Wednesday, August 29, 2007


As Marvin Gaye's voice crooned through my head phones, I closed my eyes and all of the sudden I was in a different place. "Mother, mother. There's too many of you crying . .." It was the happiest day of my life; I was dancing with my mom and as I glanced over at my beautiful bride, all I could think was, I am truly a lucky man. I opened my eyes and stared at the cracks my ceiling, stuck back in a reality I couldn't drag myself out of for more than a couple minutes at a time.

That song, which I hadn't listened to for a long time, really got me thinking though. It got me thinking about all of the things back home I missed; all the people back home that have showered me with support and care packages and have really shown how much they care about me; and that despite being where I am, I am a truly lucky man.

After returning from Afghanistan, I didn't think there was anything I would take for granted anymore. I think my favorite thing when I got back last time was a couch and a TV and the ability to take a long shower. However, I've once again realized that I did indeed take things for granted. So, I decided that this blog entry would be a good opportunity to write about all the simple things I didn't even think about, that I now miss more than I thought would be possible.

I miss rainy days. Seriously. I haven't seen a raindrop in over 4 months. I miss the air before a big rainstorm; the way the rain seems to cleanse everything as it cascades down from the sky; the feel of it under you feet when you walk barefoot through the grass.

I miss my family. This seems obvious, but its what I miss about them that I took for granted. I miss going to my parents and just being immersed in total chaos of dogs, teenagers, and loud bantering back and forth between my siblings and parents. I miss the smell of my dad's cooking; garlic and onion and oil and anything that soaks in it. I miss my brothers and sisters, and wish I spent more time hanging out with them, because there is alot I know about them but even more I don't. I miss the talks I had with my parents, and the advice they continue to give me even though I already know everything. Almost as much, I miss the talks we didn't have because I knew that if I really needed them, they were just a short car ride away.

I miss sleeping in on Saturdays, and then getting up to do small chores around the house which usually ended in me and Rache laying on the couch watching nothing (aka the Hills or Real World). I miss the nights we could just walk over to our neighbors and play a board game and drink some weird beer I made, or just sit there and shoot the bull with them.

I miss driving at a semi-normal speed down a highway. I miss my car, the one with doors that dont weight 100 lbs because of all the armor.

I miss Chester licking my face profusely for no reason at all. I miss playing ball with him for hours and being as entertained as he is.

I miss running outside and breathing in clean air. I miss Pennsylvania! The fall is coming, and its always the best time of year because the trees turn from green to red and gold before coating the ground. I even miss raking the leaves on Thanksgiving with my Dad!

I miss tap water! It so nice being able to go to a faucet, pour a glass of water and then pound it. I miss WaWa and the convenience of being able to walk into a store and get basically anything I need.

I miss walking barefoot into my own shower and walking barefoot out of it to get changed. I miss feeling clean for longer than 5 minutes. I miss my clothes at home and the choices I had (even though I tend to wear the same thing often - I still had a choice about it!)

Last, but certainly not least, I miss Rachael. Another obvious thing, but its the not so obvious things I really miss. Her smile when she saw me for the first time for the day, and her hug when we got home from work; the conversations we had at dinner every night; her thoughtfulness when she went food shopping and always picked up my favorite things without even asking; her curly hair choking me when we layed on the couch watching TV; her loud, goofy laugh when she found something surprisingly funny; her insecurities about the things she can do absolutely, hands down better than anyone (like lax); and just the overall sense of peace I always feel when I am around her, like everything is ok.

Alright, so this post was sort of mushy, but it does surprise me in regards to the little things that make a big difference. It's also not nearly a complete list, and every now and then I will try and update when something new surprises me.

BONUS! Health and safety tip of the day: When driving up to an American checkpoint in Iraq, make sure you can be clearly identified as an American or friendly force. Just trust me on this one.


Anonymous said...

Jason, get a few more hours of sleep and lift several repetitions of some light weights.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/30/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

BrianFH said...

Try a checklist with costs; say, "OK, you have $X. Here's the things you say you want, and they total $2X. Choose."