I have found myself homesick this week. At odd times and unexpected ways. This morning I had a berry smoothie after getting home from the gym. It was thick and icy and good and tasted almost but not quite as good as a Jamba Juice from my favorite shopping center. And there was no orange cranberry roll to go with it. :(
Earlier this week I was driving the Excursion (which used to be my vehicle and is now Geoffrey's) at a whopping 18 mph and a country music song from Brannick's burned CD started playing. I had one of those sensory memories that comes from a smell or a sound - that of flying up highway 281 towards Canyon Lake every Thursday driving my daughter to piano lessons listening to a country music station. Passing that ridiculous and enormous metal bull parked on the side of the road in its own trailer and an advertisement strapped to its back. Taking the left turn at the corner of that wildlife ranch where we would often spot zebras or the critters we dubbed 'gazantelopes' for lack of any idea of the actual name.
We were only in Texas for two years. But by the time we left, it felt like home. I guess it has seemed like that with each place we've lived. Maybe it will happen here as well and three or so years from now I will be missing the sights and sounds of tastes of Turkey.
There are some things I love already. Like the salad. Is that a goofy thing to love? Its called salata here, shepherd salad, and has lettuce, peeled and chopped tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, green onions, and parsley on it. I have Aytin make it every week. She doesn't use a bowl but puts it instead in a 9x13 glass baking pan with the lettuce on the bottom and all the other vegetables on top. Then she drizzles it with olive oil and something called nar eksili sos. That's pomegranate syrup. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff has ruined American salad dressings for me forever. Nar is light and tangy and slightly sweet and brings out the flavor of the vegetables so much better than nasty old Ranch or Italian does. Thursday nights I eat as much as I can (give me a break, its salad!) and then whatever is left becomes Friday lunch. Yum.
The other thing I love is how there are good people around. I have always felt that Texans are good people, helpful people. I have thought this since the first time we were stationed there way back in 2001 and I had to drive back from Arizona with three little kids and a spasming back. But Turkish people are kind and helpful too.
There is a toll highway here in this part of Turkey. Before January we could buy $20 toll cards here on base to use whenever we traveled. But there is now a new system which requires the purchase of a sticker to go on your car. Purchasing this sticker involved figuring out where they were sold, when these places might or might not have them in stock and when the computer system involved in setting up the new account might or might not be operational. Then there was a form, all in Turkish that had to be filled out correctly and the proper documention shown. All during business hours, of course, which precluded my husband handling it.
We would need the sticker for my parents' upcoming visit but I was rather at a loss as to how I was going to accomplish its purchase. But as of this morning I can cross that off my to do list! The owner of one of the shops in the alley graciously took me to an office where he had comfirmed the stickers were available, helped me fill in the form and handled the transaction for me. What a blessing! (He will be getting some banana bread this weekend.)
Life for a military family involves a lot of hellos and goodbyes. Honestly, I would hate to live in the same place my whole life. I do like the adventure. And I like collecting good memories and favorite things in each place we live. Even if that does make me homesick sometimes.