The thought of driving on the prairie thrills us to no end. 3.5 hours of flat and field and prairie and canola and sunflowers and flat...so much flat. Oh Manitoba horizon how we miss your endlessness.
There are days that the homesickness is almost crippling. Those are usually the days when there is something happening at home that we're missing. What helps us through is knowing our absence is felt and that we are loved despite the fact we're an ocean away. On those days we watch Corner Gas and smile and try not to get too emotional during the opening credits.
Care packages and letters from home have eased the homesickness in a big way. On Christmas Eve we received an envelope in the mail full of pictures of our niece. Home didn't seem so far away in that moment. In the almost 9 months we've been here we've gotten some incredible stuff from home. Three kinds of hot sauce, KD, brown sugar, Canada flag Mardi Gras beads, copies of the local paper, hand written notes, pictures, instant yeast, gum, jello, Doritos, valentines, christmas cards, christmas ornaments, a liscence plate ashtray, tootsie rolls, KCBS flavoured almonds, a take out menu from our favourite sushi place, crayola stuff, travel scrabble, gold fish crackers, a block of cheddar cheese, an umbrella, a Blue Bombers Cowbell, our favourite barbecue sauce and lots of peanut butter. One amazing person (hi Cassandra!!) even sent me all the fixings for cookies including measuring cups when we first arrived. I don't think people understand the full extent of having a some pieces of home arrive in a box on your door step. The mere fact that we're holding something someone picked out for us is enough to reduce me to tears.
We've learned to that homesickness is a matter of choice. You can choose to miss home or you can choose to feel homesick. Most of the time we choose to miss home. Missing home is fine, missing home and normal and flat is just fine. Missing home means you're not missing out on life where you are. Homesickness though can take the wind out of your sails and prevent you from just living the adventure you have before you. It can lead you down the path of unfair comparisons, "Well in Manitoba...." and in some cases bitterness "You know I had one of those....then we moved here and I had to get rid of it." We have both had our homesick days. We're lucky that they rarely land on the same day. To get through those days we just remind each other as long as we have each other and snacks, we'll be okay.