Ooh! There was a job in Turkey! We liked Turkey. Turkey is good!
No, the schools were too far from the jobsite. We'd only see Mike on weekends. Jordan, same story. There are a lot of things we are willing to do, but so far, having Mike miss more of the kids growing up is not one of them.
Madagascar, was the next big job, and several of our friends went. We said erm, no. Staggering poverty and it...just...isn't an ideal place to take kids. New Zealand, oh yeah! Now we're talking.
But we weren't. The job didn't appeal to Mike.
He's so selfish sometimes. (OK, so he's not, but I think I deserve some sort of award for not giving him more of a hard time about it.) Ironically, his boss here ended up going, and asking Mike for expat advice. Go figure.
The job in Trinidad wasn't starting soon enough to work for us. Aw, man, the Caribbean! Shoot.
Calgary, Alberta looked like a real option, enough so that I was asking around and picking the brains of past visitors and residents of the prairie city, and had tracked down the Calgary Road Runners, but the company who was courting Mike took too long and we ended up turning them down. Too bad. I like Canadians. Of course, we probably would have been freezing for the first six months or so.
All this gave our relatives in Seattle whiplash trying to keep up with where we might end up. I think it was as much of a relief to them as it was to us when we decided.
So, we came home to Seattle after all. And in Seattle Mike went to work on a job in...Lima, Peru. Which is where he is now, actually. Don't worry, it's just a business trip, he'll be back. And don't worry, I'll get to go with him one of these times. As far as I know, and as far as we intend, we're not moving there.
Moving away from the land of conjecture, we traded in the Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world for another landscape icon, the Space Needle, less than a quarter of the Burj Khalifa's height, but darned quirky.
And we traded our wall-climbing geckos and garden tortoise for this guy :
an overly affectionate Chocolate Lab named Buck
though we didn't entirely escape geckos. Nor would we want to. Thomas has an Albino Leopard Gecko, happy in her sandy cage in his room. Fair enough, since the dog went to Bethy.
We also traded that land of heat and desert and exotic exploration
for Alpine lakes and evergreen trees:
hiking in the Cascade Mountains
leaving behind the stunning oranges of the desert for greens and blues, our mountains, our tall, magnificent trees. We did miss the oranges, though, which made the pumpkin fields of autumn even more special.
It's funny, I never thought I would love anyplace as much as the Pacific Northwest, would never think that anyplace was as beautiful, call anyplace else home, but Dubai and the UAE will always have a special place in my heart, a place that aches sometimes. My senses miss the spices, the scents, especially of sand and heat, the sharp tang of incense, the accents and languages, and my heart misses the people.
There's no place like home, but what happens when you realise that more than one place can be home?
Thomas, especially, misses Dubai, and asks to go back on a fairly regular basis, no matter how many times I tell him buddy, it's too far. He has no concept of such things. After all, he flew there and back several times, what's one more airplane ride to him?
When folks here ask if there was anything he didn't like about living in Dubai, it's not the staggering heat Thomas remembers. No, he says he didn't like moving away. It was his world and home from ages 2 to 4 years old, and that left its mark on him.
We all love being home here in the Pacific Northwest, but the siren call of travel still echoes...