Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seattle, January 27, 2008

What’s it like to be back home for two months? It’s like traveling…there are a lot of adjustments to make. Our new mother-in-law apartment in the bottom floor of our house is working out nicely, especially after we completed some of the finishing touches that we didn’t get to in June. There are some consequences to radical downsizing. For example, life in the suburbs with one car. Looking for something and not finding it, or finally remembering that you got rid of it. The high prices and rampant consumerism are a shock. Relearning how to multitask is interesting. The weather in Seattle in January is awful. On the other hand, we are enjoying seeing family and friends, keeping up with the presidential race, abundant plumbing and hot water, a break from 24/7 life together and small doses of American culture. “Home is where we are” is our mantra; life is very portable right now.
The biggest thrill has been meeting, holding, and cooing at our grandson, Quinn. He turned on the smiles and along with Kim and Ruben made a week in Maine fly by. It snowed a lot but we didn’t need to go anywhere until we flew off to Bradenton, Florida to visit Ellen’s mother and dog Chip. The dog was excited to see us but it was clear that he has a new life, a new mistress and loves the Florida sunshine (as did we). At 94, Tom’s mother made the move to assisted living this year and we are helping his niece Coleen with care giving as much as we can while we are here in person.
Eve and Amy are both in Seattle. Amy has moved to an apartment just a few blocks from Eve. Eve is still working for a commercial real estate company where she is getting a lot of great work experience and opportunity. Amy has cobbled together two internships and a part-time café job while she decides when to start law school at University of Washington.
In summary, being back in the US is great. But we look forward to returning to New Zealand on February 5 after we complete a flurry of shopping for the boat and a mound of other business. We expect to stay in New Zealand until May or June, doing work on the boat and travelling around the county by car and then head back to the tropics with Rasa Manis. Next trip back home is tentatively set for August.