“Saying goodbye” has sort of been the name of the game and a major topic of my posts these past few weeks. Time is flying by and September 13 will be here before I know it. In some ways, it hasn’t and won’t really hit me until it’s here, but all these moments with friends and family have made me incredibly nostalgic. And sometimes, I think it’s hitting me more that I am leaving than it is any one of my friends.
I went to visit Troy and Ally at Lakeshore yesterday, and I said something to Troy, like, “I wonder how different things will be two years from now?” So many of my friends are married and having kids (who will be toddlers by the time I get back), after all. Troy pointed out that things are probably much different now than they were two years ago. Boy, that’s the truth. Except this time, the change will happen without me. I’ll change too, but in a separate bubble from everyone else. Or does the internet, letters, blogs, email, or phone calls somehow keep me “connected” to the world? Probably not enough to avoid the reverse culture shock, but as disconcerting as some of those fears and worries may be, I couldn’t be more ready to get on that plane.
Troy and I went sailing, if you can call it that, on the Persimmon, Lakeshore’s sailboat. There wasn’t enough wind to keep us moving, but luckily, the “party barge” came along and “tugged” us to Eva Beach, where we put the boat up for the season. It was nice being out on the water. When we were putting the boat up, we noticed a blob attached to the side of the boat. I’m not sure what the blob was exactly, but I’m convinced it was on its way to becoming “swamp thing” if the boat had not been pulled out of the water soon. Troy blogged about it on the Lakeshore Blog, as well, and I uploaded pictures of our sailing excursion on Flickr, including a picture of the blob. If you know what it is, please let me know.
I took the liberty of uploading a few other pictures from this past week, including some from a trip to see Sam Hatch in Memphis and several from my adventure with Kurtis MacKendree to the unexplored portion of my grandfather’s farm. I won’t say a whole lot about that trip, because the video below pretty much tells all. I will say, though, that it was nice having Kurtis here in Jackson and a good way to say goodbye to him. He leaves for Ohio State five days after I leave for Morocco. It really hit me how much I will miss him; he’s been very much like a little brother to me, and I’m thankful to have gotten to know him.
Being on my grandfather’s farm again was a good experience for me, as well. Walking around in the woods or in the creek with Kurtis reminded me a lot of my childhood. I recall walking some of those fields and trails with my grandfather. I was a quiet kid who would run around in the fields imagining my playmates rather than having real ones, but there was always a simplicity about the woods and the little creeks or the animals that couldn’t talk back to you. It was solidarity, not loneliness, and I grew up valuing that simplicity. That was another thing about our trip I appreciated – the simple living that comes with camping and hiking. There are no worries in the world; it’s just you, the wind and trees, and maybe the one armadillo we happened upon. It’s strange how the moment you disconnect from the internet or from your phone and despite all those things that are supposed to keep us “connected,” you realize just how disconnected you really are from what actually matters. I have to be honest, that’s something I’m looking forward to with the Peace Corps – finally being connected to something that matters. Here’s the video of our exploration onto the hundred fifty acres of my grandfather’s farm. Enjoy!