I’m in Iowa for a week. I came home for a gigantic celebration at the Buddhist Temple that my parents are a large part of. The Asians have taken over Storm Lake, even more so than usual. It’s crazy Asian up in here.
I forgot what it was like to be in Iowa. As in, I forgot about “the smell of money.” I thought I was gonna die on the drive home from the airport. Once we got off a major highway, I was bombarded with a plethora of smells. Turkeys. Hogs. Beef. Chicken. Thank goodness we drove home in the middle of the night. I was able to bypass the stink during the hottest hours of the day. I threw up a little in my mouth, just thinking about it. Ew.
I am also a grown woman back in my mother’s home. I have not spent more than three days at my mother’s house in the last three years. This is so weird. Her house is not my own. My mother did not buy her current home until after I had already moved out on my own. So, I can’t really consider this coming “home,” either. The feeling is immensely weird. I pray that nothing ever happens to my marriage, because I don’t think I could ever move into this house, no matter how short the period of time. This place is just too weird.
Some of the members of our family are meeting Miss Abigail for the first time ever. Poor thing, she is Daddy’s little girl, and with him gone, she has literally attached herself to Mommy’s butt for the last five months. It has been an experience to try to get her to open up to all her aunts, uncles, and cousins. She has run screaming in between my legs at every occasion. Only slightly uncomfortable. There is one person she likes, though. Uncle Inpane. There’s something about that guy. He is the favorite relative of all my girls. They see him and automatically think to jump on his back and shriek, “giddyup, Uncle Inpane!” I love it! Grandma Tia’s just a little jealous.
Grandma has been spending almost all of her time at the Temple, unfortunately. They’re here, and my children still miss their Gramma. It is absolutely amazing what is going on out there. On the property, in the last couple days, a small village of tents and canopies has gone up. You can buy everything from Pho, to cheap toys, clothes, alcohol and spiritual healing. I have to admit, it is on such a large scale that I’m intimidated to be a part of it. My mother has asked me to be a “flower girl.” I don’t speak Lao, Thai or Hmong, not sure how I’m going to be getting donations from people that don’t speak English. Hmm ... I’m not sure what she was thinking, asking me, but I’m still honored to be a part of something so huge. Now, I just have to figure out where to put my phone and camera in my totally cute dress.