Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cousins in Japan!

Uncle Merrill has a work conference in Kyoto next week.  When we learned that he would likely be coming to Japan, Mike had the great idea to ask him to bring Miles and Annabelle along.  They arrived yesterday, and our boys our having a fabulous time with their cousins!

Temps were only in the mid 70s this morning, but the die-hard swimming kids wanted to go to the pool anyway.  Bear looks like one of those cartoons where the character runs off a cliff and hangs in mid-air  before dropping.

They all actually swam for quite awhile.

A little exploring in the bamboo forest.

Our favorite nearby park...

...with the awesome kids adventure forest!

And the awesome super slide.

Miles was catching some major air on a couple of his runs!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I was reading over the post I wrote several weeks ago about all the nostalgia and memories from my past.  It occurred to me, and I thought it was interesting, that of all the things I talked about missing, the many wonderful people I have been privileged to know and friends that I have made were not what came to mind when I looked back on those years.  I lived in the same house from age 3 until 18 years old.  When I was 18 I left for college and never returned to live at home for any extended period of time again.  All of my adult life has been rather transient.  Of course, that is to be expected throughout the university years, but I did anticipate that once Mike and I were both graduated and settled into a job that our lives would become more stable.  Not so.  In Peoria, people came, and people left.  We made friends, enjoyed a few years together, and then said goodbye as they moved on for various reasons.  There are certainly some exceptions, but as I think about the people that I would like to see in Peoria this summer, I realize that many of the friends I made there are no longer there.  (And, July is a bad time to go b/c many of the friends that are still there will be on vacation!)

And so, I'm psychoanalyzing myself.  I think that I have built up a bit of a wall.  It's hard to always be saying goodbye.  Maybe it is easier to just not bother missing people at all.

Then it was our turn to leave (although we expect to be back eventually!).  And we moved to yet another extremely transient environment.  The expat community is certainly about as far from stable as you can get.  We knew this coming in, but this summer is the first wave of goodbyes I have had to say, and it is no fun!

Tonight we said goodbye to the Bowman's.  They have truly been our family here in Japan for the last year.  It was one of those wonderful friendships that spreads through the whole family - parents and kids both.  I really will always think of them as family, and we will miss them terribly.  There were certainly some tears shed tonight!

Sayonara, our friends!  Until we meet again!

I feel like this has been a somewhat depressing post, and I really didn't mean for it to be.  It is hard to say goodbye, but I also feel so blessed by all the people I have gotten to know wherever we have lived.  It's the same blessing and difficulty that I mentioned about places.  You leave pieces of your heart wherever you go, and you leave pieces of your heart with all the people you meet.  I never expected my life to unfold as it has so far, but I wouldn't change it.

More Sayonaras: 

Neighborhood sayonara party for the two ladies sitting on the couch with me.

Sayonara to the Kansai Branch as we have known it.  
Our two biggest families are leaving in the next month!

Sayonara to third grade!

Enough of the sayonaras.  As a fellow expat said on facebook today, we'll say instead, "Ja mata!'  Until  next time!