It does, in fact, feel like we have been here a year. Don't get me wrong, we really like it here, but in many ways the creative juices in our lives (and my brain, hence the lack of blog topics) has dried up. Living in Texas is really easy, getting around is pretty straightforward and most of the time, people are predictable, reliable and prompt. It's very easy to get used to, and also, kind of boring.
Not that life itself is boring, we have a whole lot to keep us busy. To start with, two little munchkins that are constantly on the move, constantly doing silly things like this:
We live in a fantastic neighborhood with lots of kids and fun adults to relate to. We have gotten to reconnect with family and friends that we haven't seen in years. We own a beautiful home, with a yard, and a pool that is clean, safe and accessible without an elevator, portero, or multi-lane city street to cross.We have lots of hobbies and interests and we are still learning about our 'new' town, exploring new places and figuring out where we fit into things.
Still, I can't help but feel like a little bit of pizzazz has been stripped from our lives. Things that used to make me crazy, not being fluent in Spanish, living in a big (dirty, noisy, flooded) city, the unpredictable lifestyle (traffic, store hours, virtually all scheduled times, bus system, airport) I now think on with fond "remember when" tone.
The strange thing is that there is an abundance of Latin culture here in Houston. A HUGE amount. Gretchen is at a bilingual preschool. Three of our four yard-touching neighbors are Mexican. Almost every written sign is in both languages. The majority of my friends are bilingual. And somehow, that makes it almost more difficult to stay connected to the things that we learned while we were abroad.
So, instead of figuring out which restaurants will open before 8:30pm we are beating the "night rush" by eating at 5:30pm. Instead of walking to wherever we want to go, we get into our air conditioned cars and drive. Instead of wondering if we have enough cash, or more precisely, if we have small enough bills, we charge or write a check or use an app to pay for whatever we're buying. It sound alluring, right? All of the conveniences of home, without any of the story of living in Argentina.
I guess this is all to say that I miss it. We miss it. And we don't. It was hard, complicated and frustrating. It was also fun, challenging and incredible.
I'm beginning to wonder if this is what repatriation is all about.