Sunday, April 17, 2011

Life After Peace Corps

A favorite photo taken in Kyiv, when I first arrived in Ukraine a little over two years ago. Life's still good!

This is my post-Peace Corps blog, Life After Peace Corps. I'm settling into a new life; I'm onto another journey. I'd call it "Odyssey Dawn," but that name has already been taken (for the war in Libya). Actually, I'll think of the musings in this blog more like "new horizons."

It's an adjustment, but it's okay. That's what my Peace Corps adventure in Ukraine was all about. That's what life's about. Adjusting to the new and the different, the familiar and the unknown, one step at a time, every day. It's easier, I must say, in your own language! "I look forward to a day when I'll understand what's going on around me again," my PCV friend Suz said to me once. We laughed. That time has come.

I understand, but I'm still adjusting! I'm back in the Toledo, Ohio, area where I raised my family before leaving in 1985 for Washington, DC, then some 17 years later for St. Petersburg Florida. It 's a return in a way, but it feels more like a new chapter. I'm in a lovely little apartment in an old house on Main Street in downtown Sylvania, a city of trees, a suburb of Toledo. I'm starting with a new coat of paint, different colors, bright and fresh, in every room. It's starting to look like Pysansky, those beautifully and elaborately decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs!

I am spending time with my family and my grandchildren. I joined Michelle's family for "Fiddler on the Roof" at Alli's high school, a great production and a touch of Ukrainian culture to boot! We've had meals here in my apartment. Last night I took Josh to dinner.

I'm also on the lookout for activities that will engage my mind and energy, keep me involved in the life we have, the life we are given, the life we make. I'll take my time. I still have to make a trip to Florida to get all my things, oversee a move, bring my brother Loren's car, his little red Kia that served him so well, up North.

It's amazing where life takes you if you take life as it comes, I wrote while in Ukraine. Then, the context was Starobelsk, near the Russian border, a place I never thought I would be. Now, it is Sylvania, Ohio, near the Michigan border, another place that once seemed unimaginable. Now, everything seems possible. It makes me think we are always living on a border somewhere, real and virtual.

No matter the borders of our lives, the journey continues, the road goes on; we forge our paths into the unknown, into the future. It's what my brother Loren always told me. He's moving on, and I'm right behind him.

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