I parked, and sat still until the garage door was closed securely.

Kimberly is bar none one of the MOST common names in the States!

The fact anyone could have a difficult time remembering and pronouncing it is mind boggling.

Shaking off what was surely a mental OVER exaggeration, I entered the place I now call home, and went straight to the coffee pot. It is remarkably dark for early afternoon, but such is Norway in December.

My mind becomes distracted by thoughts of this horrific house.
I really do feel like I am on vacation in a bad rental.
We have not unpacked;
there is no room!
And I seriously do not wish to pay for a kitchen nor a bathroom this disgusting.
I want to complain, be upgraded, or better yet get a refund.
But It´s too late.

These first few months I have been in a surreal euphoric state of mind.
I´m not happy, but I´m not miserable either.
I am simply here, mentally wandering around aimlessly.
Lately my ora has been fluctuating towards misery. Being postpartum is NOT helping.

I remember the culture shock of relocating from Florida to Boston as a college student.
It took a good year to make piece with that decision.
What I wouldn´t give to be in Boston now!

I tell myself to give Norway a chance, but I fear a year isn´t going to make a difference.

As I begin the hypnotized motions of filling a filter with grind, something catches my eye, and warms the heart I was certain I had left  lifeless in America.

I saw a candle flicker from a kitchen window two blocks away.
A signal sent only to me.
And I respond by lighting the globe in my kitchen window.
A signal of welcomed friendship sent in the language of flame.
An announcement that I am home and putting coffee on!

Truth be known, I have no idea who lives in the house two blocks away, and it may or may not be a kitchen.

But every time that candle is lit, I pretend someone is reaching out to me. A silly game of secret signals I have been playing for sometime.

Snapped out of the coffee making trance, by the baby waking, I think to myself red wine is what I really want,
and was tempted to pour a glass.

The boys will be home from school soon, and I hear myself say out loud, `What mother sits at the kitchen table at homework time with a glass of wine?´

I pour a cup of warm brew, cursing the taste and missing Starbucks. I also pull out the cookies and milk.

The doorbell startles me. I peer through the kitchen window, but can not see who is there.
I make my way to the front door and can see through the gross 1970s gold frosted glass on the door the silhouette of a tall man, and I know instantly who is on the other side.

Simultaneously the boys enter the back door slamming it behind them and the baby starts crying.

An idiot amidst chaos, I open the front door and find the man from the gym standing in a hunched over stance holding a single red rose.

He wipes his mouth on several occasions as he stammered and stuttered his way through what he was evidently trying to tell me at the gym.

`Merry Christmas Kimberly.  You were not easy to find.´

My mentals begin sifting through the ingredients around me. I am guessing he is in his sixties, and it is becoming apparent he is a stroke victim or something…

I hear my second grader console the baby and recognized the sound of my middle son kicking his soccer ball repetitively into the wall. Something that normally drives me APESHIT, but today I am finding calm in the sound.

The visiter continues, `I have given everyone at the gym that has touched me this year a rose. And I wanted you to have one too.´

With a slightly crooked smile, he hands me the bud, turns and walks away.

Eight years later….

He is now one of my people.

A dependable and reassuring face in a yoga class.

One special someone out of MANY that contribute to making my daily routine complete and fulfilled.

A piece of the puzzle to the map guaranteed to help shorten my journey home.

Grab a coffee and catch up on the Grit Part I Horror of Reality