It was wonderful to take this journey with her. One of her recurring comments was how her life had narrowed down to just the simple things. I knew exactly how she felt because while I was overseas I had the same experience. I even wrote a blog about the simple life and wondered how I could package it and bring it back to the States to share with my children. My sister-in-law's comments made me examine how well I’d carried the simple life home.
I failed miserably. My life is very complicated. For instance, when I was overseas grocery shopping was very simple. I had fewer choices. Oranges were the size of lemons. Avocados turned black before I could get them home. Chickens were no bigger than game hens. I often wondered how large families like mine could afford to feed themselves.
Shopping here is difficult too. At our local fruit stand, for the Fourth of July, I had to choose between strawberries the size of lemons or blackberries bigger than my thumbs. Should we have the fat, plump chicken? Or the juicy all beef burgers? And where should we spend the day? Should we go to the beach, Yosemite, the Sequoias, or skip it all and head to Disneyland? We settled for the PBR and fireworks in our own hometown grandstands.
I say all this with tongue-in-cheek. But the truth is I have the simplest of difficulties. Too many opportunities. Too many choices. And it really does complicate my life…but it’s a wonderful challenge to have.
On this Fourth of July it's a good thing to know that even with this country’s issues and difficulties, it’s still an amazing place. I don't know about you, but I'm going to spend the rest of my Fourth of July week counting my blessings.