We're moving soon. Eight short weeks give or take a few days. When I talk to people, they ask if I'm excited. Or scared. Or sad. Or happy.
All of the above.
Happy to be getting out of the military. Sad and terrified to be getting out of the military. Happy to leave Japan. So sad to leave Japan. Happy to go back to the states. So stressed about all entailed to get back to the states. There is so much to look forward to. And so much we're leaving behind.
BUT, I leave here with absolutely no regrets. We've done SO MANY AWESOME THINGS while living here in Japan. And made even more awesome friends. Friends that are closer and much dearer to our hearts than most of our family members currently. (Sorry family, but you're not great at keeping in touch. Or visiting. Or calling. Or writing. Or visiting. Or writing. Or calling. You exceptions know who you are.)
There are so many millions of things we're going to miss about Japan. Here are just a few;
*The amazing, courteous, friendly, smiling, genuinely happy to see you CUSTOMER SERVICE people every where you go. Especially restaurants and retail stores. Included in this catagory, the service professionals that come into my home--ie, repairmen. (I use the masculine form because I've never had a repairWOman here.
Mini Rant: Did you know that I have NEVER had a Japanese repairman show up late for an appointment? NE-VER in three years. They show up early, park in front of my house, and walk up to the door at the exact appointed time. They come with all the required parts to fix the washer/dryer/disposal/dishwasher/fridge/sink or whatever. They come in teams (two or three) so the job gets done quickly. They take their shoes off before traipsing through my house. They work quickly and efficiently and NEVER say they have to order the part and will get back to me in two to three weeks. They do not ogle me and do not make me the least bit nervous or fearful of my safety or virtue. As a former homeowner, I can safely say American customer service is horrifically deficient and woefully inadequate in comparison. (And even in non-comparisson.) I love you Japanese repairman! I really, REALLY love you.
*The 100 Yen Store and all of the marvelous treasures it holds. (I've actually heard a rumor that there is a genuine 100 Yen Store in San Diego. But it sounds too good to be true.)
*We're going to miss the millions of festivals during the summer and funny holidays and beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring and interesting culture all year round...
*We're going to miss the yummy food and super friendly Japanese nationals.
*We're going to miss our friends more than anything. Work, school and church. We have an amazing community here. And being so far from home, you tend to make pretty strong, close friendships.
Lately, to keep from getting too sad when I think about all of the above, I try to think about things I hate about living here. No place is without its trials. For example, Misawa has CROWS!
*I hate crows. Yes, crows. Yes, I actually actively hate this type of bird. This is a farming community. Maybe that's why there are so many stinking crows here and why they're so LARGE. I swear they could carry off Baby Gray! (and probably would if I left him unattended.) They're big, they're ugly, and if your son forgets to take out the trash bag on the front porch, they'll tear it to bits and spread garbage everywhere. I H.A.T.E. them. I don't even care that we don't say "hate." I hope I never see another crow after we move! (Don't think I'm excited to see YOU though, Seagulls!)
*I hate winter. But that's not really Misawa's fault. I've always hated winter. At least for my entire adult life. I hate multiple months of cold. I hate S.A.D. I hate melty, slushy, dirty blackish-brownish Feb/March snow, and I hate when it melts and shows all the dead brown stuff underneath it. I really hate it when it snows in April, and even more when it snows in May.
I'm sticking my tongue out at you, Winter.
*I hate not having Target and Costco. (But too be fair, Doug LOVES me not having Target and Costco. And I'll admit to making great use of Target.com. But still...not the same.)
That's all I can think of for now.
But if I think of anything else I really truly hate, you'll be the first to know.
In the mean time, I'm going to go search Craigslist.com for houses in Southern California while dreaming of sunny, crow-free days!
Wish me luck!