I came to Delaware because I missed the ocean.
The morning I left Ohio, I woke up to find another layer of snow on the ground, and wistful flakes drifting from the sky. It was beautiful, but I was terrified to drive in it. So I lazily packed up the rest of my things, drinking tea in front of the fireplace at intervals, and just waited.
The snow stopped, but my driveway was still slippery with slush. My landlord, who lived upstairs while Carita and I lived downstairs, pushed some of the slush off with his little lawnmower-sized snow plow, and then drove my car up the steep driveway for me. “You know,” he said, as I prepared to leave, “our boy’s camp needs a secretary.”
I thought this was the sweetest thing to say. Even though, at this point in my life, I don’t want to be a secretary, I understood the statement as “we wouldn’t mind if you stuck around longer.”
The roads weren’t slippery but there was snow beside the road. When I stopped to get gas, the snow began in earnest again. I bought donuts and a cheeseburger and terrible gas station tea. And then I just stood in the snow with my head tilted back and looked. It was the most magical event. The huge flakes floated down but I didn’t feel cold, or like it would get in my eyes. Space and time felt warped. Like how it feels when a train goes by and suddenly you feel like you’re the one who’s moving, zooming along at an impossible speed.
It was a lovely drive. Snowy, but it never stuck enough to get slick. I was tense and nervous, though.
Over the mountains. The snow made a haze which caused each individual mountain to stand out from the one behind it, stretching away from me in pale and paler lavender. It was twilight, so the whole world was purple, with black tree skeletons silhouetted against the sky.
My cousin Annette lives in Lancaster PA, and I decided to spend Thanksgiving week with her and her family. Justice, her oldest, became friends with me as soon as I went down to the basement and played basketball with him, but her younger daughters were a bit shy of me at first.
That evening, Liberty, the 4-year-old, stuck a cloth basket upside down on her head.
“What a beautiful hat!” I said. “May I try it on?”
She let me.
“Oh, I’m so fancy, in this beautiful hat!” I said in my own interpretation of a fancy accent.
Liberty was delighted. “The queen! The queen!” she said.
So for the rest of the week I was The Queen. “Where’s my queen?” Liberty would ask her mom, when she wanted to play with me.
Matt came up from DC on Wednesday evening, so that was nice, seeing him again.
The drive from Lancaster Pennsylvania to Dover Delaware only takes a few hours, so I spent Saturday morning with my relations, before zipping down the Delmarva Peninsula. It began to rain. The hills of Pennsylvania flattened out. It almost felt like Oregon.
Arriving in Dover, I stopped at a coffee shop, where I planned to meet my new roommate Angie and our mutual friend Janessa. They hadn’t arrived yet, so I went ahead and ordered my tea.
“That’ll be 2:50,” said the cashier.
“Oh!” I exclaimed, happily handing over a $5 bill and two quarters and getting three neat bills of change. “Do you guys not have sales tax here?”
“No, we don’t,” said the cashier.
“It feels just like Oregon! We don’t have sales tax either!”
She smiled politely.
Angie and Janessa arrived, and I had a fun afternoon of meeting my new roommate and hanging out with an old friend.
I’ve been in Delaware less than a week, but it oddly reminds me of home. The weather has been more mild and Oregon-like, and I’ve already driven to the ocean twice. And the Mennonite community is just much smaller, more Oregon-sized.
But it’s like the teeny tiny quaint version. The entire state is smaller than my county back home. And Dover feels like a small town even though it’s the capital of Delaware.
Even the ocean seems little to me. Which is a bit weird. Obviously I can’t see with my naked eye that Japan is further away than Europe. But maybe it’s because the beach isn’t as extensive, or because there aren’t as many waves. Or maybe because it’s so much quieter.
A few ending notes:
- If you’ve noticed something different about my blog, I did turn ads back on. But I’d like feedback from you…so if you see sketchy ads, or if it makes your page run slow or weird, please let me know. My email is Jemilys@gmail.com. (Also, remember that you can always install an ad blocker. If I didn’t mention this, someone would be sure to point it out in the comments, haha.)
- I have a fun holiday-related blog series coming up. I’d like to blog every other day from December 12 to January 9. So if you have any fun holiday related blog post ideas, let me know! My ideas so far include:
- Gift guide for single brothers (or uncles, nephews, etc)
- Guide to prepping a guest room for holiday guests
- Maybe some fun fiction
- Cozy winter/Christmas themed books/stories
- My own holiday adventures
Let me know if there are any winter/Christmas/New Years/Holiday posts you’d love to see!