Tag Archives: family reunion

This is the end…of home leave

As all good things must come to an end, home leave is over. The weeks have flown by seeing family and friends. While in some ways I didn’t do nearly as much on this home leave as my last, doing nothing was probably better for me, coming out of Baghdad. It gave me time to just hang out with my family, get to know them and let them get to know me better.

This past weekend I went to a family reunion, the first big one since 2000. In my last post I mention the number 200; I underestimated and the numbers are closer to 300 in my family! That includes my aunts, uncles, cousins, kids of cousins, and kids of kids of cousins. It’s seriously insane. How insane, you ask? We needed name tags at our family reunion, specifying your name and lineage (e.g. Daughter of X who is son of Y.) Seriously, craziness. But it was fun seeing them all together again. I was also pleasantly surprised that I have a few readers of this very blog among my family members. 🙂 Here’s a random pic to give you an idea of sheer numbers – and this is just a small percentage of everyone was that was there:


The rest of home leave has consisted mostly of unpacking all this stuff! I am still living in a land of boxes with no end in sight. But at least now I have silverware, dishes and pans – I am able to cook again! I made homemade gyoza the other night and my date and I made sushi, which were both delicious! Gyoza are really very simple to make (even the wrappers!) and I’m glad I made enough to freeze! I found a great grocery store in the neighborhood for sushi grade fish, which made proper sushi (rather than my makeshift Baghdad sushi.) Here’s a pic (which is also much better than the Baghdad sushi picture):


Thanks to a wonderful friend, I also got to go see The Eagles in concert! It was an awesome concert – highly recommended. Joe Walsh is just amazing on that guitar, and it’s crazy how many great songs they have had. Today I had a Baghdad out briefing class and stopped into my new office to see firstly, where it is so I can find it Monday when I start, and secondly to say hello. I walked in and I instantly knew I was in the right place – my name was on the desk. 🙂 Said a quick hello, then saw a few more old friends on my way out the door. You really can’t turn around without seeing someone you know! I walked to and from work today, which was pretty great – it’s pretty close and I’m looking forward to being able to walk! The bus line is also very convenient, for those days I don’t feel like walking. I’m so excited! I’m also going sailing this weekend – I can’t wait!!

Lucky Lucy

The last week has been quite an adventure. While there has been the occasional yelling at the walls in frustration over another box of books and yet no bookcases, it’s been pretty great overall. The movie just gets better! Moving in is going well as is dating life. I’ve come across some interesting things that have been in storage all this time – floppy disks, an old computer, chocolate…you get the idea. I was talking to my insurance agent today, getting renter’s insurance and told him about all this stuff (including a table saw) and he said sounds like it’ll be Craigslist time! Definitely.

Dating life is going very well – I’ve been on three dates in the week I’ve been back, all with the same guy. We apparently kind of like each other, lol. Date number three, which was originally going to be date number one, was sushi and pub trivia. While we came in a respectable sixth in trivia, we won tickets during prize round to see a band in October – I look at this as a good sign! We are definitely Lucky Lucy (our team trivia name, which I may explain in a future post). While some of my friends worry that I dive into these new adventures head first, I have a hard time doing it any other way. I think it’s fine though – we seem to be on the same page as far as that goes.

Today I got out in my car for awhile – I forget how freeing it feels to drive your own car around, having been in Baghdad the last two years. I also packed another suitcase, as I’m returning to Minnesota tomorrow for a family reunion this weekend! It’ll be nice to see the masses of relatives I haven’t seen in years. And when I say masses, I do mean it! When my grandmother died, they said she had over 150 direct descendants – and that was over a decade ago – so I am sure we have to be close to 200 by now!

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I was once on an island and eight parakeets landed on me. I had positioned myself to welcome them. Hope has that effect. I want to see all of creation awaken with hope~ especially the Middle East. Anything is possible for those who believe. ☆☆☆☆ Come believe with me. ☆☆☆☆


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