Texas: There’s No Place Like Home

One of the many (many MANY) odd quirks of Foreign Service life is a little something we call “Home Leave.” A congressionally-mandated series of leave days following the end of an overseas posting, Home Leave is designed to help culture-shocked American readjust to life stateside.

Since July saw the official end of our time in Suriname, we’ve been spending our month-long Home Leave traipsing around the country, visiting loved ones and preparing for our move back to ‘Merica, where we’ll be posted to the D.C. area. Our trails took us from D.C. to Michigan to Indiana to Texas, seeing treasured family and friends all along the way.

I always enjoy my time back in Texas, more than I can even begin to verbalize. Despite the many places I’ve lived in my adult life (Indiana, Ireland, the Czech Republic, China, and Suriname), Texas is still the spot I call home.

And that spot that puts the “home” in Home Leave didn’t let me down this time, either. Per usual, the time with friends and family was an enormous blessing. And the outdoor-centric adventuring was top-notch. In just a few short days, my adventures tallied up as follows:

*3x Spearfishing/free-diving excursions with my dad and my bro, Hunter–an awesome, first-ever experience for my husband and me. I think we’re both sold!

*2x Sheepshead fish shot by me (both wiggled off my spear just shy of shore, but I’ll be back for more!)

*1x Spade fish shot by my husband (he actually got his kill back to the beach, but I’ll be back to even the score next time!)

*1x Drooling over my bro’s successful spearing of a sheepshead

*1x Dolphin sighting

*3x Surf sessions–the activity in which my heart is most purely joyful

*1x Surf/war injury, à la surfboard fin bite

*1x Session at the shooting range, amid fields of blossoming cotton

*1x Sea turtle saved (I got to hold the little chap while my dad used his dive knife to cut him free of the entangling fishing line)

All in all, I’d call the trip an absolute success. Of course, any time out in the Texas sunshine with the people I love is a gift that sings straight to my soul. I was so busy having fun, I didn’t even have time to crack a book–and for this unabashed bibliophile, that’s the very highest review I know how to give.

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