure. Using public transportation was part of the adventure. Exploring the city was part of the adventure. After two years, I'm starting to realize that the "adventure" part is over. Now, it's life.

Maybe it's the fact that we bought a car--although I think we bought a car because two years of "adventurous" public transportation was enough! Maybe it's the fact that we no longer leave the house on weekends in search of new things to do. We go through our baseball routine on Saturdays and our church routine on Sundays. Even when I'm inspired to go someplace new, we don't.

I'm not complaining, though. I think it's a good thing. We're here. Our home. In Korea. Living life. Not an adventure, just life. And it's good. For the most part.

This week we officially got back into the routine of real life. Cade was much happier going to school this week when everyone else was going or already gone. I think he may always be one of those kids that isn't excited about going to school every day, but who can blame him? Once they realize that it's a lot of work and not a lot of play, a lot of kids struggle with that.

After Kennedy's first day, she had a great week at school, too. She really likes her teacher and she's getting to know the many new kids in her class. Her teacher said she had a great week when I ran into her on Friday afternoon.

As I mentioned, Eric hasn't been feeling well this week. He's had a fever and developed the cough and runny nose that the rest of us have had the last few weeks. He managed to make it through the week at school and even went to his baseball game on Saturday, though he didn't pitch. It may have been the first time that I've seen him play without running at all. He's hoping to get to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what he has.

As for me, I was just relieved to see how the routine for this year would play out. I am still working part time, so that I can be with Cade in the mornings and afternoons. I drop him off at the bus and then go to school. I teach two classes with about an hour on either end for prep and to work with students. Then, I head home to pick him up. Eric and Kennedy get home about an hour and a half later. So far it's working out really well, so I'm pleased.

Friday evening was our Back to School picnic. We were all pretty exhausted by then, though we only had three and a half days of school this week. Also, our soccer field is under construction this fall, so it wasn't quite as exciting as it normally is--fewer activities for the kids and fewer food options. Nonetheless, it was a nice evening and the weather even cooled off a bit for us!

These pictures were taken back in Washington. About a week before we left WA, we went for a hike at Wallace Falls off of Highway 2 just past Sultan. Eric and I had tried this hike a few times, unsuccessfully for one reason or another. Our original plan had to been to venture out there on a weekday because it gets really busy on the weekends (by WA standards, not Seoul standards of course).

But, that didn't work out, so there were a lot of people on the trail with us. We went with Eric's aunt and uncle, cousin, and mom. We only hiked up to the lower falls because not everyone in our group was feeling one hundred percent and we had time constraints to work under. I think it worked out pretty well.

Most of the hike is in the shade, which we were grateful for, because it was hot that day. The views are pretty incredible. I was experimenting with shooting moving water, among other things, this summer after getting my new lens and reading Understanding Exposure. 

I did struggle with remembering to re-adjust my settings with the many changes in light, though. Since the only picture that I got of my two kids together was blurry, I was a bit frustrated. I'm still learning, obviously.

Sometimes I wonder if we will enjoy western Washington as much when we move back to it as we do now when we visit it. Is that our adventure?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures! I think it's neat that you're trying out new setting on your camera. It's so fun to experiment with photography and learn more about it! I hope you have a great week!


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