I’m still not back to posting once a week, but I am trying to get back on track, and hopefully will be soon. P.’s father is gone, which means I have a lot more free time in the evenings and on weekends. Things got easier with him towards the end of his stay. We stopped pressuring him for a decision about whether or not he would stick around past his scheduled return date, and whether he’d be willing to apply for a green card and move here on a half-time basis, and everyone relaxed a bit.
He did return home as originally planned, but he seems set on making his way back here once he settles some family issues and takes care of some medical problems, and traveling to the U.S. regularly and for longer time periods going forward.
I think what also helped a bit was that P.’s father was able to interact with our friends and neighbors to a greater extent this time around. Granted, his English is extremely limited, so any conversations he did have took place with either P. or I interpreting, which made them somewhat stilted. Nevertheless, this was an improvement over the first two times that he was here. In the beginning of his stay, P.’s dad often said things like, “This is not my country and I will never feel at home here,” or “Everything is alien to me here,” or even “You cannot imagine what it’s like for me to be here, what heartache I feel when I am away from my native land,” while striking his chest (yes, he is somewhat prone to dramatics, but it is all very sincere). He genuinely liked the people that we introduced him to, and it seems to me that this has made a difference in how he feels about being in the U.S. Hopefully, he’s come to understand that people are fundamentally the same everywhere, that there are nice people in this country too – people that he can have a meaningful conversation with, and while he would of course miss the rest of his family and his customary way of life, at least he would not feel like he was on another planet.
In other news, I recently learned that I’m getting a raise at work. Yay! I’m not used to getting raises at all; in fact, now that I think of it, this may be the first raise I’ve ever gotten, other than minor cost-of-living type adjustments, or raises that come with promotions. I don’t know how much it is yet, although I was told that it’s not much. Regardless of the amount, we are thinking about either saving the extra money, or using it to pay down our debt faster. Either of these would help us with our home-buying goal. We are used to living fairly frugally on the income that we currently have, so it shouldn’t be too tempting to just spend the extra income on day-to-day stuff.
Lots of other blog post topics were going through my head as I was walking our dog tonight. Like how I’m struggling with finding a balance between keeping this blog anonymous and the need to be open and truthful, which would reveal details that are likely to be identifying. Or, how I feel conflicted about blogging about stuff that’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things, like pay raises and family squabbles and mortgage rates, when there is so much that is tragic, and sad, and wrong that is going on in the world right now. Or, how I’ve been thinking about the situation in our home country, and wondering if we could ever live there again if things changed for the better and if we felt that we could do some good there, and if so, what that would do to our Methow-related plans. I hope to explore some of these thoughts in future posts!