April 1, 2012
This post will be a short one due to the fact that I am now in the US of A visiting my son, a major in the Marine Corps, just returned from from spending the last 12 months in the garden country of Afghanistan. Also, we got to meet our new grandchildren Natalie, 20 months, and Brandon, 5 months, for the first time. So, as you can see, I am somewhat preoccupied at the moment.
But I did want to share this: If you are thinking of, or are already, settled into your retirement overseas, then this is something you will need to consider. After you leave, life will continue on for your family and loved ones who remain behind. And even though Skype and Facebook will allow you to keep in contact and see the changes happening with them, it can never be the same as holding your grandson while he spits up on your shoulder or having your granddaughter sitting on your lap teaching you how to navigate through her iPad folder and pull up her personal games and music (20 months old!!!).
And here is another thing that surprised me: How good I would feel after landing at Dulles International after 24 hours in an aluminum cylinder and seeing Ol’ Glory waving in the wind and hearing the recorded announcement “For U.S. citizens returning from abroad, Welcome Home.” And to take a really deep breath in the chilled clean air (sans Chiang Mai Smog and 95 degree weather) and feel my lungs completely fill up for the first time in weeks – like champagne for the lungs.
And then there is how good all natural Bryers Ice Cream tastes, as do those huge Costco hot dogs, and a nice thick prime rib. And speaking of “thick” how about American toilet paper? And then there’s my son’s new HD TV which is almost too good. I mean, I love Tina Fey and her show 30 Rock is one of the funniest shows ever, but I don’t need to see every pore in her face. But the NBA games almost look like they are in 3D and I am looking forward to watching the Master’s Golf Tournament and seeing the individual blades of grass and every azalea bloom. Although I love my home and life in Thailand, I have to admit that there are still lots of good stuff here in America.
Well, it is off to do some touring of our nation’s capitol, the Mall with its cherry trees in bloom, the Lincoln Memorial to relive the 1968 March on the Pentegon that I attended, the Smithsonian and then to take the kids to the National Zoo. Lots of stuff to fit into a couple of weeks. I’ll write more about retiring to Thailand when I get back. Until then, the following is what I am up to.