Over the last couple of days I’ve learned some new things. For instance, it’s Puget Sound NOT Pugent sound. I always assumed there was an “n” in there.
Not only does the ocean not smell like Lake Michigan it also doesn’t smell how Yankee candle claims that “ocean breeze” smells. For shame Yankee candle, for shame.
Pho, this amazing, Vietnamese soup, which is really popular around here, is pronounced fah, like fah la lal la, la, la, la, la.
And finally, no matter how hard I try to say Oregon I am, apparently, saying it wrong. I think it’s more like or-i-gin? But honestly, I’m not sure. I think I’m saying it that way but I keep getting corrected.
There are other things that make me feel like I’m speaking a foreign language. I’ve never been good at directions, or road names. Up until very recently, I referred to one of the main roads in our city in Michigan as “Meijer’s road” meaning the road Meijer’s is on. I guess it’s also called B-drive, whatever. So, it’s no surprise, that today when Brian was asking our friend, Meghan, what the best way was to the mall, I felt like I was listening to two people speak a completely foreign language. There just isn’t any frame of reference for any place here in my brain.
It’s a little disconcerting. I got really lost once as a child, right after we had moved. That awful feeling has always stuck with me and being here where nothing is familiar keeps pinging that feeling in the back of my head.
And yet, slowly, things are starting to feel familiar. I’m sure the way a foreigner feels when they start to recognize words and phrases. When we pass this one specific Starbucks I know that I’m close the road I’ll be living on. When we pass this other charming coffee shop I know we’re close to where we’re currently staying. And I’ve been on two walks where I returned home safe. And those two walks…magic… Even if the Puget Sound smells kelpy, it’s breathtaking. Way more wild looking then FL. Like the upper peninsula (where I spent most of my childhood) with its rocky shore and clear, cold water. There’s something about that water stretching into the distance that makes me feel awed and at home all at the same time. Like somehow these pine trees are connected to the ones of my childhood. The breeze feels the same too, and yet it’s more.
This morning I took Brian’s hand and I thought, “I can’t believe this is our home now.” Home, a living breathing thing, slowly I’m learning to speak its language.