[The American Years]

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Greetings from Kentucky where the two primary categories of wine are not red and white, but rather Storebought and Homemade.

And by the time many of you read this, we'll be in Japan.

We're just hours away from flying out. I'm awake at 4am doing some final suitcase organization. I was only in KY for a week, and tried not to completely abide by local time, hoping to lessen jetlag when I get back to Japan. Right now Kathleen and the kids are sawing their last American logs for a while. Starting tomorrow, they'll switch to sawing bamboo. We fly out at 11am this morning.

I am actually looking forward to entering business class on the airplane to Japan and absorbing all the dirty looks from people for bringing children on board. It's such a natural reaction. "There goes my peaceful flight, and any chance of sleep," everyone will be thinking. I'm no different. It's the way I react as well. Because, you know, as a fancy pants business class traveler, I was never a child. I was born as an adult in a suit.

It's my experience after making this flight dozens of times, that grownups are the most likely to break the unwritten rules of long flights. Rules like "Never open the window shades." "Never lean on the seat in front of you as you move toward the aisle." "Keep it down, people are sleeping." I have been in the cabin with kids before, and they all seem to do fine. Let's hope ours do as well.

My primary reason for being in KY for this past week was to be present as our house was packed up. We'll receive our ocean shipment around 6/12.

There were 2 big highlights for me this week:

Highlight (1) My brother Mark and his kids made it down for an afternoon visit, BBQ, and Squirtgunnery.

The next day Veronica, who typically sports a dress and a girly hairdo to school (see photo), insisted on a T Shirt and straight combed hair like cousin Emily above.

Highlight (2) I was able to attend and assist photographer Mark Cornelison at the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby. My string of 12 straight is unbroken! Japan and all! After the Winner's Circle presentations, the photographers have their own "Run for the Roses" where we pillage the the roses from the stands there. I can't contain my joy. (Thanks to David Coyle for bringing out the real me in this photo.)

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