We’re Back!!

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Well summer went VERY FAST. I can’t believe we are in Japan starting our second year.  It is so much easier this time.  We actually have more than 6 dishes and one set of towels!!!  I know where the grocery stores are and we even went to Costco today (no train).  The kids start back to school at different times but they all will be in class on Aug 27.  They are eagerly awaiting the return of all their friends but this being an expat community, some will not be back.  It is quite  a life lesson.
As I said summer flew by.  After being in Atlanta for the beginning of the summer we went to CT.  I was lucky my nephew and brother in law had to get to MD so they drove that distance with us. It was a good way to break up the long drive I was dreading doing by myself. The night we got to CT the car died.  I ended up having to get a new alternator.  Thank goodness it chose to die in the Residence Inn parking lot and not on the highway. God was watching over us! It was so nice to be back in Avon. It really felt like we had not left. I think that is a good thing. The kids did not miss a beat with their friends.  Almost every night someone was spending the night with a friend or we had extra kids in our hotel room with us. It was a pleasure to see them all.  Every minute was a time they will treasure with their friends.  Kent Falls, the Strassners’ lake house, J.Foster’s, rafting down the river, Talcott Music Festival, fireworks, swim team, playing cards, time at the pool, camps, baking cookies, the Herrerras’ beach house…. this is just to name a few of the great times in CT. Thank you all who made it such a pleasure.
After CT we drove to Emerald Isle NC for a  week at the beach with Jason, Julie and their kids.  We had great weather.  It was so much fun for the kids to spend time with their cousins. Once again playing a lot of cards. They spent a lot  of time boogie boarding and digging in the sand. We took a ferry over to Shackleford Island to see the wild horses and go shelling. IT WAS HOT!  The little ones did a great job hanging in there. 
The next leg of our summer trip was back to Atlanta.  We got back Saturday night and Lyndon had to leave with MJ on Sunday morning.  It was a strange  feeling sending MJ off in a crate.  I guess Lyndon felt that way when he brought her over too.  We spent a lot of time with cousins again and more card playing. My grandmother would be proud of how the tradition of Shanghai Rummy has continued! We went to the Atlanta Zoo and the Cyclorama one day.  I had not been to the Cyclorama since grade school. It is a really interesting painting dealing with the Civil War.  If you are in Atlanta , check it out. Another fun thing was spending the evening with lots of our Atlanta friends at the Yunds’ house watching the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics.  Pete and Laura have always been such super hosts for sporting events!!!  It was great to see all the familar faces there too. Even though we have not lived in Atlanta for 10 years these are some of our dearest friends.  On the 6th of each month my Dad has a mass said for my Mom.  We all went to 7:30 mass on Aug 6.  During mass someone left a puppy in a  box outside church.  The puppy was sick or hurt and could not get up.  To make a long story short we took him up to Dad’s house while we tried to get a vet (a St. Jude’s parishoner) to help us out. It ends up Julie and Jason know the family very well. The wife’s name is Yvonne (my Mom’s name). We took that as a sign mom wanted us to help this dog.  The vet said he’d take care of the dog for no charge and find it a home or deal with it as necessary. To this day he is still trying to figure out what is wrong with it.  The vet’s office staff has named the dog. Even though we thought Jude (the patron saint of hopeless cases and the name of the church) would be best they chose the name Frank, my Dad’s name.  I really think Mom is trying to tell us something. Anyway we finally left the states on Aug. 11.  I think we were all sad to leave but ready to be back in our own home.  The flight was uneventful . We were the first through Immigration and our bags were the first ones off the plane. Lyndon was outside waiting for us and we got home safe and sound.  Now for a little peace and quiet before all the craziness of school starts. 
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