We are in transition today.
Emotionally, I feel exhausted. The week gone by has had so many things happen and I am juggling tiredness and missing my family.
We talked with our Scottish family, getting to know them while sitting on the porch, taking late into the night. Enjoyed meals in the lovely weather that was unseasonal for the North Carolinian's. We met and spent time with new family from the South, talking with new friends and seeing where Thomas and Sarah would be living.
Long days exploring new cities and long nights talking with family. Sounds like a holiday. But after all spending so much time with families I have been missing mine. If home is where your heart is, then I think it is 16,000 kilometers away.
Jazz, in a Brewery
Last night Ron and Sharon took us out for dinner in Winston Salem. Daniel was playing drums in a jazz quartet for the evening and we were invited to attend. Jazz in a brewery and restaurant was too much to pass on, so we joined them.
A quiet night out was exactly what I needed mentally to tackle getting over the past week. Being out was like a mental debriefing after what was a busy, engaging and fun week. Long conversations with good food, good company and wonderful music.
Jazz floated through the air. Sonorous music weaved in syncopated patterns as we enjoyed locally brewed beer and hearty meals. The setting was perfect, dark wood floors, high ceiling with wood paneled walls. It felt so homely that it encouraged discussion, and relaxation, which we did.
Ron and Sharon were great hosts, we even had time between sets to talk with Daniel about music and life.
As a last night in North Carolina it was perfect.
Woke to Rain, to Catch a Train
There was a fast dash to get coffee from downtown as we headed toward the station this morning. We said our farewells to Ron, who had ferried us to the station and then we waited for the train.
The rain was heavy and cold. The strong wind felt like it was carrying icicles as it buffeted us while we stood on the platform.
It hit me at that moment that I was embarking on something I had wanted to do for a long time. A train journey in America. There is something romantic about a long-haul rail journey that tugs at my desires, even after commuting every day for almost three years.
Joining me on the journey is my brother, Roger, who also shares this romantic vision of long-haul rail journeys. Maybe that was built up over the late night discussions we had when we were younger, talking in the darkness of our bedroom.
The long haul part is giving me time to reflect on the past week. So many new things to see, with the comfort of family to show us around. So many new people to meet, all with the common interest of a wedding. It also helps that we are a little odd, speaking with a foreign accent. Everything, including the weather, seemed to be perfect - The kind of “perfect” that makes you think about making the holiday destination your life.
I miss my family. Every day I have awoken to a new experience that they have missed. Watching the squirrels dance in the branches, Southern Food (which I am sure I will blame for an increase in body fat), and that first feeling of walking into a Walmart. Something new that I have not been able to share with them, I am sad that they miss that, I know how much they love that feeling too.
There is more for us to do on this trip. It is time to move onwards, to start our planned journey northwards. Away from new places we had made to feel like home, and into the unknown. Change, change once more.