It’s a plane, a jet, a bolt of lightening, a chicken with his tail feathers on fire, superman….no it was 2016.
What a blurr. A year so much anticipated, so longed and planned for went by like a rocket.
After having my son Reez five years ago this month fours years ago we move to one of the seven thousand one hundred and seven island of the Philippines. Eight thousand miles from my loving family and old stomping grounds. What an experience and adjustments it has been.
As I mentioned at the onset this was to be a year of milestones. As with all milestones they are anticipated, looked forward to and savored. However there is a saying ” time flys when you are having a good time” and this is exactly what happened to 2106.
First on my list of milestones would be mine and Eden’s ten year wedding anniversary celebrated on May 24. First I must regress a few months then jump forward. During the springtime in America and the summertime in the Philippines (same bat time different bat place) plans were conceived to travel home to have a long overdue visit with family. However the Philippines being what it is decided Eden and Reez could not travel outside the country with paying a hefty fine unless they processed a fifty dollar (2500 php) dual citizenship application even though Eden was born here and Reez has a Philippine passport. But that is a story for another day. Therefore our stateside trip would be delayed six weeks and I would miss the cool springtime weather I so craved.
Back tracking to our ten year anniversary. Now the plan was to have Reez stay with his sweet aunts thus giving Eden and I our first nice dinner and movie together since December 16, 2011 Reez’s birthday. Yes you read that correctly not one night out together since his birth. However there is another saying ” the well laid plans of mice and men”. Because of the aformentioned immigration debacle we could not be stateside on our tenth anniversary.
You may be wondering how did the much celebrated and anticipated anniversary get celebrated. And behind door number three…..38000 feet above the pacific ocean eating a wonderful meal provided by Korean Airlines! Yes again you read correctly. Although not gourmet and childless we did enjoy the meal as Korean Airlines food is a standard above most others and there is also a bottomless glass of wine and if I remember correctly Reez slept through the celebration meal. Maybe our twelfth will work out!
I am now assuming that the next great anticipated and planned adventure is obvious. Yes our first trip home since we changed continents three and one half years ago. In reality it was a unexpected trip and given by an angel. You know who you are…THANK YOU.
Reez was looking forward to the trip state side very much wanting to see his sisters, aunts and uncle. We both had the same sentiment and I included many foods that I missed terribly. The lack of steak, cheeseburgers and milkshakes must have stagnated my memory. Upon arriving at our local two flight per day airport down the street from from our house I discovered my incessant checking and planning has failed me. I forgot Eden’s passport. The flight was bordering in fourty-five minutes! However due to home being close, a fast trike driver and extremely slow counter personal all turned out well. The flight to Manila was a quick fourty-five minutes and Reez enjoyed the window seat.
Everything went smoothly in Manila and after a McDonald’s breakfast we were off to Incheon, Korea. Incheon is one of the most fantastic airports in the world. The two hours past quickly and we were on board and off to Seattle. Although our destination was Florida we opted to fly to Seattle for two reasons. The last leg of our trip was ten days in Seattle with Jamie, Davids and kids. In addition after a ten hour flight across the Pacific a night of sleep before flying across the states really helped with the jet lag. And an added surprise was an Ihop in the parking lot.
Upon arriving back to the room we discovered that our one of a kind, never seen another one suitcase was not ours. Now what are the chances that you own and travel with a suitcase for years, never to lay eyes on its brother and on a flight from Korea to Seattle its duplicate would not only be on your flight but be mistaken by you know who? Needless to say once the discovery was made and the trip back to the airport was accomplished the much needed match containing all my asawa’s wardrobe for the vacation was locked away unattainable until after our departing flight early the next morning. But all ends well as the airline forwarded the closet of much needed clothes within thirty-six hours.
What a wonderful reunion was had at the airport. Hugs, kisses, smiles all around. Even Woody of ” Toy Story ” fame was there much to the delight of a four year old.
Thus started a wonderful whirlwind of reunions, dinners, movies, late night visits and chats. How wonderful to reconnect with loved ones that you truly miss and appreciate. Of course woven between the fun would be much needed maintance on loved ones homes. What a pleasure I receive from performing these chores.
After many weeks it was time for another side trip to Alabama and Georgia to visit kids, grandkids and my baby brother (well not so baby anymore). How great to see my awesome grandkids. They will certainly be the most missed of all things while I am in the Philippines. I am so proud of each one of them and was amazed at their growth and maturity level after more than three years. I Love You Savannah, Leah, Tristan, Marley, Kaileb.
What a joy to see my daughters. While the miles and years always separate parents and their children they still each hold a distinct and special place in my heart. They all have their strengths and weaknesses as we all do but I am proud of them and Love them with all my heart.
Wow Savannah. We arrived driving head on into a tropical storm while the city seemed to be fleeing the opposite way. But not a problem for these Southeastern Pacific typhoon inhabitants. Wonderful hospitality was experienced from both Jim and Mari and the city of Savannah. We throughly enjoyed our time spent with family and Jackson. Reez even tackled and conquered his fear of climbing steps next to the Savannah river. Thank you Jim.
We had a great road trip returning to Florida with Reez excited to see Sally. We had turkey, piźza and fish singang. We swam, we had picnics on the lawn, we finger or body painted and visited again and again. Then like an unwanted typhoon it was time to move on. Tears and heavy hearts were had by all. Then another flight.
Our long awaited arrival back in Seattle has come. I was overjoyed to be welcomed by Jamie, David and kids. The many years apart had been hard on me as not only are they family but also Brothers and Sister serving the true God Jehovah.
The years apart had grown to seven as Alaska was along way from Alabama and families are so busy with the chores of life. But alas no more. A great time was had reconnecting and bonding. Especially for me was the pleasure of being a grand dad. Playing basketball, taking walks, cooking and eating with Bailey, Devin and Gavin. My how I love those kids.
The highlight was attending the 2016 Regional Convention with my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. How wonderful to worship together as God intended. Thank you.
Reez enjoyed Seattle to the point he did not want to leave. He really connected with Devin and Gavin. I did not want to leave either. What a wonderful time. It was obvious I did not want to leave as among the teary goodbyes the passports and ticket were left behind as we made our way to the airport. Thankfully Jamie saw the left behind gold and made a bullet run to the airport.
Alright now if you are counting …forgotten passport, wrong luggage and forgotten travel documents and tickets. Should I travel?
Our flight home was uneventful and a pleasure on Korean Airlines our preferred airline. What a pleasure to come home to a clean home…Salamat Abel and Cynthia. Even my wife’s babies survived.
The next highlight of the year appeared in my life so fast and always was unexpected. My son carrying the family name onward started school. It may only be kindergarten but this was a big deal. He was so excited and we were so anxious. Having missed the first three weeks of school due to our delayed trip stateside Reez’s teacher took him under her wing and schooled him one on one in the afternoons to catch him up with the class. I am so proud of my smart little boy in eight days he was caught up with the class. He was so excited to join his classmates in the mornings. He has done wonderful. Numerous awards have already been received and the joys of school continue.
So here we are the year has ended and it has been a blurr. The first half packed full of anticipation and successful events and the second half involving school, dodging typhoons and school. However there is one more memorable event. The U.S. government has the pleasure now of repaying the funds I have been loaning them for fourty years. Finally offical retirement!
Reez has turned five and is such a joy. We look forward to a simple year. But look out 2018!