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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Seize the Day, and Don't Let Go!

At bedtime today Quinten was sobbing under the covers. I couldn't understand: he had gone to the zoo today with friends and Mommy, behaved very well, not gotten hurt or lost. So i asked him, "Quinten, why are you crying?"

"Because today was the best day ever, and I'm never ever going to have this good day again!"
This was not the best day ever, but it was pretty good!
Parenting creates such a messy jumble of feelings. It is so rare for me to have a "best day ever" that it took me a while to remember the latest one. And with kids, even the best day has trying moments. But I don't remember ever having a moment so pure as Quinten shared with me last night. I suppose that's part of growing up, losing that sense of perfection, forgetting that you ever had it.
I should have taken more pictures.
Soon he will be ready to ride outside the playground. We will start with some of the bike paths near our home (after walking through some somewhat hazardous territory), and work up to biking to school like I used to do with Maxine. I'm so excited! Once I've got him pedal worthy, the only holdback will be Horyon! That's gonna be a tough one.
I attempted to reassure him that there would, in fact, be better days, but I understand the feeling. It is not until we have had many "best days ever" that we realize that better days are possible. And it takes a measure of wisdom to realize that you can have more than one best day ever without jumping the shark.

Quinten is more than halfway through first grade now, and it has been an interesting year. He has matured a lot in the past eight months: he is less likely to go crazy jumping around and making noise like a monkey on cocaine, though it still happens on occasions when there is too much excitement. But when he does, I can calm him down by taking him aside and talking to him, rather than pulling him completely out of the situation and giving him an enforced time out. Inconsolable crying, like tonight, has a much shorter half-life than before.

And last week he mastered riding a bicycle! At the playground behind our home he has practiced riding in circles around the playground equipment more times than I care to count. Between the slide and the hedge that borders one side of the playground there is a little storm drain, so the ridable gap is only a couple of feet wide. As he rides this circuit he sometimes runs into the hedge, and sometimes runs into the slide. No serious injuries, not even scratches, though he got sort of pinned by the bike a couple of times. The best he managed was five times around without running into anything (or anyone).

p.s. I copied the first of this from my Facebook post, and somehow it kept the formatting, including the white background. I am not going to attempt to fix this, as from here it looks like a suspiciously deep rabbit hole.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

I have moved lots.

Horyon told me that this is our seventh move together. She didn't count the first one, probably because she didn't have more than a suitcase worth of stuff in our Seomyeon apartment. But it was a real move for me, so I would call it eight. Before that, on my own, it depends on how you count a move.

The first time I changed homes was from this little house on Congress Street in Leavenworth, KS to the home where my parents still live. I don't count this as a move because I doubt that I had anything to do with it. Probably spent a couple of days at Grandma and Grandpa Euler's home.
; moving from home to university was a single car-load affair for me, and often my parents were driving me. There are horror stories aplenty about these moves. When my long-suffering mother says to me, "Do you remember the time when you had to move from/to K.U. and you started packing the night before?" the only proper response from me is "Which year?" Later I had my own car, which took some of the pressure off. Every year there were pick-up trips in the first few weeks, and seasonal clothing exchanges. I'm pretty sure it was a pick-up truck move some years, as I had a La-Z-Boy recliner that I pretty much wore out at K.U. I ended up leaving it outside in the back alley behind Pearson Hall. My guess is that it found it's way into someone's apartment and probably kicked around a few years more before collapsing into a pile of sawdust, rust and lint. Disgusting, duct-tape sticky, semi-sentient lint.

Five years at K.U., so 10 moves there.

Nepal was either two moves, or two plus a dozen. In terms of physically transporting a lot of stuff and myself to a new dwelling place, it was just the move from America to Nepal and the move from Nepal to America. In Nepal there were two or three training site moves, a move to my village, a move from one place in my village to another, then a move to Kathmandu. There were various little moves after that with varying amounts of luggage, usually just a backpack's worth, but sometimes an aluminum trunk and a backpack. I spent a couple of months in Tulsipur with Jim Durham, a few weeks out West with Kathy Beahn, and shorter stints in different places. Let's call Nepal four moves from October 1995 until November 1997.

Then I moved to Korea, once again with no more than suitcases. I shared a place with Jason Kozar and Tom (not sure of his last name) in Chaesong-dong. Unfortunately, from a story-telling perspective, I missed the cockroach wars. Jason told me about spraying pesticide between the wall and ceiling, causing a cascade of dieing roaches. The housing was provided by ETS, and I did manage to be present for many, if not most of the major battles there.  and back to the States about nine months later to wait out the three months left in that year-long, trapped-in-hell contract. I'm pretty sure I left some stuff in Korea, planning to come back, and I did, so I'm not calling that pair moves, more like extended vacations. But before I left Korea, I moved from Chae-song-dong to a little roof-top apartment I shared with Jason Kozar. (This was partly to get out from under the thumb of the evil Mr. Edward Cho, director and owner of ETS, and proof that absolute corruption requires no more absolute power than that of a hogwan director. "Jason betrayaled you! He told immigration everything!" "What everything? That I'm working for a crooked hogwan?")

Our apartment was on the eighth floor of this seven-floor building, perched on the roof like an afterthought, and slightly better insulated than a tool shed. Jason taught in the hogwan on the fifth floor, and the owner of the building lived on the top floor, right beneath us. I never worked for her, but she was one of the nicest hogwan owner/directors I've ever met. Her English wasn't great, and there were plenty of misunderstandings, but in general we all got along well. She had twin daughters in middle school at the time, and they spoke English very well. I don't have any pictures of the apartment, but the building it's perched on is here on Google maps. Cold as hell in the winter, hot as an oven in the summer. We had access to the rest of the roof for hanging laundry or just chilling out. (Thanks to Jason for hunting this down for me. Apparently while I was living there I had no idea where I the heck I was.) There are some good memories associated with that place: late nights of Starcraft of Starcraft with Jason, watching his relationship with his future wife Sora grow. I changed employment, played trombone with a band called Mondo Pepper, had a brief roller-coaster relationship with Korean groupie who chose alcohol over me, and eventually wound up working at YBM/ELS in Seomyeon. So two more moves.

My next move was to a rental house, a bit of a rarity here. One story, Kitchen/dining room and two bedrooms. In some ways it was the best place I've lived in Korea: the neighbors were a bit noisy, but they weren't above me. It was kind of cold in the winter, but not deadly hot in the summer. It was cozy. I had a decent stereo, a workable kitchen, and a shelf of cassette tapes (left by the former renters) that introduced me to one of my favorite band, Rusted Root. And though we only lived there for a few days, it was still, in my mind, our first home as a married couple.

Moving from there is the last move that doesn't include Horyon, so two more, for a total of 18 moves before I turned 31. The move of September 3rd was our seventh together, so I'm up to 25 moves! By now I'm sure I've left more stuff behind than I have now, but I still have too much stuff!

This post has gotten long enough, so I'm going to stop here and actually write about the move last month on its own.

A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.