Cherry Blossom Festival. When many think of this, I think they might think of kites, dancing, or music. When I think of this, I always thin of reunion of sorts with the National Aquarium as well as a chance to see some great individuals representing Delaware. This year, I was excited to see students from Seaford High School since leaving Mexico. This is the strangest thing, when I saw Ms. Duryea, Priyanka, Thania, Uri, Akshay, Ketsia, Alyssa, and Emily, it was like I had just been gone a short time!
When I hugged them, I realized how special, how selfless, and how amazing they were when we came into contact with each other doing something for the community. They were there ahead of us, wearing green volunteer shirts, and before they could see me, I realized that one of the best parts of coming back to the United States was being alongside them, working alongside them, and just being – with them!
They did such a great job, representing all that is good, warm, and friendly on a warm, sunny day in Baltimore. Alyssa came back from the University of Delaware to participate, and seeing all them together for this brief moment in time was amazing, and I wanted the day (minus the hand cramping, the broken hole punches, and the garbage picking at times for plastic bottles J) Working alongside y cousins, PAVE and Rachelle and family overall was picture-book moment, and the pictures we have tell the same story from my smile! The kites were choreographed to music during the kite competition, although hardly any trees had cherry blossoms! (Thank you wind, rain, and Rachelle for reminding me!)
I was VERY lucky – I was able to have my closest friends, Rachelle, her mother, Morgan, Mackenzie, Madison all come from Pennsylvania to the Cherry Blossom Festival! J I loved seeing them as well, and it was amazing to see so many close friends together. We also connected with the case of Girl Scout cookies I purchased and ohmygosh, I LOVE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! Lol.
From working at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM for the National Aquarium’s windsock booth (using plastic bottles recycled for this project)
to touring the National Museum of History with the girls, to just generally seeing Washington during a sunny, bright day, this was perhaps the nicest homecoming welcome of all. If you haven’t seen the National Aquarium in the bottom of the Treasury Building, you MUST, it is an awesome venture and an awesome renovation since the Baltimore Aquarium took it over. I loved this day, and as the PAVE students headed to new Carroll Station for the night, and Rachelle and family headed back to Pennsylvania, I missed them already!
Sunday was 10mile race day for The Cherry Blossom Festival! For the first time, I decided to not run in the 10k (aside from me not being ready with the mileage I have or have not done, and rough-shape shoes), I came to this crucial part in my life, and it was better than running the 10 miler….I have for a long time been motivated to live three lives, one for me, one for my Dad, and one for Dave, a personal friend that ended his life way too short, and had left me some items of his, but the most memorable, was the running shorts that he left with the words NIKE on them….ever since running was the addiction again. Yet, on this day, April 1, 2012, the day of my father’s birthday, I was perhaps given the best gift of all. I finally felt this pressure lifted to not have to push myself too far, NOT have to run this 10 mile race to prove anything, and I knew at some point in my life, there would be a point when this occurred, I just had no idea when. How did I know this would happen? I had the same thing occur, with other major happenings in my life, points where I just felt this calm comer over me and knew I had reached a point where what I had done so far ha been enough, had shown others what kind of person my Dad was, Dave was, etc. I finally, felt on this important day of mine and his, this feeling of elation and satisfaction. I think it perhaps was the second best feeling I have ever felt in my life and I realized what a gift this was in itself.
Looking back, I am a little regretful I did not run that morning, but I was able to meet my PAVE group earlier thanks to the decision not to work my way back from the race, and seeing them at the end of the metro entry was also a highlight more than crossing a line and proving something to my Dad, Dave, and me. It is so funny how sometimes the best gifts are the quiet gifts that happen in the times of solitude and quiet. Yet, after a practical joke of “I thought you were supposed to meet us at 9:00 AM!” on the phone that morning from Ms. Duryea, (APRIL FOOLS!) – I smiled and realized I was beginning to like the slow down and relaxed approached to things, and take more of life in stride. It allowed me to appreciate these things I am mentioning now. The peace and relaxing I experienced while at my cousins was wonderful, and something I always took in with open arms when I was there.
On our way back from Washington D.C, I we stopped at Annapolis and were lucky enough to catch a beautiful, sun-filled day in Annapolis, and I kept thinking, it had been a long, long time since I had wanted to spend such a great day with a group of people as dynamic and valuable as Ms. Duryea, Priyanka, Thania, Ketsia Akshay Uri, and Emily. Their smiles and giving spirit was contagious, and I could not get enough of just being around them. As we neared and came into Seaford, dropped them off, I felt an ease of coming back to Seaford thanks to them.
Dropping the vans off reminded me of the countless times of beach grass planting, trips to The Cherry Blossom Festival, and so much more with the same group I was with today. Coming finally on the doorstep of my Mom’s house, it was just exciting to be back in Delaware where so much had been new when I first came, and the initial memories of where so much had been accomplished. The first night back, I sat in the parking lot of the Seaford Library (laughing) to catch the internet and turn in my due assignments before midnight for my master’s Degree. The sleep I had that night was wonderful, to have a long stretch of my adventure and trip behind me, with so many bright spots that had occurred already!
Monday April 2nd turned out to be a slowly awakening and refreshing day to let it all sink in that I was actually back in Seaford, DE! I slept in a little, then got ready, and made my way to Seaford High School, it was causing my heart to skip a little being back here since July! I joking went to my usual entrance which was the cafeteria, and slipped in the kitchen, and made my way to Gwen DiCarlo, just like old times! Her retake of seeing me was expected, and I was just in awe and loved being able to come in the door as I used to say hello. We caught up for a few minutes, and then I moved on to the main office directly from the cafeteria. I came across Mrs. Connie Halter, and it was so exciting to see her! We talked and caught up as much as possible, and I made my way back to Mrs. Cox Cannon and caught up on so much.
Before I knew it, I was getting surprised by students I remembered from last year! (Michael Wingate, Chris Michaels, “Toothpick”, Lindsay, and more!) – It was exciting to see the changes in so many students in so short a time! J After seeing Mrs Fake, Mr Dickerson, Mr Dickson, Mr Ritts, Nancy McGee, Mrs Austin-Richardson, I was starting to get into the groove again of what it was like without the stressful busy moments to enjoy everyone’s stories of what was going on in their lives. I liked it. I slipped over to the Administration Office and said hello to Mrs Craft, Mrs Fields, as well as Maria Demott, Julia Tobin, and Eryn Johnson who came over, as well as Ryan Craft! It was so nice to see everyone – I missed them more than I realized when I saw them. I then finally found my way over to the Public Library and settled down to do some work. I was able to catch up on quite a lot, and then was able to come back home and relax with a nap…..it felt good!
Around 5-ish I head back to school and ran into Nancy McGee on the way to the school – then was dropped off at the school to catch the Key Cub meeting. Seeing Jordan, Tammy Pham, Mr Cannon, everyone! – was awesome and it was great to see the planning of the Key Club again! After listening to Tayvon as well, we headed to my Mom’s and then to Grotto’s! 🙂
It was awesome seeing everyone that stopped by – it felt nice just to relax and catch up with everyone over pizza! 🙂 I missed the taste of Grotto’s in being gone! 🙂 after dropping Tayvon back home, I realized how lucky I was to have made so many great friends while in Delaware, I was truly lucky.
Sleep came so quickly due to the massive visits I had made during the day! 🙂