Hello. I'm, um, back... I feel kinda strange, and slightly shy, blogging again. I mean, I didn't MEAN to not blog this whole summer. In fact, I lugged the darn laptop about 3/4 of the way around the world, on 9 flights, in and out of six different states, and 7 different dwellings between the time we left Bulgaria two months ago and now, for the sole purpose of keeping up The Blog. Apparently I was way too busy and was having waaaay too much fun (and most likely was a tad bit lazy...just a tad) to follow through. But anyway. Here we are. In Okinawa!
We're not in our house yet, because it's being totally redone on the inside (yay!), so we're just up the street from it in a house they use for TDY-ers. Temporary folk. I don't think I've fully grasped the tremendous change this is from Bulgaria. Some good, some bad, of course, but man... totally different! I am so pleased, though, that the kids love it here already. Nuala. Poor Nuala. Change is difficult for her. This summer, knowing she wasn't going back to Bulgaria, the only home she really remembers, was difficult for her. And, therefore, difficult for the rest of us. She can be... intense. She still loves Bulgaria, and her friends there (many of whom are now scattered around the globe now, too), but she has embraced this new home quickly. We knew she would. It helps that our neighborhood has loads of kids.
On that note, I'm just going to jump into the NOW. I do plan on catching up on our summer hijinks, but one step at a time, right? We've been in Okinawa for one week. Exactly. Much of this past week was spent driving around registering at the hospital, and for various ID cards, and taking drivers tests, and stuff like that. Newcomer stuff. And registering a certain pair of little rascals for KINDERGARTEN. And zipping to the ER for a broken arm false alarm. That was fun, and did NOT make me feel like an idiot. Also settling into our bomb shelter -- HOUSE! I mean house... for a few weeks before gathering everything up again and moving it down the street. (Honestly, the houses here on base are UGly on the outside. The insides are nice, though, and isn't that what counts? Yep.) But, here's a little of what we've been up to:
Okay, back to the "tried" part. I think Dynamite rejected us. I mean, when we first ventured down to his hangout, he followed us willingly. Maeve insisted that SHE got to be the one to shake the food dish. It was a fun little procession home. Slow. Very slow. I would pick him up and carry him several feet while he wriggled like an earwig in a chip bag. Then, when the wriggling reached levels that caused me to dance ridiculously to avoid his claws, I'd drop him. Maeve would scurry over and let him eat two bites of food, then we'd lure him along until I couldn't stand the slowness again, so I'd pick him up, etc. Etc. He seemed to like us okay. We put out food and water and went inside. We visited him throughout the day, and he hung around till nighttime. Then he ditched, because that's what cats do. The next morning he never showed back up, and the kids were very worried about him. I tried explaining The Way of the Cat to them, but the big eyes, and shaky, concerned little voices were too much. Back out we went, to find him again. And find him we did. About halfway between our house and our sponsor's. This time, he was much less enthusiastic about us. He DID meow to alert us to his presence, which was a total lead-on, since then he did that whole slink-just-barely-out-of-reach thing. But, I reached him. We got him home again. Lucky Dynamite.
The kids were thrilled to have their pet back. They begged to let him inside. I knew this typhoon was a-comin' and that's part of the reason we were integrating him into our family so quickly, so he'd have a nice, safe place to ride it out. Little ingrate... Stood inside the laundry room for about a milisecond, looking around with the crazy eyes, convinced some cat-eating hooligan was going to pop out from behind the dryer. We haven't seen him since... Oh, I forgot to explain the name! Dynamite. When Bran and Nuala had talked about what they were going to name the cats, Bran always said, "Dragon Tail!" or something similarly 5-year-old-boy-ish. As soon as we saw Dynamite, he said, "I want to call him Dynamite!" Oh! I thought. Slightly different than what I was expecting, but still, very appropriate coming from Bran. When I asked him why, though, this is what he said: "Because he's long and skinny, like dynamite!" Ha! I love that. He is a very skinny kitty. Did I already say, "little ingrate?" No, I understand. As much as one understands the workings of the cat mind. I wish him...her... the best.
Our van. A Mitsubishi Delica. It's super tall. Bran and Nuala are about 49" tall. Over 4 feet. Just to put it in perspective. We are never lost in a parking lot, because it towers over the other cars. Kind of how I feel here. Hahaha! But true. At least off-base. Some of you might have heard about the little side door mishap. It fell off. It was kinda stuck, and Z was trying to wrench it closed, and next thing I know, he's just holding it. Unattached to the rest of the van. Pret-ty neato... We load the kids from the front seat now. I'm sure it will get fixed eventually. You can't even tell, though. I mean, that's an "after" pic up above... Z just popped that sucker back in, banged on it with his mighty fist, and it's good to go. We went to a nearby junkyard to see if they had the part we need, but they were fresh out of Delicas.
We walked around a little beach while Z went (back) to Miyagi's Junkyard. They were all eating lunch when we first stopped by. That was totally unnecessary info, but it's now a smidge after midnight here, so a little more of that than normal will be going in here, no doubt... Anyway, there was absolutely no parking at the junkyard, so we parked by this beach instead. The pics don't do the water justice. It's soooo blue! Beautiful!
It'll grow back, though. I don't regret it, really, because I've been itching to cut it SHORT short for a while. Now I've done it, and I don't think I need to do it again. Please, if I DO start talking about it in the future, refer me back to this post. Thank you. So, this is the side. The other side is similar, but with more hair, since the split sends more hair to that side. Please pay no attention to the splotchy mirror (3 small children just brushed their teeth) nor my bra-less state. Though now I'm pretty sure you are doing just the opposite of that.
*Note: Zac served his mission here, and is still totally, amazingly fluent in Japanese. It's true, and it's so super handy! The junkyard... the Japanese grocery store... even a pizza mishap earlier in the week... he's totally useful! Not that he wasn't anyway... ;)