We finished our last shift at Cottage Hospital on the 25th, and had only a moment to let that sink in. We’d pack up our duffels that night, drop off Charley at the dog-sitter in Ventura, and catch an early morning flight back home to visit family and friends.
May is a great month. Not just because my birthday sits at the beginning, but in the northeast, it’s the first real glimpse of the promise of finer weather to come. In Arizona, May is quite the opposite. Cactus flowers have already hit their stride and are shutting their doors for the fiery summer to come. The state tree, the Palo Verde, has already beautifully bloomed and subsequently shed their horrible buds of pollen, to the detriment of everyone with a sensitive allergy profile. Sunny days are now accompanied by an ever-present haze that disrupts the clarity of the distant mountain ranges.
So it was a perfect time to head home to the northeast, to see family and to watch our friends Joe and Olivia tie the knot.
We wrapped up our contract at Chandler Medical Center, said goodbye to coworkers, now friends.
Settling down back in upstate NY in the beginning of May, Jamie and I were looking forward to a great summer. We were excited to spend time with my parents and also to get out and experience all that we could with the 3-4 short months we’d be there.
At work, we jumped through orientation and hit the floors, learning on the fly as we’re typically offered only a couple days of training. I had worked at Lourdes Hospital in the Emergency Department before going back to nursing school, so I was familiar with the facility and even ran into some old colleagues along the way.
After nearly 3 weeks on the road, we finally made it back to Massachusetts. Bijan and I had both scored travel assignments at our previous staff nurse jobs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and we were eager to get home and see our family, friends and former co-workers after nearly 9 months out west.
Our first stop once we got back into the Northeast was to visit Bijan’s parents in Binghamton. It was great to see family again, and also be able to sit on the couch with an iced coffee and watch crappy tv shows after a long non-stop road-trip. We took some walks at local parks with Charley and of course, since we had enough players again, had to squeeze in a game or two of Catan.
Arriving in Washington was exciting because we were meeting my family for a week-long vacation for the last week of May before we started working. We had rented a house on a small lake called Beaver Lake in Sammamish, WA (about 30 min drive east of Seattle) for a week of relaxing and exploring. We had some excursions planned, but most of the week we decided to just figure it out as we go.