IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
CHRISTMAS REUSE AND RECYCLE
Well it's that time of year again, gift wrapping is going into overdrive. When it comes to gift wrapping for me, I am afraid it is a case of reuse and recycle.
Every year I go to the basement and bring up my Christmas gift wrapping storage boxes. One box contains my gift bags and gift boxes of various types and sizes, the other my tissue paper and santa hats. It always makes me smile when I look through the gift bags, because most of them are the ones we used last year (and possibly even the year before that) - some even have the gift tags to family members still attached! Crazy I know, but it always seem such a shame and such a waste to throw these bags and boxes away, so I always retrieve them after the opening frenzy on Christmas Day, and store them away again.
I think maybe this behavior is somewhat inherited from having a thrifty Mother. When I was a child, we would spend an afternoon after Christmas cutting up our Christmas cards, cutting around the images on the cards, such as Christmas trees, giant baubles and Santas of all sizes, making them into our own unique gift labels which we would then use the following Christmas. Tissue paper was smoothed out and reused, even wrapping paper if it could be saved would be folded and used the following year.
Although I look longingly and jealously at other people's beautifully wrapped packages and gifts, I guess I am my Mother's daughter after all.
Merry Christmas everyone and happy wrapping!
BETWIXT AND BETWEEN
Although the majority of my time these days is spent in hot and steamy Singapore, I do also spend a chunk of time back in Virginia, U.S.A too. We still have a house there and it is always great to go back, especially as I get to see my kids.
It is always interesting making the transition from one "life" to the other. After months in Singapore getting used to things there, I have to suddenly flip to a different style of living and all that entails when I arrive back in Virginia, (usually arriving with the added bonus of a brain fogged with jet lag). For example, trying to remember the pin number for my U.S. bank account, as well as my U.S. mobile phone number, it can all be quite confusing.
It is also fun getting to drive the car back in Virginia, we don't have a car in Singapore as it is just too expensive. Huge portion sizes in restaurants, service and tipping in said restaurants as opposed to the practically non existent service and no tipping policy in Singapore. Switching from Celsius to Fahrenheit when gauging temperature - totally confused as to how hot or cold it is outside and what setting I am supposed to put the oven at. Getting used to stink bugs as opposed to geckos in the house. Layering up for the cold instead of stripping down to my bathing suit (please read carefully, that was bathing not birthday suit!). Getting to shop for groceries in the lovely Wegman's and finding everything I need in one place whilst exclaiming at the prices compared to the exorbitant ones in Singapore. Being able to take said groceries home in the car instead of battling to find a taxi and then carrying the bags up in the elevator. Going from a beautiful view of the South China Sea, to a "Sea" of trees and undulating hills, with the odd deer thrown in just for effect.
When I started my married life 30 years ago, I never for one minute envisaged the life I now lead. It has been fantastic to be able to experience all the wonderful things that have come my way over recent years. All the "adjusting" keeps me on my toes and keeps the old brain ticking along (I hope).
A big boon is knowing I have such a fabulous network of friends in both "lives" who embrace me back into their respective folds, irrevocably and unconditionally every time. I am truly blessed and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart because it really means so much to me.
But perhaps most important of all and the anchor to everything are my wonderful kids who have accepted our comings and goings (although I am sure they don't necessarily like it) and have grown as individuals because they have had to stand on their own. I am so very, very proud of them.
Life is good.
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