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The first thing I do when I get home from work every day is go in and take my shoes and socks off.  It doesn’t matter how great my day has been (and today was actually pretty good, especially for a Monday), it becomes about a million times more amazing when I can wiggle my toes properly.  Today, after I freed my poor feet from almost eleven hours in socks, I went back out to the kitchen, where my mother-in-law, grinning, waved a big brown envelope at me and said “Somebody’s got mail!”

It was, of course, a Deutsche Post envelope, with a big blue Priority sticker pasted on the front at a jaunty angle.  There’s a clear window in the front, but my name and address are written in blue ink next to the window, because what my fiancé sent is only taking up about half of the envelope.  Anything he could have written my address on and put inside the envelope would’ve slid out of place by now, and it would be sitting in a lonely sorting facility someplace over the 4500+ miles separating us.

Contents: four postcards (two for his parents, and two for me) and 18 lei (worth about $5.55 US right now).  Romanian banknotes are weird.  It looks like paper money at first, but then you notice it’s shiny and feels like plastic, because Romania uses polymer to make their bills.  There’s a clear, embossed shape just off to the side of the center of each bill symbolizing what the person pictured on the bill was known for.  On the 5 lei bill Dallas sent, for example, there’s a music note, because the man on the 10 lei bill is the Romanian composer George Enescu.

The postcards are pictures of Jena in the fog and the Fox Tower surrounded by fall colors.  Beautiful!  But not as lovely as the sweet notes Dallas wrote on the back for me.   The one of the Fox Tower made me a little homesick–Dallas is just north of the 50th parallel, roughly in line with places like Vancouver, so it’s already been fall there for a while.  Me?  In the South, where I talk about apple cider and pumpkin everything and people look at me like I’ve lost my mind.  (Side note: my mother-in-law said she isn’t sure she’s ever eaten pumpkin.  WHAAAAAAAAT?!)  I even packed up my shorts the other day, because, you know, it’s almost Halloween, and my in-laws told me they hoped I didn’t put them too far out of reach because I may need them on Christmas.  Horrified, y’all.  Though wearing shorts would certainly beat shoveling snow on Christmas morning.

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