Over 50, Still Kickin'

A slightly skewed perspective on life in The Middle Ages

Lee Ann Rubsam

The Peru Chronicles

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Home, Sweet Home

The world travelers have finally returned home. We got in about 1:15 a.m. after twenty-two hours of travel, with all the fiascos that go with international flights. It would take too much time to tell. Let's just say it was a comedy of errors.

Here is how I am going to enjoy readjusting to life in the U.S.:

1.) I am going to flush an entire roll of toilet paper down the toilet. With each flush installment, I will say, "Thank you, Lord, for the real flush experience." This is my #1 priority right at the moment.

2.) I will also thank God for a whole roll of toilet paper to flush in the first place. And toilet seats -- thank God for toilet seats. What do they do with the toilet seats in other countries? Are they valuable contraband somewhere in the world? Maybe arts and crafts people turn them into lovely wall hangings, and are willing to pay premium prices for them, especially if they are authentic used Peruvian ones. Who runs off with them, and how do they smuggle them out of the washrooms without anybody catching them?

3.) I am going to eat a hot dog for breakfast -- yes, breakfast. Taco John's sounds real good to me for supper. And maybe some ice cream to top it off. I have eaten chicken and rice in various forms for ten out of fourteen days. I liked it right up until the end, but I will not fix it at home for a month or more. On the way home, the main topic of conversation among our crew was what we were going to eat when we got home.

4.) I am going to drink real tap water, right out of the faucet, unfiltered and all. I might even brush my teeth with it -- maybe several times, one right after the other, so that I can savor the pleasure.

5.) I am going to wear jeans that do not get up and walk across the room all by themselves. (We couldn't pack a lot of luggage, so I had to live in the same pair of jeans for seven days straight.)

6.) I am going to talk to several people on the phone, and it will all be in English. I will not say, "No hablo español" or "No comprendo" even once. Not once. If they try to say even one word in Spanish to me, I will hang up on them.

7.) I will take a hot shower, and I will vacantly leave my mouth hanging open the whole time, without even once worrying about what I might accidentally swallow in the process. No more spitting to get the bad water out of my mouth while washing my face. (It's hard to keep the water out of your mouth while showering. Who knew?)

8.) I will not use hand sanitizer even once for the next month or more.

9.) I will go out in the back yard and kiss the grass. I saw so little green growth in coastal Peru.

10.) I will eat lettuce until it comes out of my ears, without once being concerned about needing Imodium.

11.) I will drink any kind of juice under the sun except papaya juice.

12.) I will visit a pet store and remind myself that guinea pigs are to cuddle, not to eat in my stir-fry.

It's going to be hard to adjust to American life again. The trip was an adventure, but it's time to come home to real civilization. We don't know how good we have it.

© Copyright 2007 by Lee Ann Rubsam. All rights reserved.

On the Serious Side

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Email: leeann@leeannrubsam.com