Big things have been happening since the last posting. The surreal event of having my position publicly posted to begin interviewing for the successor to lead my department. Multiple reservations & deposits for accommodations in Europe. And Alex complaining that she doesn’t want to go on the trip because she will miss all her friends – she just wants everything to be “normal”. She doesn’t want to be in Vietnam for Christmas next year! I think she anticipates something we will all feel next year. This time next year we may be in a very different culture. I expect we will be feeling nostalgic about Christmas trees, house lights, fireplaces, stockings, fudge, and family. Anticipating next year abroad makes this year seem even more poignant – which is a very good thing. This helps us live in the moment, appreciate our friends and family, and recognize that even with traditions everything really only happens once.
(Patrick & Alex at the Danville tree lighting in 2011)