Home for a brief spell

Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
Trip End ??? ??, 2009

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Where I stayed
Boog's Sugar Shack

Flag of United States  , Maryland
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Captain's log.  Star date:  3.141592653589.... rounded off to the nearest who the hell knows what place that is?  So, I know I haven't written a thing in months.  I've been working so much (I know that's the tiredest excuse in the world), but it's true.  We're under a lot of pressure to deliver our first boats for a particular design by a very unrealistic date.  So, in order to achieve unrealistic goals, we are putting unrealistic hours in.  But, enough about that, I'm not here to write about that.  After 3 months in China working 6 day weeks, I was very fortunate to be granted leave for a 10 days to go home.  Where is home?  Well, I have no residence in the states, technically. I mean, I last stayed at my family's house, the house I grew up at in Conroe.  My brothers are in Austin.  Mom is in Kentucky.  My friends are scattered all over the country, nay the world.  So, I would have to say as cheesy as it sounds, home is where the heart is.  And she currently lives and works in Hagerstown, MD.  So, that's where I went to spend my time off

Erica and I have been planning on visiting one another back and forth over the course of this year in intervals of 3-4 months.  With a quarter of a year in China under my belt, I flew in to Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. the Friday evening of this past Memorial Day weekend.  Erica scooped me up and we were high on Cloud 9, once again.  By the way, I've determined that Cloud 9 is the "love cloud".  The most fortunate of us positively charged human beings regularly operate on Cloud 7 and 8, I believe.  Cloud 8 is my really good, but none romantic, love related feel great times.  Cloud 7 is a pretty safe medium for me.  Always chipper, smiling, goofing off, but probably not overly anxious or excited.  Cloud 9 is a whole nother level of ecstasy.  The worst is being grounded.  I hate keeping my feet on the earth.  That's for morose, complaining suckers that probably can't see or refuse to accept the blessings in their lives.  Sorry, I just went tangential.
Well, it would be false and deceiving to pretend like Erica and I operated on a steady Cloud 9 for the 8 days we spent together.  When you've spent more time apart than physically together, there are gonna be bumps in the road.  But they were minimal and not too difficult to absorb as we've built such a great friendship with excellent communication and mutual adoration over the past hmmmm...8 months since we began emailing one another.  Wow, how the time flies?  So, it took the first couple of days to iron out the wrinkles, but even the majority of that time was truly blissful.  All in all, we learned so much more about one another, and we grew closer as a result. The first day was all chill-laxing, bumming around Erica's town house.  I had to recover from the 17 hour flight crossing the International Date Line (should that be capitalized?) and 3 U.S. time zones.  Grocery shopping was the extent of our exposure to the outside world.  Erica cooked me an awesome lasagne dinner that night as I have had zero Italian food in China. 

The next day we visited with GramBob and GrampGeorge who live nearby in Bethesda, MD.  They took us to the Army/NAVY Club for lunch in D.C. with their close friends, the Hildreths (I'm sure I spelled that wrong), and we had Thai food for dinner that night.  We always have so much fun laughing it up with them.  Grandpa is a master of painfully prolonging the corniest and simplest of jokes by super saturating it with mundane details.  Before the punch line comes, we're in hysterics at the pure rediculousness and irrelevance of his well thought out plot line and sub-plots and back stories. 

On Memorial Day, we enjoyed another lazy day waking up late, bumming around the apartment, and finally laying outside on a blanket while reading, talking, laughing and inadvertently soaking up some sun for our pathetically pastey winter complexions

Tuesday, Erica had to get back to work, so I got dressed up in a pharm. rep.'s uniform (very un-Jeff button up shirt tucked into dress pants) and accompanied her as she stopped at several doctor's offices to slang 'scripts.  I couldn't go in with her, so I just observed from the car and rode with her from place to place and offered my encouragement, support, and humor to keep her positive and light-hearted.  Plus, we couldn't bear the separation anxiety of being parted for the day, so riding along was the obvious choice. 

Wednesday, however, I wanted to help Grandma and Grandpa get some work done around their house that they will soon be selling, so I spent the day with them while Erica got back out in her territory and begrudgingly did time.  Grandma and Grandpa and I did more visiting and talking than actual work which I think made us all the more happy.   We got some labor done in the yard and garden, but only a couple hours worth.  I met Erica at home when she got off work, and we got gussied up and went out on a date.  We are slowly but surely building up those dates.  We must have logged countless hours on the phone, but we can count our dates on one hand.  Something we are patiently remedying. 

