Tuesday, June 3

It's good to be back

It is so good to be back amongst family after many years of being away. After only fifteen hours from walking out of our house in Guayaquil, we sat down with all our family in Seguin, Texas for a delicious Sunday lunch of some of our favorites: brisket, potato salad, baked beans, rolls, cake and ice cream. Then sat around all afternoon getting caught up on on everyone while sipping Dr. Pepper's and munching on all kinds of other good snack foods we have missed.

Bright and early on Monday morning we all got in the car for our first trip to Walmart. I made sure I had my Visa card, and my dad made sure I understood that we were now back in the land where STOP signs mean that you have to literally "stop!" Five minutes into our Walmart shopping experience both my wife and myself went into panic attacks. It is just too overwhelming. There is too much to choose from! The first thing on my list was to find something for my stomach indigestion from the previous day's overeating. I was not prepared to have to choose between 40 different products! Of course I had to read each one and compare prices, and what each did. I was so confused, I gave up and walked away from the drug area empty handed and frustrated, only to become more frustrated at trying to pick out a new pair of jeans. I didn't realize you have to choose between "relaxed-fit", "regular", "slim", "faded", "pre-washed", "variable-stretch" --all I wanted was a pair of jeans! Then there was under wear. I won't go into detail there. But I found out there are all kinds of different under wear to choose from also.

We had agreed beforehand that we would not venture over into the food area so as not to be tempted beyond that which we were able to bear. However, I could not resist a "peek" and slipped over into the food area to see if there were any cherries. Sure enough there were an abundance of big, juicy cherries. I quickly grabbed the biggest bag I could find and headed back over to the clothes area where I was supposed to be. At checkout time I was shocked beyond belief to find out that bag of cherries cost $10! My wife rightfully let me have it on that one, not to mention the chips, salsa, SunKist Oranges, Mountain Dews, and some more Dr. Peppers I also picked up while on the "wrong side of the store".

After three hours of walking those long aisles, we were both mentally and emotionally exhausted, and had to go recuperate at a DQ where we had Hunger Busters, fries and Root Beer. That seemed to calm us sufficiently to enable us to complete a second run and complete our buys for the day. We came back to my parents house having spent several hundred dollars on I don't know what, but it sure was a fun day!


Brian said...

I know what you mean. We are used to some choices here in New Zealand but we spent 3 weeks in USA last year and got to the point were we wanted something to be simple. Sometimes all those choices were exhausting. Particularly when you have to have them explained to you. It often turned fast food into "not so fast" food. Could lead to some amusing times though - can you imagine me with a New Zealand accent trying to order from a Mexican with a very pronounced accent - neither of us could understand each other. But some how we managed to end up with what we wanted.
Praying that you do have some real relaxing, refreshing times.

Nigel said...

Yep, all that choice can be overwhelming. Enjoy your time stateside and hava a dr pepper for me (can get them here but at $1.50 a can I don't get them that often).

Deb Burton said...

Oh, the things we take for granted here in the States! 150 TV channels and nothing to watch? Fourteen fast food places in a 5 block radius, and we can't decide what we want? Thanks for a humorous reminder that, 1) we live in a land of plenty, 2) we probably need to work harder at simplifying things. Enjoy your family time to the fullest!

GuyMuse said...

Brian, Nigel and Deb,

It is good to hear we are not alone in our frustration and others like yourselves have gone through the same.

Brian, I :) at you trying to explain in your NZ accent at a Mexican restaurant, that must have been pretty entertaining!

Nigel, DP was invented in Texas, so they are abundantly found everywhere in the state!

Deb, I haven't even had the courage yet to tackle the satellite TV that my parents have. It is too intimidating with all the channels. So far we have stuck with ABC, NBC, and CBS and FOX News. Maybe we'll venture out into some of the other channels in the days to come!

Gary Snowden said...

How well I remember a similar experience of walking into a Walmart for the first time after being in Argentina for 4 years on our first term. The one that got me was the cereal aisle. We had the choice of Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies in Argentina, and an entire aisle of breakfast cereals made me literally dizzy. My head was swimming and I too felt a bit of an anxiety attack coming on--something I never experience.

Have fun getting settled in and enjoy the DP. I've acquired a taste for Diet DP as my soft drink of choice.

GuyMuse said...


We've made a couple of more trips to Walmart since writing and have come up with a better strategy of going in for specific items (eg. shoes) which seems to be working better for us, not to mention saving us bundles of money. Are you going to the SBC?

Gary Snowden said...


I won't be attending. I've actually only be to one SBC annual meeting--Keith Parks' last address to the convention. The response by the SBC leadership on the platform to his questioning of where we would be toward fulfilling Bold Mission Thrust if we hadn't become embroiled in the infighting and controversy was painful to behold. Dozens got up and walked out in the middle of his report. I haven't had much of a desire to return to an SBC gathering since.

I do pray you'll have an enjoyable time and be able to make connections with some fellow bloggers. Saludos y un abrazo fuerte para Linda y los chicos.

Gary Snowden said...

Oops! Make that I've actually only "been" to one SBC gathering. My fingers don't always keep up with my brain, or vice versa.

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Guy,

Looking forward to meeting you in Indy. I will look for you at the IMB booth.

If we have time I would love to share a Dr. Pepper with you.


Stan Stepleton said...

Thanks for the story and blessings on your time in the States with the churches. Reminds me of the time we were just back in the States for furlough (the old terminology,yes) and the sweet waitress at Cracker Barrel asked me if I wanted corn bread or biscuits? I started to cry. My wife explained everything to her and she brought me BOTH. It was a joyous day. Grace and peace, Stan

GuyMuse said...

Tim and Stan,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is good to be back. We have enjoyed every day so far. Ate Mexican today for lunch (contrary to what most people think, people do NOT eat Mexican in Ecuador, they eat Ecuadorian--which is quite different food.) Tim, I look forward to meeting you in Indy next week!