06 June 2008

06 June 2008 – Friday

Our first full day as civilians was a busy and messy one. Busy because we started to unpack everything including the boxes that have arrived. Messy because most of it never got put away so it is in stacks around the house.

My main tasks of the day was to try and neutralize the lingering odors. Other things that I accomplished was going to the store to get more small things we needed or desired such as light bulbs, diet root beer, and gasoline. This I did by visiting 3 stores including CostCo where I got a membership and the gasoline. Gasoline is $3.80 a gallon – that is about $1.20 more than when we left on our mission.

Before I left to do the shopping I noticed that Mary looked very tired so I told her to just go back to bed and get some rest. Yesterday was very long and tiring for her and it is going to take at least two days for her to get her strength back. So for the rest of the day – at least until Jim came, she would stop and rest between other tasks.

It turns out the washing machine is broken – at least the setting dial is stripped so you can not start the machine. We really need a new one so we decided that while Jim was here we would get a new one from Sears.

I did walk around the yard and pull a few weeds. There is a lot that did not come back this year or perhaps it was last year. But the basic garden is still here so a month of hard work and buying new plants should bring it back to normal. I am not going to do too much because we will not be here for next year’s garden.

Jim, Kristy, Olivia and Charlotte arrived about 5:30. They had stopped off at Cindy’s and Bob’s along the way. At first Olivia was not too sure about us, but within 20 minutes we were best friends. Earlier in the day I had bought a close-out graduation toy at Albertson’s. It is a bear dressed in robes and hat that when you turn him on dances and sings. That was the ice breaker and soon we were best buddies.

While Jim, Kristy, and Mary got the makings for tacos going, Olivia and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. We stopped in at the Alexanders where once again it took a while for her to get over her shyness and then as we were walking home we saw Mitch Pratt, Mark Radmall, and Will Grace out in the Pratt’s yard talking about Harleys and stopped to say hello. Olivia was soon friends with them and the Pratt’s dog.

One funny thing about our walk was when I introduced her and asked her to tell the people her age she would always say “I am 3 and a half” and show them how her light up hair barrette worked. As we walked into the cul-de-sac she noticed the two Tanner boys out playing and had to stop and say hi! We ended up playing with them for a short time.

Tacos were wonderful – I explained to Jim that he needed to heat the oil as hot as he could to keep the tortillas from becoming soggy. Earlier Mary had carefully explained how to make the guacamole. Kristy says that her family are not fully converted to our soft tacos. So I guess this is one Pier family tradition that will go one for a couple more generations. I wonder if anyone reading this 30 years from now will say to themselves – “So that is where those great tacos came from.”

After Jim and his family went home, we finished cleaning up most of the kitchen and headed to bed. One thing that is really hard for me to get use to is that the sun does not set until almost 9 PM.  For 18 months the sun was down no later than 6:30.

A quick comment about the yard. I am writing this on Saturday morning and I am sitting here looking out the front window at the sea of green from the oaks, aspens, spruces and other trees. It is really beautiful. There is lots of green in Indonesia but the greens that are in my own yard are special.

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