We Fly Tomorrow: The Final Post From Japan

One final, awesome manhole cover, a Japan specialty

I sit here in our room at the Navy Lodge on the Yokosuka Naval Base. It’s Tuesday around 5PM, and the rest of the family is out. Tessa is spending a last day with her Japanese friends from school who came down from Yokohama. Mark and Cy went off to the pool for a swim. Our dog Ruby is due here at the Lodge in about an hour, having spent the last week at the dog sitter’s place.

We fly out tomorrow, returning to the US for good.

From the Navy Lodge Yokosuka, our sort-of view of Tokyo Bay. If you look past the parking lot and shipping containers.

The last week has been a blur of closing out errands. Clearing one room for the Do Not Pack items that we will carry with us on the flight. Watching the movers pack up our household, frantically grabbing at items to carry with us. Remembering the odd paperwork, pair of shoes, or other item that got packed (such as our DC house keys) and won’t turn up until the shipment reaches us in late September, at the soonest. Taking the dog for the final round of health checks and sorting her crate, travel documents, and repeatedly reassuring the airline that she has a pointy nose and poses no health risk in flight. Closing out utilities. Selling the nice car and junking the old car. Checking out of the house and returning keys to the landlord. One final gig with both bands. One last visit for Cy to the music store so he can play around with the used bass guitars. Turning off the mobile phones. And tears. So many tears.

Cy’s last visit to Ishibashi Music in Yokohama

We are both excited to return to the US and incredibly sad to leave behind our life in Japan.

RIP, Benji the Orenji. You served us well.
Tempura Crime Scene members enjoying the Mamonaku show
Tempura Crime Scene celebrates ‘Murica
Mamonaku holds a rehearsal on July 4, America’s Independence Day. Which means that Americans Bruno, Marta, Brad, and Bill tar and feather Brits Rich and Nic.

We will reach DC and immediately start with the same errands in the other direction. Thankfully we already have our house, complete with kitchenware, furniture, and the trappings of basic life. So at least that part will be easy. Then we go on to the next layer: Turning on new mobile phones. Retrieving one car from storage and re-registering it, then buying another new one. Reconnecting with family and friends. Getting the kids ready for sleepaway camp ten days later. I will try my hardest not to be the When I Was In Japan person so I don’t bore my DC friends too much. But considering that it has been my life for four years, I will definitely be that person.

New opportunities and adventures will start up quickly. Tessa (grade 8) will immediately begin the highly-fraught high school application process. Cy (grade 7) will start attending high school open houses as well. I have a not-quite-a-job-interview in the works. And of course I’ll have to find a new band!

See you all on the flip side.

3 thoughts on “We Fly Tomorrow: The Final Post From Japan

  1. Laura Otolski

    I wish you and yours the smoothest re-entry possible, knowing full well it won’t be easy. Your blog post reminded me of how it felt to come back to the US after a wonderful summer in Greece when I was 16, after a difficult study abroad experience in Japan when I was 20, and most recently, after a year in Malta with my husband. It’s been a struggle each time, but at least I have company with this last one. Jamie misses Malta like I do, so that helps me feel less isolated. We made things tottemo interesting by not returning to DC after our Mediterranean adventure, starting a new life in Evanston near my sister and her family instead. This has been good, of course, but we still have our days when we aren’t feeling genki and we want to pack up and head back to Europe. May you, Mark, Tessa, and Cy take comfort in each other through this challenging transition and still celebrate the amazing adventure you had together. Looking forward to seeing you the next time I’m back in the DMV. Safe journey!
    -Roller (that’s Laura in Japanese 😉)


  2. Barbara Mirecki

    Bittersweet, yet a new chapter of excitement commences. Safe journey. Greetings from Kaszuby. Much love and positive thoughts to all four—Basia

    Sent from my iPhone



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