Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Longest Birthday

Geez, where to start? Not at the beginning, that's for sure. It bores me half to death just thinking about it. Maybe with the pictures. I tried to put them in chronological order but this stupid program rearranges them randomly, as far as I can tell. SO, the one of the truck is the first glimpse of our very own moving truck taken out of our former dining room window. It was a glorious sight, let me tell you. Then the boys sitting on a packed box in our former living room, then the boys in our former hotel room, then Shane in the snow on our former sidewalk on our last day at Osan.

Missing photos include our last meal at our former Chili's, our enormous pile of bags, our sumptuous feast at the McDonald's at the Tokyo Airport, and our luxurious United Airlines accommodations. I had intended to document all these important milestones, of course, but I lost my camera somewhere between the last trek in the snow and the enormous pile of bags and have just now unearthed it, so sadly, these few will have to suffice.

Our trip was long but relatively uneventful. It was my birthday, you know. It was my birthday when I got up at 4:45 a.m. (note: military time has been retired here at Stories from Korea). It was my birthday at 5:30 p.m. when we left Japan. It was my birthday after we flew for 8.5 hours and arrived on the west coast at approximately 9 a.m. It was my birthday when the boys crashed at 6 p.m. And when they woke up at 10:34 p.m. for about 4 hours? STILL MY BIRTHDAY. I milked it for all it was worth: 'Honey, Shane has to poop. Can you take him while I eat these fries? It's my birthday, you know'; 'Honey, you sit next to that guy with the typhoid because it's my birthday and I don't want to die today'; and 'Don't forget it's my birthday, can I have your drink? I dropped mine on the floor all over your backpack.' Not much, I know, but I have always been a take-what-I-can-get kind of girl.

It wouldn't have been quite such a long birthday had we been able to fly direct from Seoul and not change in Tokyo, but we had to fly United instead of Korean Air, and United doesn't go direct. Lloyd and I were both apprehensive and with good reason. Me because United Breaks Guitars, and Lloyd because he really likes the lithe Asian babes that are the flight attendants on Korean Air. There's like a million of them and they're there to help you out at the drop of a chopstick. United, not so much. The cabin crew consisted of a stooped old crank who closely resembled one of those grumpy old man Muppets, and a woman who had to have been Miss Dairy Maid of 1942. Instead of fetching us hot towels and cunning little toys for the boys, they strung up some kind of curtains over six rows of seats and closeted themselves for hours. But they did rally to give us the most vile breakfast I've ever seen, and I'm pretty old, and a product of public education. Lloyd's descriptions would be MUCH less flattering than mine, so don't even think about asking him.

But now we're done, and here we are. I still can't believe it. Happy Birthday to me!


Wendy said...

I wish you'd said something when I saw you for the last time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And what a gift - going back to America!

While you were moving out (saw the truck on my way to the library and smiled, knowing it was yours), we were busy discussing our own countdown out of the trailer park of the Air Force. ;)

Enjoy being home and best of luck to you guys!!!

Helen said...

United? Why? I thought they only flew United when you traveled with dogs? Maybe the mistook the kids.....nah, never mind.

Did Lloyd ask them for a job while you were there?

Strommer Family said...

Almost a year to the day ago, Feb. 20th I was doing the exact same thing..flying on my birthday out of Korea!! ;) And so now I have two years in a row where I don't get a decent present as my husband is deployed this year!! ;)

Amanda Evans said...

Welcome home! And, Happy Birthday. It is STILL your birthday, yeah? :-)

Lauren said...

Awesome! I know you're so glad its over! And not that it counts anymore, but we flew united direct...those tmo jackasses were pulling your chain...