Has it really been not quite a month since I left Korea? So much has happened since then. I started off in Rochester, NY, staying with my Mom, with whom I played nightly games of Rummikub. She's sharp as a tack, and we were evenly matched.
In Rochester I attended my 40th high school reunion. About 75 people attended from our class of 550, and I spoke to as many of them as I could, especially those who were outside my high school “click,” because at this point, nobody cares! We’re just glad to still be alive, although it was disconcerting to find that one classmate had written “Let’s talk about retirement” on her nametag.
My daughter Clare and her fiance Kyle flew up for a couples’ bridal shower at my brother Howie’s home on Conesus Lake. After a delicious lunch and the unwrapping of presents, my cousin Joanne dressed Clare up as one of her own bridesmaids, who will be wearing purple. This is what happens when Joanne gets hold of a purple plastic bag and is then stuck in a Dollar store during a rainstorm. She is quite creative!
Howie’s bought the entire building in which his Culver Rd. Sticky Lips restaurant is located, and is in the midst of remaking it as an “entertainment destination.” A microbrewery will open in the coming month, and he’s remodeling other spaces for a bakery and for three restaurants, one each that also 1) shows movies 2) has singing waiters and waitresses 3) has live comedy acts. Howie’s an idea man, marketer, restauranteur and builder who is consistently able to turn his dreams into reality. His wife Laurie is the one person we know who can keep up with him. Bravo!
We moved back into our home in northern Virginia. Just before the move we experienced a blessing in disguise. Tom put in a load of wash in the morning before the movers came, and there was a pipe blockage which caused water to come up through a drain in the floor and flood the basement laundry room. This is the room where we would normally have piled boxes we didn’t want to deal with. We were forced to put these boxes in other, well-lit basement rooms, and we opened them up, box by box. As a result, lots of books are being donated to the library, and we’re asking our daughters to take possession of childhood memories such as Girl Scout vests, art projects, school yearbooks, and Beanie Babies.
As we unpacked our air freight, we found we’d forgotten to take the coffee grounds out of the coffee maker, and in our stuff from long-term storage was a bottle of Tylenol that expired in 2009, and a sugar bowl with sugar cemented inside. We’re looking forward to the arrival of our ocean freight, which will happen…?
At least we try not to make the same mistake twice. We rented a car for a week, which we brought back when we bought a new car. This time we did not return the rental car with the automatic garage door opener inside. This time, we easily found the cord for our electric piano, as opposed to the last time it came out of storage, and it took six months before we located the cord under the lid of the piano, where the mover had put it.
We bought a 2014 Toyota Corolla. It's no surprise we ended up with one, since it's the third Toyota Corolla we've owned, but it's our first red car. His name is Mason, joining a Murphy tradition of named cars, including Fitzwilliam (Mr. Darcy's first name), Marley (an alternate spelling of Christopher Marlowe's name), Mickey Blue (after the movie), and Big Mama Luanne (a van, and I have no idea where "Luanne" came from). Our daughters think it's important for a car to have a likeable "face," starting with the headlights as eyes. So here is our car's cheerful face.
We’re trying to spend a lot of time with Clare and Kyle, who live nearby. We attended Clare’s Flag Day and graduation at the Foreign Service Institute. She found out she’ll be headed to Bogota, Columbia as a Consular Officer in December. She’ll be able to fit in her wedding and honeymoon beforehand, but still, we’re sad that she’ll be leaving the area so soon. Meanwhile, Kyle is racking up awards for his work at the FBI, and hoping he’ll receive his security and medical clearances soon so he can follow Clare into the Foreign Service, and hopefully be placed as a Consular Officer in Bogota, too (it’s a large post). Meanwhile, daughter Andrea finished up her most recent reality T.V. project, a show for MTV on which she worked as a story producer, and is now taking a break to write screenplays full time in Los Angeles.
I just finished sorting through two years of photos from Korea and creating slideshows for my website. Next I’ll continue my research and writing about the English Renaissance.