30 Days

Midtour - a magic word when one is away from family for a solid year. My 30 days home are rapidly drawing to a close. In less than one week I'll be returning to Korea. It has been an eventful month here at home. Here are some of the highlights.

Change - my kids have grown like crazy. I couldn't believe how big they were when I got off the plane in DC. My oldest will turn 13 soon but she already looks like she could pass for 17. My little one is reading incredibly well for first grade. She's reading books I don't think I could have touched until several years later.

My youngest has a horrible time breathing at night. I've sat up many nights listening to her struggle for breath. I found out about a week after getting home that the doctor has decided she does need surgery to remove tonsils and other stuff and to work to open her airway. She is scared to say the least of what is coming. Unfortunately the surgery is scheduled the week after I am to return to Korea. I could not obtain permission to extend my leave for another week so that I could be here with her.

We spent a little over a week in a cabin down in the Tennessee mountains. We had to stay a bit longer than planned due to snow systems that came through that we had to jog around for our driving. But it worked out fine. We met Rascal the raccoon who made a nightly visit to our cabin.

Met my great niece. She's about 2 months old and cute as a little button. Very proud of my niece and her husband. They are working very hard to make a good life for their family.

Made it back to DC in between major snow storms and just in time for the blizzard (snowmageddon they are calling it here) of Feb 2010. Snow is hip deep and in places shoulder deep. I spent one solid day shoveling just to stay ahead of it. I spent one morning digging out the neighborhood fire hydrant.

When we arrived back in DC we were reminded of how great our neighbors are. We had to really fight the snow and ice to get back to the house. The roads turned bad once we hit highway 66 into DC and the local roads were hardly touched and complicated by many people out who have no real clue how to drive in snow and slush. We spent 2 hours sitting on highway 66 because a trucker got in too big a hurry and went into the side that was not cleared and lost control jack-knifing his rig and blocking all traffic. So as we approached the house we were tired and our nerves were frazzled. And there was a mountain of snow down the entire length of the road across the front of our house, at least 7 feet tall, where the plow had been through. I thought, we'll never get to the house and then suddenly we saw the small hole - our wonderful neighbors had dug out our driveway and sidewalk so we could get in.

This weekend have birthday celebration for my youngest and then it will be time to start packing and getting my head right for return to Korea. Five more months.