November 19th, 2010

Flying Ace

"Travels Without Rosie" or "Konichiwa!"

Possibly it's a bit of a cheat to do a "Travels With Rosie" update when Rosie will be staying in the garage but I hope y'all will indulge me in using this as a general travel update.

Not content with our two month criss cross US tour this summer Lisa and I decided upon our return we would head to Japan for Thanksgiving and visit my younger brother and his wife.
I have always wanted to go to Japan. I wanted to go there on my mission and even had my bishop write that down on my papers but my reasons were purely selfish... being a cartoonist and THEN learning Japanese would have been an excellent career move. (For the record, I don't regret my mission calling in the least. DC South Spanish speaking was the best possible place for me to be.)
Still, I have never been to The Orient...and despite her extensive traveling, Lisa has been nowhere near their either. (Actually, I've been the closest when I went to New Zealand a few years back. I need to go back there, if for no other reason than the fish and chips and hokie pokie ice cream.)

Now that we know someone IN Japan that makes it much easier to visit. Sometimes it's not necessarily the expense of getting to a place (though that's definitely a factor) but it's the hassle of STAYING there. Fortunately I think my SIL is just as excited to see us as we are to go.

I can imagine someone getting extremely "family sick" living in an extremely foreign country far away from anything familiar and feeling totally uprooted from your comfort system. Heck, *I* still feel that way ... and I'm only 600 miles away in San Francisco. I can't imagine the shock going from Logan Utah to Japan by way of Monterey, California, San Antonio, TX and Tacoma Washington. Good think she loves my brother.
I can't really imagine Lawrence getting homesick or even nostalgic. He didn't look back when we dropped him off at the MTC... or again at the airport...or again when we dropped him off to send him into the military.

I look back too often. I read too many "Choose Your Own Adventures" and Richard Bach's "One" too many times. I'm always wondering what would have happened if I had done X instead of Y... or wondering about multiple universes where different decisions were made. I used to read the Choose Your Own Adventures and keep my fingers in different places so if I didn't like where one storyline was going I could flip back.

Sometimes it feels very aggravating that time only flows in one direction for us.


I have spent the day doing what I thought was going to be a pretty thorough tidy and it turned into a Ritual Cleanse. One of the things I loathe is returning from a trip to a messy home. I deep cleaned, moving from room to room going far and above a regular clean and tidy. I always feel whole...optimistic...ready for something new after a cleanse like this. It will be nice to return to a spotless environment. I have projects galore awaiting me and a blank canvas awaits.


Beowulf knows something is up. He's been very clingy tonight, pestering me for affection which I am happy to give. I have trustworthy friends who will be checking in on him this week while we are gone. I do not want a repeat of the summer when we returned to find him covered in scabs and fleas, the house a disaster and his litter box moved into my studio where it had not been cleaned in what appeared to be weeks.
I was furious and felt more than a little sick when I thought of what my poor boy had been through. If we are ever gone that long again, he will be in FARMINGTON. I have joked that if I believed in reincarnation I'd want to come back as a cat owned by ME...and if not ME, then my MOTHER.

Speaking of my mother and cats... she has acquired another Russian Blue to help heal the hole in her heart when she had to make the heartbreaking decision to put Edward to sleep. This guy is young, FIV negative and it looks like he's going to be around a good long while...and like Edward, he LOVED my mother. Sounds to be exactly what she needed.

It was one of the saddest parts of our trip this summer to be driving and have Lisa answer the phone. I heard her say "Oh Barbara," and I immediately pulled to the side of the road since I knew what had happened. A big reason Beowulf didn't spend the summer in Farmington this last year was because Edward was so sick and we didn't want to stress him out further... but there were just too many things compounding. My mom said she heard him wheezing and she realized that even if they cleared one thing and then another and then another up, he was still going to have FIV...and she didn't want him to suffer any more. We were almost to my cousin's in Mississippi and I remember the gold of the sky and the heavy smell of the South as we cried with my mom over the phone.

I am glad she has a new boy to love.


Our friends who will be checking in my Beowulf are the same friends who will be taking us to the airport in the morning. We leave at 8:30, fly to Seattle (sigh. I loved Seattle. I regard it as one of the dumbest things I ever did...leaving there.)... have a quick layover...and then a 10 hour flight to Narita airport in Tokyo.

I have loaded up the iPad with a lot of books, I packed a new sketchbook and Lisa, true to form, will be taking along a buttload of papers to correct. Yes, that is the official unit of measurement.

Annette will be meeting us and then we have a bus ride back to their base.

I expect to be fully exhausted.
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    Lord, I Would Follow Thee - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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Flying Ace

"Promising Beginnings" or "In the Know"

Yesterday Lisa announced to her class that she was going to be gone the remainder of this week and next as well. Her classroom was instantly full of the buzz of 12 year olds with burning curiousity. One of her boys got her attention and asked if he could pose 3 questions.
"I'll answer the first one," she said, "and then we'll see."
"Um....what airline are you flying?!"

As she was telling me this story I thought how strange it was that airline preference would be his top priority when his teacher is going to JAPAN, but that quickly cleared up.

"United," she told him.

And indeed she did!

As we walked into the airport today and to the (fortunately not busy) United counter Lisa spotted her checking in passengers in Business Class. (We are NOT BC.) Another United worker was telling us where we needed to go as Lisa was trying to explain that we just knew that worker and that's why we were stopping and looking over there.

I have found one can do a great many things in life if only by asking.

"Can we just go to her instead?" I asked the employee.

"Oh." Pause. "Sure!"

So we waited for the mom of Lisa's airline loyal boy...and it was worth the wait. She was tickled pink to see Lisa...upgraded us without asking, walked us down to the super secret oh so fast way of checking our luggage (she couldn't check it in the business class...ours had to be stowed with General Population,)... walked us through some of the lines of security and put us in the fast track screener line.

United. They may break guitars, but all the employees so far we've met have been fantastic.