Can anyone remember what they were doing one year ago from today? For most of us that wouldn't be easy, too much going on in life to remember what we had for lunch last week much less a year ago. However, when something truly momentous is going on...well that makes it somewhat easier to recall certain details.
For those unenlightened as to the finer details of my recent past...go read this http://coolred38.blogspot.com/2009/08/it-over-peoplethe-fat-lady-has-sung.html ....and then a little more here http://coolred38.blogspot.com/2009/09/you-all-know-what-im-going-to-say-next.html just to get all caught up, more or less.
Go on...I'll wait. *listening to Amy Winehouse*
So, you up to speed now? Good. My children and I arrived back on American shores one year ago today (OK on the 20th but we left on the 19th and Ive got homework to do so this is being typed in between Spanish and Pyschology) and to say that the past year has been just as eventful as the lead up to us arriving here is a misnomer. It's been one roller coaster ride after another...with no end it sight.
I thought I would do this post sort of in a "the year that was" kind of thing with some updates as well. I want those that contributed good wishes and hard earned money to hopefully realize they helped put a family on the road to a very different life...and definitely for the better as far as I'm concerned.
Well let's see. One of the hardest things for me to get straight in my mind every single day of my life here...is that I REALLY am here. I wake up in the morning...go to college or work or the mall...spend the day doing my thing...then lay in my bed at night and ask myself the same thing again and again..."am I really here?" The answer is always yes...but it doesn't make it any easier to believe.
For 23 years while living in Bahrain I dreamed of coming home and STAYING home. Several times I did find myself in the states again, but circumstances prevented me from staying beyond a visit (another post there I suppose), mainly the fact that my children were still over there. There was never really any choice in the matter. Where they were is where I had to be...simple. I could never make the final move to America unless and until ALL my children were with me. This, of course, meant I made several trips back and forth over the years, but never with the understanding that THIS time I was staying for good. In the back of my mind was always the "return date" to head back to Bahrain. I guess my dream was, in essence...to travel to America and have NO return date on my ticket. A one way ticket in other words. Obviously that finally happened and here we are...one year on.
I suppose I could do a post full of links to certain events this past year but that would be a pain for me ( I have yet to learn how to link without much hair pulling...my blog is the worst for it I know) so instead I will just do some highlights of the past and updates of the present and some wishful thinking for the future possibly. Here goes.
1. Kids and I arrived tired, travel worn, and rather wrung out after that truly monumental 23 hour combined flight and layover. http://coolred38.blogspot.com/2009/09/starting-fresh-stinkslol.html
2. Stayed with an old school friend of mine for 2 months while we sorted ourselves out. She was a true friend by giving us a place to stay when we got here...without which I would have hesitated to even make the trip in the first place. Having said that...11 people in a trailer does tend to cause stress and hurt feelings. We did OK considering the forced closeness and differences my kids had to get use to.
3. I managed to get a job working in a gas station/convenience store fairly quickly. I have quite a few posts in the archives detailing interesting customers and what not...there's even a post about 3 men coming in and robbing me...then returning the next day as if nothing happened. Still mad about the police not showing up when I called them. grrrr!!!
4. My 2 high school kids settled in fairly easily tho there were some incidents of name calling..."terrorists" was thrown at them a few times but the principle of the school sorted that out right away and things settled down. My son, Zack graduated later that year with near perfect marks. Not bad considering the upheaval he endured at the start of his senior year, not to mention having ALL his classes in English for the first time ever. He is one smart cookie. Handsome too. Anyone need a smart handsome son-in-law...in about 5 to 10 years? LOL
5. I bought a new (old) car in late Nov. as I had been forced to walk across town to get to work after we moved into our apartment at last. My feet were just not happy to accept a 2 hour walk ahead of an 8 hour shift...I was forced to buy the car before they mutinied completely on me. Less than 2 weeks later I was coming home from work at midnight and was struck by a teenage drunk driver. Thankfully I wasn't hurt too bad but he didn't have his seat belt on and suffered some serious injuries. The consequences from that accident have been serious and on going...something I'm still dealing with no end in sight just yet. *ugh*
6. I made the decision to enroll in college for the Spring '10 semester as it was something I have always wanted to do but never got the chance. I was rather hesitant considering my age and how long it's been since I sat in a classroom but felt the only thing stopping me was ME...and went ahead and signed up. At the moment I'm focusing on Psychology and Journalism majors...but nothing set in stone just yet. I see so many interesting classes I would like to take...and am considering the option of making a career out of being a college student. LOL The first semester was hectic juggling work, kids and college. I felt at times I wanted to either quit work and focus on college (if I could afford too *sigh*) or quit college and just live my life as it was. Quitting the kids wasn't an option so they were stuck with me. I eventually sorted myself out and got everything done. I even managed to finish that first semester on the Deans List. woot woot!! I've started my second semester and so far, the way things are going, I will enjoy my 5 mins on the Deans List and consider it a fluke. Spanish is HARD!!! *ugh*
Oh yes, my two oldest kids also joined me at college and so it was a family affair. We all managed to finish our first semester on the Deans List soooo yay us.
7. My best friend from Bahrain came to visit me twice so far. Once by herself and once with her children over the summer. Her second visit coincided with my mother coming to visit as well. Those couple of weeks had their ups and downs but we had some fun. I noticed my kids were very happy to see her...I guess she brought a "touch of Bahrain" with her...and reminded them of who they are. (as if they could forget) She is just about the only family they still have over there...and she isn't even related by blood....just by love...and that's fine with us.
8. One by one the older kids have all found jobs and so we are scratching by...doing OK. I can't complain but if I could have a home to call our own...that would be icing on the cake. Living in an apartment has many drawbacks...one of which is that the local cops consider this their "donut shop" and spend copious amounts of time here for various reasons. I would just like to have a permanent home and decorate accordingly...with a dog in the front yard and a swing in the back.
9. My daughter has decided it's time to get married and so is busy making plans to get that process done. Hard to believe my "baby" is all grown up and taking the marital plunge. If it were up to me I would forbid her to marry...I'm somewhat jaded in that area...but it's not up to me and I can't put my animosity for all things marriage related off on her. I hope she is happy and content. That's all I can say.
Oh yes...he better be good to her...I can wield a mean baseball bat when pushed. I'm just saying.
So that's it pretty much. I could give you all the nitty gritty details (and there are some of course...maybe for another time?) but basically we are busy getting on with it. Right now my oldest son and I are combining college and full time work...daughter will join us again as soon as she gets this little marriage thing out of the way...LOL. Rest of the kids are doing their thing and we are taking it day by day.
Again I want to reiterate that I wish for those people who helped us get here and thus changed our lives (for better I hope) will appreciate the fact that their efforts were a stepping stone for all of us. There are a couple of friends who went the extra yard, and you know who you are but wish to remain anonymous but a shout out for you all the same. You know who you are.
I hope we are deserving of the trust you placed on us when you made the decision to share your monies or your good thoughts with us way back when I asked you too...me..a complete stranger to many of you...and just a blogger to many others. Your trust in me and what I asked of you was much appreciated and the ripples are still occurring.
Thank you all.