Thursday, September 29, 2011

Back in the USA

After five years in Hong Kong, we have recently landed back in the states, just outside of Washington D.C. We are excited to be here and to explore a new area but first we have to unpack! We have been unpacking non-stop now for a few weeks; first, the air shipment, then, the sea shipment, and then all the stuff we had in storage (like two cribs!). In the midst of all this unpacking, everything started to shake. The kids’ immediate reaction was that some boxes had fallen over. They were partly right. A few boxes had toppled over and a few framed pictures, newly hung, had indeed come crashing down. But really it was an earthquake, the biggest in 67 years at 5.8 on the Richter scale.

A few days later, Hurricane Irene arrived, knocking over boxes yet again and knocking out our power for a few hours. At one point during the storm, we looked out onto our street mid- hurricane. Adam said he spotted an Asian Tigers (our movers) box in the street. We were just about to retrieve it when we realized it was actually our neighbor’s mailbox, out of the ground and rattling down the street.

Not to be out done by Mother Nature, the kids have mounted their own rocky re-entry. On our second day here, Royce broke her arm. (For long time, Royce fans- the other arm! Not the one she broke twice in first grade). It was a crazy berry picking incident. First, we were picking berries. Then we were going down slides. As soon as Phil remarked on how idyllic it all was, Royce fell. Tori also recently broke some teeth. She hit the diving board during a back flip but came out okay. It was horrifying. I can’t say anymore except please no more!
In between the boxes and the emergency rooms, we’ve all been trying to get our first glimpses of American life. The kids have been amazed by all the green grass and the parents amazed by all the blue skies. The kids, at least initially, enjoyed riding a traditional yellow school bus as opposed to the huge tour bus they rode in Hong Kong. We have all enjoyed driving to one shopping outlet, buying everything and putting it in the trunk and driving home. The days of walking a mile to the grocery store and then carrying groceries home seem long ago already.

The reviews are mixed though, our heads still spinning. Royce captured this best when she said her favorite thing about America was all the deer in our neighborhood. We have roving herds of picturesque deer. Then she added that what she did not like about America was all the deer, often running by and scaring her. Two sides to everything, especially for those used to living on the other side of the world.