Monthly Archives: June 2014
I’ve been busy, but not busy enough to keep me from trolling through all the Facebook pages. One of the things I’m looking forward to is NOT being addicted to Facebook updates. You see this is my Abu Dhabi lifeline right now. It’s how I get my “what’s it like over there” fix, but like all addictions it provides more wasted time than highs. Whew! luckily it’s not an addiction that actually costs me money, or damages my health (my sanity, on the other hand, might be in question).
There are A LOT of “buy my stuff” posts going up right now — from those of us who are leaving our countries and those who are returning to their countries. It’s one big virtual yard sale mayhem. Every now and then I’ll see something from Abu Dhabi posted, and I’m like nooooo don’t sell that yet. I want it. Can’t you wait until I get there.
Meanwhile, I’m throwing out stuff I’ve had for years and done nothing with. Sooooo, the irony here is that I’m paring down what I have (and realizing how much money I’ve wasted on crap throughout the years) while fantasizing about buying more junk —- just in another country. How effed up is that?
And, I’m one of the lucky ones. I only have to get rid of extra clothing. So many of my counterparts are having to get rid of furniture, appliances, THEIR HOMES. I can’t even imagine how stressed and exhausted I’d be if I was also selling my house. I am soooooo, soooooo, soooooo glad we decided not to sell. It’s bad enough to have given up the security of my job, and the insurance that goes with it (although I am on the sub list, so money will come in if I don’t get shipped out in early August like I’m hoping). I’d be totally whackadoodle if I also had to move to another place until moving to the UAE.
I’m also lucky that because I don’t have that extra “get rid of house” stress that I have more time to enjoy the things I love the most. I’ve been doing a lot of hiking, reading, hanging out with friends and family, lounging with my pets, and floating in the pool. This is probably the most laid-back summer I have ever had, and I’m so grateful to be having it!
Of course that will all change in about six weeks. Since I was hired in February, I’m hoping to be in the first batch of teachers sent over. Hoping doesn’t mean that’s what will happen, but for now it’s what I’ve got.
Oh, and I’ve also been doing a little bit of writing. Nothing to brag about, but my hikes (and I do sooooo love them, although I skipped hiking this morning) sparked two blogs in one day. One is about the hikes themselves, and the other is about how the death of a fellow hiker keeps reminding me of what’s important.
Here’s my Teach UAE clip (with photos): http://teachuae.com/dirt-beneath-feet/
And here’s my StoryShare post (hahaha with some of the same photos): http://storyshare.org/bits-grounds-us/
The thing about going back ‘home’ for a visit is that your senses surprise you with scents, sights and sounds you didn’t even know you missed. Who knew I longed for the smell of wet azaleas? Even better: I got all giddy when we drove past the Ladysmith exit on I-95, which leads to the community where I bought my first house. It’s been eight years since I’ve visited Virginia, and to be honest I’ve had no real desire to go back. It’s not that I don’t love my family and friends, or that I don’t notice the beauty the state holds. It’s just that I like using vacation time and money to go to new places. I’ve also moved a lot, so it’s just a few dots on the map of all my former homes.
Now, that I’m moving overseas I felt it was time to go for a visit (plus my daughter really wanted to visit with her father). Richmond and Fredericksburg changed a lot while I was gone — all for the better. Restaurants and breweries are popping up all over the place. I don’t know why they didn’t figure out that this was a mecca for beer sooner. Everyone I know there loves beer … hello?! Southern Virginia where some of my family lives didn’t feel all that different, but I only spent a few hours driving from Chester to Colonial Heights to Prince George. Can’t say much about the actual towns, but, when you go into the gas station near where my mother lives it still could be the backdrop for any episode of Swamp People, Duck Hunters or Honey Boo Boo. I’m being unfair because there are also some lovely estates in Prince George. My mother, a German with the accent to prove it, also does not fit the gas-station stereotypes, and she too gasses up there. So it’s all good.
Time flew by because we pretty much went from one house to the next, but I’m so glad we did. It’s sad that we don’t always realize what a good life we’re having until we go back after years of being away. I am soooo lucky to have had the chance to live and grow there, and I cannot wait for my old friends to come visit me in my new home, or online where we chat anyway. I’ll try my best to post as much of my new home, so they can feel like they’re there with me.
As for Abu Dhabi, the terminal we flew out of just happened to house Etihad, Emirates, and Turkish Air, some of the airlines my new employer uses to fly us on over. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe Dulles Airport will be where my layover is, so that I can have one more whiff of Virginia before I go — and one more beer with my buddies! Look how cute they all are…
The last two pics almost define summer (add lake or river water and you have trifecta) for me: fire pits (in Arizona we do this in the winter time) and crab cracking. I hate the mess, but yum yum! Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful time! I miss and love you all!