July 13, 2010

...a little bit of sunshine...

Yesterday I had a farewell with one of my classes.  I wrote them a goodbye letter.  I told them wise things.  One such thing was: "Never forget to smile.  If you smile, you'll be happy."  Only a slight improvement upon my proclaiming to a graduating class "Your future's so bright I have to wear shades!"  after my sunglasses had slipped from my head to the bridge of my nose during my farewell speech.  {I must remember to stop wearing my sunglasses on my head...}

Today is a day full of business and busyness, there isn't much space for nostalgia and nonsensical advice.  It's okay though, because it is the kind of list crossing busyness that makes me happy to be moving on.  In a little less than two weeks we will be back on our home turf and busy wrangling all of our worldly goods from D.C. to N.C. then briefly back to D.C. on our way to C.O. and then slowly back to N.C. again.  Do I know our final destination?  No.  It wouldn't be much of a journey if I knew where we will call home for the next little bit.

I do know a couple of things though.  We're ready to head home.  We're really glad we've been here and achieved more than we set out to achieve.  I am dreading the jetlag.  I am also dreading the engorged ankles that seem to plague me when I fly.  I have been practicing my circulation exercises.  My chosen outfit of for the exodus will involve old lady hose for aforementioned circulation concerns.  I know you feel better about the flight now that I have confirmed that I will be rockin' the support hose.  Well, I know I do.  I am sure Phil will be sad to be deprived of poking and mocking my elephantine ankles, but he will survive.  Some how.

I also know that I have fallen in love with listening to my mom's ideas all over again.  A few months ago she suggested that I call PODS and see about moving with them, instead of once more pretending to be a long haul trucker.  When I first called the initial estimate was well above our moving budget.  I was resigned and began breaking in my trucker hat.  I was pricing truck rentals today and on a whim I decided to update our PODS estimate.  I was rather pleased that their service reps are available until 11pm EST.  So, I called.  The first time I dialed I got some random GRE line.  The second time I called it rang through.  I tried a final time and discovered that not only do you lose nothing by trying, sometimes you win big.  Apparently fuel costs have dropped significantly and so did the estimate.  Not quite low enough for my liking, but enough that I felt bold enough to say what my hard limit was.  The representative put me on hold and I listened to some muzak.  I miss American hold music.  Japanese hold music is horrible in comparison.  The guy came back on the line and said: "Tell me 'you're the man'."  I was confused and said "I'M THE MAN!"  He meant that HE was the man.  We laughed.  Then he told me that PODS would in fact be moving all of our things for us.  Wowzers, they came under our hard and fast line.  That guy, whose name I neglected to catch, is in fact THE MAN.

It appears that the rain has finally taken a break here.  This is good, as our creek has turned into a bit of a white water slalom course.  I am going to use this sunshine to pack a couple of suitcases and continue crossing items off the list.

p.s. - All photos were taken on a long and winding drive over the river and through the woods, or, more accurately, on a drive across the base of the Yatsugatake range from Nagano prefecture to Yamanashi, a prefecture that has a sister-state relationship with Iowa.  The relationship between Iowa and Yamanashi started with a couple of pigs after World War II.  It's an endearing story of farmers helping farmers rebuild.  It makes me like Iowa even more than I already did.

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