Counting Backwards

Time is speeding up.

Have you every noticed how that happens when something good is coming to an end?  Just when you’re in the midst of a wonderful experience, it’s over.  It’s like when you’re three-quarters into a good book and you can’t put the book down, reading faster and faster to find out what happens and, at the same time, wanting to slow your reading knowing that each time you turn a page you are closer and closer to the end.  That’s how I felt at the end of the 7th Harry Potter book.  I couldn’t set the thing down but I knew once I finished, that was it.  No more Harry.

In a few months, No more Paris.

At least not this way.  Not this experience.  Not the five of us.  Here.  On our adventure.  Something we’ve wanted to do for so long.  And now it’s almost over.

The clock has been moving quickly all year, clicking off the days and the weeks and the months making us feel like September was just yesterday.  Which is was.

But the clock sped up on Monday as I hit the Purchase button for our airline tickets home.

We’ve had to talk about the logistics of it all because it’s a reality.  But it’s not a subject any of us have joyfully embraced.  Not yet, anyway.  We have started to think more about what we can’t wait for.  Go Lean Crunch with skim milk.  My All-Clad cookware.  A knife that actually cuts through something.  A yard.  Our bicycles.  Silly things.

But we haven’t yet started talking about what we’ll miss.  Because I think that’s when we’ll have to start counting backwards.  How many more days of walking on our bridge.  How many more Passy Passion baguettes?  How many more stops to Al Taglio pizza?  How many more times to sing a closing hymn at the Cathedral?

I asked Tom how he was feeling a few weeks ago and he answered, “Lost”.

I don’t blame him.  This has always been the big adventure we could sit around and dream about.  What is the next one?  Do we need a next one?  Can’t regular life be an adventure in-and-of itself?  Of course it can.  And it is.  Every day.  But we will need to time to process that and bring ourselves back to that new reality.

Until then, we have life to live.  And our next few months include a family trip, a boys’ only trip, a week-long class trip, backstage passes to a hard-to-get concert, a romantic getaway, a church youth retreat.  And that’s just the big stuff.  We also have weekends like this one:  two blank days ahead of us with sunshine already coming through the window.  We hope the weekend includes the market, a run, the Notre Dame Bell Tower, Berthillon ice cream, a trip to a park and a hardly known Monet museum right down the street.  Stay tuned.

Because it’s not over yet.



Categories: Kelley's Kilometers | 8 Comments

Post navigation

8 thoughts on “Counting Backwards

  1. Mary

    I will be lost when your adventure is over!! What a joy it has been to live it vicariously through your amazing writing. THANK YOU for bringing us along on your adventure.

  2. Colleen Hartman

    Now you’re making ME cry. We will be only a hundred miles or so from you and no more educational blogs about what you did on the weekend…. or during the week…. to keep us all connected. There must be a good alternative. Let’s figure it out! Hugs

  3. Midori

    Just remember, it will always be there. You can always go back. Maybe not next year or the year after, but it will be there when you do go back. You have had an incredible experience that we have been so fortunate to hear about. I think your focus should really be how you are going to take care of us when there’s no more Paris to hear about. Kind of reminds me of the adage, “Always leave on a high note.”

  4. Karen Hoffmeier

    We have loved every minute of your adventure……starting when you told us you were going to be gone for a year. We are so very grateful that we have been able to share some of the experiences with you. Continue to enjoy every day.

  5. Linda

    Hi Engles,

    Focus on living in the moment which you can all good do. Cherish the time with your family and new friends. The memories will last a lifetime. I doubt you will have any regrets. Keep on enjoying the sunshine, long walks, and amazing vantage points.

  6. Again, you touch a chord…wrapping up our sabbatical was both excillerating b/c we had the ’round the world’ bit of our trip yet to look forward to, and sad b/c it meant our time was coming to an end. It was amazing to be home finally. There were things like readily accessible free internet, Doritos, and real Mexican food that were great to be home to (not to mention my Big Green Egg). And I think it was about 9 months before we really got back to ‘normal’…but then the questions about when, how and where the next adventure would be started. We’ve been home about 2 years now and I don’t think a day passes where the thought of when and how we can do our next “big trip” doesn’t occur to at least one of us.

    A trip like this is life changing…I’m sure you see some of it now, particularly in the kids…but wait until you’re home. Your kids and their approach to life and their view on the world as a whole will set them apart. You’ve changed them forever, for the better…and for the world’s betterment.

  7. Julie Haberkorn

    That was quite profound. I think the experience has already changed your family in a remarkable way and it will be wonderful for all of you to discover all the ways it has, once you are home and back to your former life. You have had such an amazing experience and have documented it so very well that is will last forever.

  8. Megan

    Fun to think how life can take us around a circle, or sometimes along a path. We can go back around and retrace a favorite or experience, or we can go forward onto something new. Both await for you!

We love hearing from you! Give us a shout or a "like" if this post made you smile.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: