Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
During the last few months I’ve had the splendid opportunity to venture out to Namyangju various times in order to visit Michelle’s home and spend time with her parents. Michelle’s parents are quite splendid and we’ve gotten to know each other amid doing a variety of activities; most notably, hiking and cooking. Namyangju, a countryside area northeast from Seoul, has become one of my new favorite places in South Korea.
Upon my first meeting with her parents, I was a bit nervous and essentially speechless. Honestly, my mind went blank, but I quickly recovered and provided what I think was a decent first-impression that was boosted by my helping Michelle’s father in re-staining their patio gazebo. Without going into too much detail, I had also brought a bunch of fresh food and Port wine, and made a glorious dinner for Michelle and her parents, which is not common for first-time visitors in Korea. Everyone enjoyed the meal and I was kindly invited to come back over anytime. I was also asked to bring some more Port wine on my next visit. What had started out a little rough, ended on a very positive note, but before I left later that evening, we all went for a hike through the countryside surrounding their home; it was marvelous.
Upon my return a few weeks later, it was essentially a time to relax, cook, chat and laugh. We had a tasty BBQ on the patio amid the silence of the countryside and the smell of fresh pine that delightfully reminded me of camping; it was indeed a night I will remember forever. When it was getting late and time for me to go, Michelle’s dad suggested that I simply stay over. It was definitely a surprise to both Michelle and I. Saving me from a long night-time trip home, I kindly accepted his offer and then was given my own room and bed. I slept like a rock and the following morning we had a wonderful breakfast together. It honestly already started to feel like I was apart their wonderful family.
A few weeks following our patio BBQ, I was kindly invited back over to spend an entire weekend with Michelle and her family. The first morning after helping Michelle’s parents with a few things, I relaxed watching an entire Dodger game on TV, something of which I hadn’t done in years, while Michelle laid her head on my lap and was asleep until the last inning. Both of us had had a tough week, so this was a perfect opportunity for us to rest. After having lunch, we all went hiking in the nearby mountains.
Getting to know Michelle’s family has been quite a blessing. Her parents are extremely gracious and generous, and despite it being a little tough to communicate with one another, Michelle has kindly taken on the burden of translating and relaying our thoughts, ideas, and feelings. I must mention that Michelle’s burden has supremely propelled me to do something about my Korean ability as I would very much like to be able to clearly communicate with her parents. It’s going to take some time, but I feel I must step up my study and desire to learn Korean much more even though I’m already quite busy. I’ve realized that learning Korean must be taken to a much higher priority and I’m confident that joy will soon abound in doing so.