Hey Explorers! Cristina here with another installment from the list! I’m sure they will be coming much more frequently now as I begin to realize I have many more to do and much less time to complete them. Why’s that you ask? Well my feet have grown restless being (mostly) in Ohio since November, and I have decided to spend my summer elsewhere. So on June 10th I’m off to Alaska for 7 weeks to work for Leader Creek Fisheries! ‘But Cristina! Isn’t it cold in Alaska all year?!’ Have no fear! I’m built for the cold! I’ve also been to Alaska once before, albeit when I was in 4th grade, but I do remember it being pretty much the perfect temperature of jeans and a t-shirt during the day, and maybe a light jacket at night. To me, that’s perfect because I am not built for hot weather. I am short, have short limbs, and have very pale skin. Over all, i’d say my ancestors weren’t exactly beach people. So that is why i’m hopping a flight to Seattle in June to pop on over to Alaska and make a bunch of $$$! I am effectively shooting myself in the foot in doing so, however, because I have over a month less time to polish off this list. I better get crackin’. So without further adieu:
Take Your Family Out To Dinner (To Thank Them for helping you make it through this quarter century mostly unscathed (and for not messing you up too much))
I took my family to a place called Dorothy Lane Market. It is technically a high-end grocery store, but on Monday’s they do a special where you get a burger and a beer for $10. Also one of my family friends works there and my parents and his have taken to going every other Monday. This time, however, I was able to go because I was off work and my sister and her boyfriend were also in town so it was a real gathering.
I didn’t tell them I was going to pay because I didn’t want them to not order something they wanted. I knew they wouldn’t want me to have to pay a ton of money for dinner so that is why I figured this Monday burger night would be a good choice. The burgers were fantastic, the company was great, and the beer (and wine) was cold (and room temp).
After dinner we ate cannolis curtsey of our friend Glen and the extensive dessert and pastry selection at Dorothy Lane Market, wandered around the store sipping on our drinks and perused the wine section. It was a really nice, relaxing evening and one that I hope to do again!
I wish that I had time to scan some old photos to my computer to add them to this post, but I don’t have time to fall into that particular rabbit hole right now. So instead i’ll just write down a few things that make me thankful for my family, and why I decided to make this an item on my list.
1.) Thanks for my childhood. One time a guy I was talking to said to me ‘Oh here comes the bad childhood stories.’ I was a little offended to be honest. I told him that he was wrong. I had a great childhood, full of love and wonderful memories. I really didn’t want for anything, and, if I do say so myself, I turned out pretty OK! Needless to say, I didn’t keep him around very long.
2.) Thanks for spoiling us on Christmas (and continuing to do so even now). It truly makes me feel that Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year, and I look forward to it every year. Not just for the gifts, but for the memories and the time spent with my family. The year I missed Christmas while I was in China was honestly one of the hardest things about leaving. It made me realize that no matter what I chose to do with my life I want to spent my Christmases sipping hot chocolate underneath the Christmas tree we cut down ourselves, and waiting patiently until it is my turn to open presents.
3.) Speaking of Christmas… sorry for all those years I handmade half my presents. I realize now that some of them were probably pretty bad and really weird. So thanks for always putting on a happy face when you opened that ‘voodoo doll’ of myself I made that one year complete with my own hair. (I’m not joking. I know, it’s weird.)
4.) Also, i’m sorry for all those awkward preteen/teen angsty years where ‘no one understood me’. I know everyone has them, but i’m still a bit embarrassed. I hope that those journals have been beheaded, burned and scattered in four different rivers so that they may never again see the light of day.
5.) Thanks for inspiring me to do my own thing and dance to the beat of my own drummer. It probably got a bit weird there in middle school and high school, but you guys stuck with me and look at me now! I’m only weird in the privacy of my own home! (And let’s be honest, you’re all just as weird as I am!)
6.) Thanks for exploring the world with me. Our family trip to Italy was comprised of some of the best weeks of my life. I love that we have a jet setting family even if you probably get tired of picking me up from the airport as a result of it. Where should we explore next??
7.) Thanks for all the advice you’ve given me over the years, and continue to give me now (even if sometimes I don’t want it). I know it may seem like i’m not heeding your advice, but I value your counsel and take everything you say into account (also maybe with a grain of salt at times).
8.) Thanks for letting me make my own choices even if you didn’t think I was making the right ones. “Ok Cristina… as long as you think moving to China for a year is a good idea…” I know you were really thinking ‘Oh good lord here we go again.’ Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans.
9.) Along those lines, thanks for never throwing your beliefs on me. I never knew growing up what you thought about important issues or how you voted. I can pretty much guess now, but it forced me to decide for myself based on what I thought was right, not what I thought my parents/family wanted.
10.) Sorry for all the temper tantrums. I know they probably lasted way too long. My bad.
11.) Thanks for being strict, but not too strict. I appreciate not being told that if I drank or had sex I would get gonorrhea and die, or that I was never allowed to date until I was married. That was nice of you. On the other hand though, I appreciate having a curfew, not having cable and not having a cell phone until I absolutely needed one etc. I am absolutely positive I didn’t appreciate this growing up…. but I see now that there was a method to the ‘madness’. (Although a 12 AM curfew when I was home on college breaks… come on, Pop.)
12.) Thanks for always being there for me. Whether it’s Skyping when i’m overseas or letting me move back in when i’m in between jobs and annoyed with the world. I am beyond thankful to have people who are there to catch me when I stumble. I know it probably seems like i’ve been doing more stumbling than walking lately, but i’ll get there and it will be thanks to you.
I can only hope that some day, should I decide to have kids, I will provide them the same loving, supportive environment that you gave me, and continue to give me. I’m a little nervous that I won’t be able to fill the same shoes. After all they are pretty big shoes to fill cause I turned out pretty fantastic!
(13. Thanks for putting up with my occasionally inflated ego (and helping me through my occasional sad patches)).
I love you so much.
Until next time, never forget:
Adventure is out there, so never stop exploring!