A trip “home”

Furlough is over half way finished now! It went by so fast! But it’s been good!

It was quite surprising and a little bit depressing coming back! I knew COVID was pretty bad, but I had no idea how much affect it was still having on day-to-day life! I came back totally unprepared! Once we get here, I walk into a store and am blown away by the mandatory masks, directional isle markers and social distancing signs! It gives such a different feeling! People seem so much less friendly! You can’t see when they smile, and they seem scared to even come close to you! It seemed like for the first few days, that was all I heard! I have gotten more used to it now, but I still can’t wait to go home where everything is still pretty much normal!

The week after mom and dad came, they came up to Felix’s over the time of our cousin reunion! COVID, of course, changed how that worked out, it was a lot smaller, but we still had so much fun! Us cousin’s played ultimate frisbee, ate lunch and hiked up to a mountain!

After the reunion was over we headed up to Ohio to visit grandads! We were half way up there already when they decided he should probably go to the hospital to get checked out. Well, the results came back and he had double pneumonia AND coronavirus! That changed our plans! We stuck around for the week, hoping he would be released from the hospital soon. I really enjoyed getting to see friends from Cambodia there! It feels so good to see someone who knows where you come from, and knows the people you know!

Granddad is on the mend now, but we didn’t get to see him while we were up there!

Sunday after church, we headed down to Cincinnati area and met uncle Vernon’s, Luke and Ryan, at an Airbnb. We snacked and caught up late into the night. Early the next morning, we ate breakfast and headed out for the ark encounter. It was fascinating! Seeing the immense size of the ark! Seeing how they fed the animals, and all the displays! I learned so much just walking through! Vernon was more than happy to be our tour guide, explaining and pointing out interesting things, and leading us to the right place, well, most of the time! We got home mid afternoon and grilled steak for supper! We talked, and played games and laughed a lot! Luke and Ryan left later that evening…

The next day, those of us that were left went and toured the creation museum, once again with Vernon for our guide! We met some mennonites while we were there, so dad and Vernon made sure to introduce themselves and see if they had any mutual acquaintances! We used our last day with them and went hiking, it was very warm and muggy, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the chance to be with them! It was sad to say goodbye!

At the moment we are in South Carolina, Cordell’s got here Saturday evening and Luke got here this morning! We have been so blessed by the generosity of the people here! We came to a supply of cookies, eggs, pancake mix, and much more! People have opened their homes for supper! And we have come home multiple times, and had baked goods, flowers, or notes on the porch! If you are one of those people thank you so much! I have loved being back here and reconnecting with old friends and making new ones!

So that gives you a brief summary of what we’ve been doing and where we’ve been! Sometime this week we are heading up to Tennessee to spend time with Luke and the Forry’s before the wedding. It is just around the corner! It’s next week already! And the week after that, we head home to Cambodia!

Until the next update, Heather for the Helmuth’s