Friday, January 23, 2009

Two Years

This will be a quick one, because I'm technically doing homework. No, really! I am! Promise. But every student needs a break now and again, right?

So, yesterday was our 2 year anniversary in England. I know this because I wrote it on my calendar. I'm a nerd about remembering things like that. I always privately observe work anniversaries, even small ones. I wish my dogs a happy birthday every year. (Incidentally, I'm late this year. Zeus and Zoey turned 6 on January 12th. Happy Birthday, poochies!) And yesterday, I did take a moment to remember our arrival in England two years ago.

I can still vividly remember getting off the plane into Gatwick airport and thinking, "Oh. This is it?" (Gatwick, and Heathrow for that matter, are rather ugly airports. Give me Atlanta or Detroit any day. Gatwick and Heathrow can go join Chicago O'Hare in the ugliest airport category.) I remember the two hour bus ride from the airport to the base and being so excited that I was finally in England. The country side looked so English! The sky was so gray! The air was so damp! And at that time, I thought that was quaint and exciting! In fact, it all was. Driving on the other side of the road, paying in pounds, learning to dial international numbers. It was all so exciting.

Of course, two years later, the excitement is gone. But in its place is a comfortable feeling that this is my home for now. It won't always be, but it is for now. And so I get frustrated that the intersection near my house isn't a roundabout. (Honestly, there's so much traffic for the high school I can't get out some mornings. Dear council, put in a roundabout!) And I know where the speed cameras are and to pay and display at most car parks. I know which radio stations are worth listening to and where to get fish and chips within walking distance. I have my own preferences when it comes to off-base shopping (hello, Tesco and Matalan!) And I'm resigned to not having a dishwasher for now and having to drag my dryer into the middle of the kitchen to vent it out the window on laundry day.

This is my home. And I'm happy. I miss the States, sure. I miss Famous Dave's and Target. I miss American Chinese food (oooh, crab rangoon, how I miss you!) I miss straight roads and adequate parking on residential roads. And mostly I miss family and friends.

But I felt really luck to be embarking on this adventure two years ago. And I still feel lucky to be hanging out in the Queen's country for a while longer. So here's to two more years of watching the original Deal or No Deal and watching American commercials dubbed over in an English accent! Cheers! (So much for a short entry, right? Okay, back to homework!)

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