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