Saturday, November 16, 2013

But I Do Love You.

Okinawa, Japan is 12 or 13 hours ahead of Naples, Florida & Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio. It is an up to 30 plus hour plane ride. And not a day goes by that that isn't on my mind.

I never forget how far away Madison is from our family. Her family. She will be nearly 4 years old before our family is an active part of her life beyond a computer screen & phone calls.

Not as important, I can't go out and get an Arby's Beef N Cheddar. Bi-weekly "cheat" trips to Smithfields are out of the question. Cookout's greasy goodness does not drip all over my fingers, and will not be washed down with a blueberry cheesecake milkshake. I indulge in no skyline, and I do not repulse my husband with the smell of two white castle cheese sliders & a small order of onion fries.

I can't buy home goods at Kirklands and hope my husband doesn't notice when he comes home from being away. He can't offer to buy me an unexpected pair of wedges from Buckle as my eyes light up passing them on our way to Gymboree at the mall, let alone go to Wilmington on the weekends to get a better selection of clothes (and still come home with only 1 shirt because I'm THAT picky.)

Friday summer nights don't begin every night in Drew's back yard staying up way too late only to get way too early to go to the beach and sit on the back of a Jeep. Heck no weekend nights at all begin that way. We don't go to Chilis (again!) with Chelsea, Jake, "Sky", and Kali. No more movie nights in their living room. No more promising Sky a balloon (which I always forgot to buy but he didn't care) if he did this or that.

But, Okinawa, I do love you. And I know that these next three years are going to go by way too quickly.

The island is straight off of an internet "paradise" google image search. You have beaches, country side, caves, water falls, children's parks, amazing food, hidden shacks, and soaring building all on one small island. You can wake up and relax in a beautiful quiet park with a small stream running under an old bridge, then end up in a loud bar eating sushi and drinking sake by night fall. Nothing about this island, so far, had made me think "I could do without that." Every thing is so beautiful and I usually sit in the passenger seat for that very reason. More opportunity to view what a wonderful place I have been granted the pleasure of calling home.

The people are just as beautiful as the island they so graciously opened to us. They are genuinely kind & thoughtful. You rarely see a glum face-- and if you do, the moment their gaze meets you smiling and nodding hello their face instantly brightens up with a smile & twinkling eyes as they nod back. Madison is seldom passed without a Kawaii (cute!) or some serious baby googly eyes. They almost always HAVE to touch her cheeks or hands. And I don't mind one bit. Because 9 times out of 10 if the person is even the slightest bit sick, they wear a mask. The courtesy they share for one another is outstanding.

If you are expecting a deliver, and given a 2 hour time frame, typically-- ignore the last hour & a half they say. If they say there will be here between 10 & 12 they will either be sitting in the truck waiting for the clock to strike 10 or will be there before 10:30. Their word is their word, and rarely will any thing change that.

Parking lots, while smaller than Stateside, are typically guided by attendants, both in & out of the parking lot. Often there are men pointing you in the direction of a parking spot.

I have yet to see a trash or recycling bin anywhere outside of a place of business (and even those aren't in plain sight), but I have yet to see litter. Off base at least.

Nothing about this island ceases to amaze me. And I hope it is always that way.

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