However, despite the distinctively European essence, the rest of the scene—the emerald green of the grass, the rolling hills, the yellow wheat fields, the deep rich earth of the waiting ground, even the little churches—looked so much like the landscape of Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri, as we had crossed the United States to move our daughter back from Virginia.
Then I’d marveled at the numerous greens of the vegetation, at the variations of color in the soil, the white steeples poking up in the middle of a small town. The countryside passed by us as we drove the interstate, the toll roads, and a few curving back roads in four long days—Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. We packed my daughter’s possessions into my Rav 4 and my daughter’s Civic over the next two days, and then returned—Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. Ten days. Although I am a voracious reader, I spent those days staring out the window, taking photos of the striking landscape.
Six weeks later, the whole family was in Spain, visiting the area of my husband’s LDS mission—another pilgrimage for him after 40 years! Besides many of the tourist-y destinations in northwest Spain, places he’d always wanted to see, we revisited cities where he’d served and places he’d toured on Preparation-days, even met with people he had known. I was the only one in the family who didn’t speak the language, as my daughter and son also served Spanish-speaking missions. But language wasn’t a huge problem. People are caring. And kind gestures and smiles go a long way.
How beautiful that, in visiting another part of the world, we discovered we are more alike than we are different!