Saturday, September 27, 2008

Preparing for Lift-Off

I'm sitting on my floor, with my laptop on a plastic storage box, with my possessions in two suitcases, a carry-on, a duffle bag, and two plastic boxes. My computer desk goes this morning to its new owner and my bed disappears tomorrow night.

Every day my apartment becomes a little larger and a little cleaner and a little more foreign to me. The memories of the good times and the growing older-- if not up-- that has taken place in this vanilla box are now packed away inside me and inside things that will be left behind.

This is a familiar state for me to be in now but the first time I went through it is still carved into my memory. "Don't forget to breathe," an acquaintance advised me at one point in the departure process, "It's like childbirth, but it lasts longer."

For me, who could have happily given birth in any nearby potato field, it was infinitely worse than childbirth. Each time I do this, it becomes a shorter period of hyperventilation, but the question remains. Why was I inflicted with the DNA that caused my ancestors to leave England in the early 1600s, Ireland during the Potato Famine, and most recently, my teenage grandfather to accompany his older brothers on a ship that took him from Germany to America?

I like to think that I am simply preparing a new home for my family to come to, just as my forbears did--and with the current political and economic climate, this may not be a fantasy. Who knows? A tiny Alaskan colony may soon be established in Bangkok, in flight from Sarah Palin and the victory of the Religious Right. (A girl can dream, can't she?)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And the Beat Goes On

My friend Kim Fay quotes Confucius on her website with his sage words that a journey begins with a single step. For me a journey begins with a single list, and each checked-off item brings me closer to my departure.

Ticket purchased--check
Cat to the vet--check
Visa obtained--check
Go to Alaska to say goodbye to family and leave cat--well not yet

This is not an easy step for the cat or for me. He's been my comrade and distraction and occasionally a comforter ever since he entered my life in 2002. His major flaw is he does not travel well which is why today he faces a four hour plane ride as opposed to one that is over four times that length.

I know he'll eventually be happy--and so will I--but today we will both end up temporarily hating each other--just as it is in any good relationship. Please wish us luck...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Reasons That Make My Move Difficult

With hair or without, these two men are the people I love best in the world.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Better than Prozac

There is absolutely no mood elevator so effective as an airline confirmation code, and three of them is even better! In the three weeks I have left in the states, I have three air tickets--one to Oregon to plead for my visa, one to Alaska to give my cat to my mother, and the final one to Bangkok at last!

Every time I've gone to the airport in the past two years, I've cast longing glances at the EVA ticket counter, wishing I were in line there to board a plane to Asia. Now at eleven p.m. on the last day of September that wish comes true.

The only thing that would make me happier would be if my two sons were in line with me, but I take consolation in knowing that I'll be back to see them in the summer--and with any luck they'll be able to visit me as well. The cat-- he'll be happier watching squirrels and moose from my mother's window than if he were chasing jingjok in 90+ heat.

So as I dismantle my tiny household in Seattle, I'll keep in mind the complete bliss of sipping cognac at four in the morning as I cross the International Time Zone into a day ahead of my old life in the Cold Country, to disembark in a new (to me--I've yet to experience Suwannaphum) airport and to return to the country that truly feels like my home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another One For Ernie

No food pictures this time since you are well aware of what a cheeseburger looks like--just late summer in the city and happy hour(s) with my oldest son!