Monday, December 29, 2008

This Is It

After almost two weeks of travel, we are about to return to Maplewood, back where it all began...

Lots to do in the coming weeks, beginning with enrolling the kids in school... I will get back to regular postings, which should help me etain my sanity.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Home, We're Headed Home

...well, eventually.

II am writing from Tokyo Narita Airport. We are gone from Beijing...exahusted, worn out...too tired to feel much emotion except happy that we are finished with the packing and loading out and good byes. Lots of great memorable times in the last week or two alone.

And lots of little boys crying, too. Jacob's friends almost all cried saying good bye. It was sweet...and sour.

We will be in Honolulu tomorrow morning, which will still be today, in the longest day of our lives, a 48-hour marathon. Look at a globe and the int' date line and you will understand.

We had a 6-hour layover here and went into the town of Narita for a nice afternoon and a great teppanyaki/sashimi dinner.



Sayonara.... and go Steelers. Happy I will be home for the playoffs.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tick tock tick tock...



It has been intense and difficult. I just said good bye to Ding ayi, who was in tears. She and Anna have been so close. Really nice relationship. She has been a big part of our family.

They had a big ceremony in school today, giving each of them a picture of the entire junior school (second through sixth grade) signed by their class and friends. There were a lot of kids. I hear that a total of 50 are leaving Dulwich. Things are definitely going to get interesting around here.

Afterwards, I wanted to take pictures of the boys and their buddies. Jacob's friend Kerk was sobbing uncontrollably. He lives across the street and he and Jacob have an extraordinary relationship, constantly in and out of one another's houses. I know how much Jacob would miss Kerk and that is how much Kerk will miss Jacob. It's tough to replace that kind of friendship. Those two are so cute together, totally in sync.

Jacob and his friend Edward, who is also leaving, looked bewildered and lost.

Eli is finally understanding what he is leaving and he was sobbing at bedtime last night. Now he is talking about coming back for a visit. We may try for April break. it is highly recommended if feasible.

I am glad he is feeling the complexity a bit. He has been so gung ho about leaving. I feared he was really idealizing the U.s. and overlooking what he was giving up. I think it is healthy for him to be more well rounded. The rest of us have been processing this for months.

Anna asked again yesterday why mommy has to move. But she will be fine quickly. She is amazingly resilient happy and social.

I am very glad we are going on vacation on our way back.. that is seeming smarter by the day. Giant decompression chamber.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

MOving along...

So time ticks away. We're down to five days.

The WSJ.com Chinese event on Sunday night was rally nice. I am falling further and further behind on my photos. We have been continuing to clean out the house, tidy up school affairs, etc. We went out to dinner with a bunch of friends at Da Dong, a great duck restaurant and more. I am going to miss the food a lot.

Feeling pretty good. Sad but happy to have had this great experience and almost ready to go home after all this. We still have two more gigs to go.

Growth of a Family



Just came across this pic of our new family leaving our house in Ann Arbor. Sept. 1998.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hungover

I am hungover both literally and metaphorically. Packed up the house Tues, Weds, Thursday, barely staying one step ahead of the packers. Going away party for Becky, work, on Thursday night, leading to a wine-soaked Italian meal until the wee hours. Last night, we had our going away party.. really nice time with so many great friends at the Orchard, which has been one of our favorite restaurants and bases since we arrived here. The band played. It was a late night and today... I can barely move or think.

Lots of pictures coming soon if I can get them off my camera.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Video... ran with my column

Out of the House

Well we are out of the house and back where we tarted three and a half years ago: living in a service apartment with all our belongings boxed up and out of sight. the best thing about how difficult the move is is it eliminates a lot of the emotion. You just become happy to be moving on and done with it. The movers were there three days and we made it a lot more stressful by packing up one room while they loaded another. But I wouldn't trade that trip to Tibet for anything, including a less stressful move.

Three days packing and no six weeks or so until our stuff arrives in Maplewood. Only 8 or 9 days and four gigs to go until we leave.

Just came back from office official going away party for becky. Very nice affair.

I somehow wrote a column amidst the chaos of last few days wad it will be up online within hours.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Going Out With A Bang

Big today tomorrow, as the movers are arriving to begin packing up our house. It is all a little surreal and quite exhausting... We are ripping through our house, dividing into multiple piles: sea ship, air ship, keep, giveaway, throw out, sell...

Anyhow, I still have four gigs left, including this one. We are playing acoustic Sunday night and the real event is "meet Alan Paul." For Chinese readers of my translated column.