Several of you have wanted to follow our adventures on our first furlough. I think it has to do with your insatiable appetite for reality TV shows. At first I thought... wow, that would be totally boring. But then I thought... you know, there are reality TV shows about everything from people losing weight to big families to people who have messy homes.
So, I guess following a missionary family around while they are on furlough would fit right in. Our house isn't overrun with clutter, but while traveling sometimes our van looks like a science experiment. We don't have a huge family, but when you try putting a family of five in a small hotel room our family certainly feels large. And losing weight? Let's just say furlough is a beast that few missionaries tackle successfully on the scale. But we are sure going to give it a try!
Welcome back to America!
Me: The shirt is a little big.
Gabe, my 9 yo son: (Disappointed) Aww... Well... We can have it sewn down.
Me: Gabe, we are in America. I can walk over there and grab the right size.
Gabe: Really? Great!
Me: Yes, and you can even walk right over there and fill up your cup as many times as you want.
Gabe: (shocked) As much as I want?!!
Cashier: Do you have a rewards account with us?
Me: Um... I don't know.
Cashier: Would you like to sign up for an account?
Me: I don't think so, but I don't know. (All these decisions were stressing me out... I just want to pay for my stuff! By now, I am dripping with reverse culture shock sweat.)
Cashier: Well then your total is $....
Me: If I had an account already, what would it be listed under?
Cashier: Your phone number.
Me: I think my number was .....
Cashier: (Types in number) is your name Charity?
Me: (huge sigh of relief) That's me!
Cashier: (obviously suspicious of me and how weird I am acting) You have reward points and saved $5.
Me: Well, that's great!
Cashier: Your new total is $....
Me: (staring blankly at the card reader) Um... I have no idea how to use this.
Cashier: (slight pause... now convinced I am a nut job) Well, you stick your card in there and it tells you everything you need to do.
Me: That sounds easy enough. I hope I remember what my PIN number was!