Tuesday, September 23, 2008


As I get closer to my departure date, I get more excited and more apprehensive. I just spent some time getting my pictures uploaded to my external hard drive so I can transport them home. I also transferred Dad's pictures. The last he took with his camera of us. I can't believe all that has happened in 6 months. I can't believe he'll be gone 3 months as of this weekend. How did that happen? How is it possible? I miss him so much.

I think it's really going to hit me when I leave all over again. Leaving this house, leaving the state. Leaving things behind.

When my sister picked me up at the airport in March, it was weird. Dad always picked me up. Him and the dog. And sometimes Mom. The dog died last October so this summer would have been our first visit without him around. I suppose my Mom would have gotten to ride along. But it was always Dad waiting for me at the end of the hallway. And always him who dropped me off when I left. The one and only time he ever dropped me off without waiting was the one time my flight was delayed by hours. Back before the advent of cell phone. But this time my sister will drop me off too. A new era.

I'm not really sure what I believe about the afterlife. I don't really believe that nothing happens when we die. I want to believe there is something. I don't know that I buy into the whole choir of angels and pearly gates. But I think that if there is an afterlife, that Dad, and the dog, will be there waiting for me. When I finish that longest of journeys, he will be there at the end of the hallway, waiting for me. And when I see his face, I will know that I am home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


You know how some people seem to completely lack a filter between their brain and their mouth? I'm very fortunate that my filter seems to be working overtime when I need it most. In the last few months it has saved me from two potentially disastrous situations.

Situation one:
I am telling friends about these great Japanese rice crackers that the hubby and I came to love overseas. We had been unable to find them and then I spotted them in a specialty grocery store shortly before we both left home. They are addictive- teriyaki flavored crackers with a sweet dribble glaze on top. And just before I say, "They put the "crack" in cracker", my filter kicks in and I remember one of these friends is, in fact, fighting against drug addiction. I manage to stop myself just in time and shift gears.

Situation two:
I am talking with an old coworker who I have not seen in some time. He asks about my husband and I explain how he is deployed and how tedious it becomes and how anxious he is to get home. I start to compare his deployed situation to "being in prison" but before the words exit my mouth I remember that this particular friend has done time. Actual prison time that we have never discussed. And I manage to stop myself before I embarrass the both of us.

I am living in fear of the day my filter craps out on me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Closing Time

It is time to go home. The family drama level is beginning to swirl dangerously high to my shore. I do not with to be involved. At all. I am Switzerland. I am Switzerland with my fingers in my ears, humming a happy tune. This may seem juvenille but it's mostly self defense. I have learned over time that becoming embroiled in the drama of others is a futile and frustrating exercise. I've alwasy been pretty good at staying out of drama in my workplace nad my friendships. But it is far harder when it comes to family. I've improved slowly over time. When the drama was mine, I tried very hard not to draw others into it. I didn't want people to chose sides or damage relationships. Living here, I'm rather dropped right in the middle of things.

The Reader's Digest versions are: my sisters haven't spoken to each other since the funeral; my older sister's family was basically three hours late for her birthday cake at Mom's house and while they were here, her husband made an unfortunate comment that really upset my Mom. Now Mom doesn't want to speak to him and, although he hasn't called yet, she keeps making me answer the phone.

When I gave my husband the brief overview, his reaction was, "Sounds like it's time to go home." I'm morphing into him more each day. I'm really starting to look forward to my nice, quiet house on the far coast.