Like everyone else, I am very much looking forward to the warm summer months, despite the fact that I spent much of the last year in the hot Middle Eastern deserts. Even though I was not here to endure the harsh winter our area experienced, I did catch the tail end of it when I came home and I must say I was not impressed. Over the past few weeks, I have felt the cold bitter winds of Buffalo Ridge passing through my old Victorian home, which has led me to either spend much of my time sun bathing in the big windows like a cat, or hiding under an electric blanket. I guess my body has not fully acclimated to our climate again, because I do not recall being this cold last year.
In an attempt to think positively, I am sitting here listing off all of the things I am looking forward to doing this summer. When the season opens up again, I plan to take my four nephews to the lake to do some fishing and eventually, swimming. I will need the help of my sister however because with an age range of almost 4-12, I don’t know if I have enough eyes on my head to watch them all. Also, last year I purchased two beautiful kayaks that are set up for fishing, so I am looking forward to the occasional morning routine I started before I deployed: having a cup of coffee and then taking a kayak to the lake before it was too hot to be on the water. I am also looking forward to other outdoor activities, like hiking and camping, and starting my garden that I have not been able to have over the past three summers.
This last deployment really helped me to appreciate everything we have here. I remember on one occasion, flying in a helicopter over the largest lake in Iraq, Lake Tharthar. I was quite surprised by its size and its beautiful blue waters, and I remember thinking how nice it would have been to swim in that lake with the temperatures we had been experiencing. Now that I am home and free to go where I please (well sort of) I look forward to exercising that freedom and appreciating everything our beautiful state has to offer.