So, date night consisted of a leisurely stroll about her neighborhood as the sun descended upon the horizon before going to dine at a Mexican restaurant in Frederick which is soon to be the city where Erica will move in with a good friend.  It's near Hagerstown, so her work territory won't be affected.  The Mexican food was just what I had been craving.  Not up to par by a Texan's standards, but who can complain when you've had zero Mexican culture in China. 

Ah!  Damn.  It's 12:30 AM, now.  I think I started typing at 11:30.  This is why I have a hard time entering blogs.  Cause I ramble like a nomad.

So, date nights.  We had a few.  They were perfect.  One night, we saw the new "Indiana Jones" movie.  Hilarious.  And not in a way that the movie producers, directors, actors intended.  No, it sucked bad.  But, Erica and I couldn't get ourselves to leave the theatre because it was so ludicrous from the start that we were glued to it.  We were intrigued as to what would come next.  We laughed more and harder making observations and cutting remarks about the flick than if we were watching a classic Chris Farley comedy. 

Thursday we loaded up her car and went camping at Cunningham Falls.  We pitched the tent, gathered fire wood, got the fire going, we grubbed on some stew that Erica whipped up, I fashioned some skewers out of sapling limbs and we made s'mores. When it got dark, we made a pallet of blankets in the grass and we cuddled under the stars until a forest authority told us to pack it up.  Power trip for sure. 

The next morning we packed up the car, again, then we hiked a leisurely 3 miles to a waterfall and back.
We stayed at the waterfall for at least an hour, just sitting by the water enjoying the tranquility of nature along with deep conversation and some hand holding.  When we got back to the car we drove to a small lake and laid out on the beach.  After cooling off with a quick swim, took in some rays while I played my guitar and sang for her.  We contently let the light die out, then we packed it up and went into the nearest small town and ate some dinner at this cozy little hotel restaurant, appropriately named the "Cozy Kitchen".  Turns out, this is one of the oldest restaurants in Maryland.  We know because the opening page of the menu boasted a long tenure of serving the people of Maryland and being awarded an honor in the Maryland Restaurant Hall of Fame.  It was a cute little place to be sure.

Saturday, Erica took me shopping at the outlet mall and encouraged/pressured me to indulge myself in the  self-gratification/mortification of updating my outdated wardrobe.  I know I've never spent so much money on clothes for myself in all of my life.  But, what am I supposed to do when my girlfriend looks at me with a fire in her eyes that says "those clothes make you hot"?  Buy the damn clothes, right?  So now I'm all spiffied up with some new threads.  I should be set for another 26 years, i think.  After shopping, we got all gussied up, again, and we met Grandma and Grandpa at one of their friends homes for a dinner party.  I got to see my cousin Anita (Grandma's first cousin) who I haven't seen in 10 years, at least, and then another 10 years before that.  Erica and I talked to Anita the majority of the time, as she's extremely sweet and interesting having traveled to many countries.  Turns out she had a gift for shutting me up when I cried as a baby, too.  I told her holding me and rocking me still works.  That's how my friends have always got me to shut up when I'm crying.  Right, guys?

So, Sunday morning came without welcome, and we had to be up early to get me to the airport.  After 8 unforgettable days together, I had to get back to work, and so did Erica.  I won't even go into the hurt of saying good bye.  We'll end this blog on a high note, as Erica and I are staying optimistic.  We have another 3 months apart, then she'll be flying to China for 8 days.  I'll show her everything I know 'round these parts.  In the mean time, we have a lot of work to focus on, and we talk at least twice a day, so we won't be losing any of the ground we gained over the past 8 days.  We're best friends first, so we love to share our lives with one another daily.  The phone works well for that.  Well, until my next blog, folks.  I'm gonna pass out and get up early and do it all over again.  Such is life, but I wouldn't change a thing.
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topherg87 on

Clouds 1 - 6?
yay! new blog!
commenting is difficult on these, cuz theres so much great material you've provided, and i know not what to focus on. Im glad you were able to take a break to the US and see your lovely lady friend and the fam. Hey, if Richie and Margot Tenenbaum can make it work...haha. Im still working on a care package to send you, but i've been spending so much time on cloud 6 (maybe 8?) its been hard to get down to business and finish any of my projects. But hey, its summer time and living's easy, so im trying not to sweat it too much. You'll get it when its ready.
Keep these posts coming (and videos too, i loved the one of you riding your bike). We all love and miss the hell out of you, here in the states. Smell ya!

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