One thousand and thirty three miles. About 16 hours and 3 minutes worth of driving. That’s how far I’ll be from my parents home in Panama City Beach, Florida when we move to Fort Detrick (a suburb of Frederick), Maryland. Maryland. I’m going to be a Yankee. I’ll have to say words like corn pone instead of cornbread and pop instead of Coke (because anything fizzy in a can is a Coke) and carriage instead of buggy. I’ve lived in Japan the better part of three years, so I should be used to it, right? No. I accept that Japanese language and culture is different than my own. I do not accept that corn bread has sugar in it above the Mason-Dixon line. Cornbread with sugar is CAKE. Lord, talk about a culture shock.

Mike and I already discussed things and we decided that since my grandmother isn’t doing well, Seamus and I can fly to visit my family for a month or so while he gets things situated in Maryland. *sigh* At least I’ll get to see the rest of DC- I went when I was 20 and my best friend was going to school there, but I didn’t get to see everything because Ryan still had class and such while I was there. Plus, her parents offered to pay for us to go to New York City for a long weekend while I was there, so that cut things a bit short as well. Maybe she can come visit and we can sneak away for another long weekend on NYC- she appreciate museums in a way Mike never could. Bless, he wouldn’t know Monet from Manet, even if they both came up and slapped him. Plus, he’d probably make me follow the rules at the museum and wouldn’t let me get my nose milimeters away from Starry Night in a futile attempt to breathe in what Van Gogh was feeling when he painted it.

I haven’t told my mother yet. I just can’t. I know how heartbroken she’s going to be when she finds out I’m going to be so very far away yet again. Luckily, 3 hours by plane has nothing on 20+ hours by plane and I’d be much more willing to do it more often than I was here.