“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Recently Jody and I had to say our goodbyes to our beloved Okinawa, a land that we called home for the last 3.5 years. I’ve written extensively about saying goodbyes during our last couple of international shifts. One when we left Pensacola, Florida, the only place I really ever planted some roots since leaving my childhood home for college in 1984 (see Sayonara Amerika). And just recently when we left Japan for our return to the states once again (see Goodbye).
Saying a proper “goodbye” to people, places, and even things has become more and more important to me as time has passed. We marked our departure for the Orient back in 2013 with an Asian costume themed party to indelibly mark that occasion. And we decided to do the same upon leaving Asia for ‘Murica just last month.
Renting out one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants Sea Garden, we invited a slew of our closest friends and coworkers. Unfortunately for everyone, it seems that just the notion of wearing a costume kept more than a few people from attending. But then again, in such a setting you get to see just who your closest friends and coworkers really are. It IS important to say goodbye, and express it properly, a concept lost on so many people today who remain eternally rushed in their lives, taking things much too seriously as they neglect the things that really matter. In any case, we had a wonderful time, and will cherish these bookend parties to our Far East Fling for the rest of our lives!
So, as I sit here in our pet-friendly hotel room in Jacksonville, North Carolina, passing the time until we can sign a lease and move into our temporary home for the next 20 months, I look fondly back on my latest time in Okinawa…and slowly shift my gaze to the future here in the coastal Carolinas. But I’m already starting to scheme about the party we will throw upon our return to the Florida Panhandle in late 2018.