Like it was just yesterday. I still remember you on one knee at Manchester Airport (if you want me to say yes to something, asking when I’m jet-lagged and just getting off an 8 hr flight is a good time to ask), and I remember Louise looking concerned that I might have said no when we got to the car. I can still feel the loose buckle on my left shoe that made my leg wobble throughout the ceremony. I can still taste that first sip of Yorks Tea at the reception. 
How are we ten years older in the picture on the right than we were in the one on the left? How have we had ten Christmases and Easters and moved house twice and country twice? How has our house been home to seven dogs and a cat in that space of time? Didn’t I just arrive at Heathrow and have my visa stamped? Wasn’t it just a few minutes ago when we drove to Atlanta to get my biometrics done, or to Berea to sort out your social security? I’m certain it was only a week or so ago, maybe a month, that I picked you up at Hartsfield right after you collected me at Manchester when we were basically living at various airports and train stations. Wasn’t it?
I’m so grateful for the macaroni and cheese, the shared nerdiness, the willingness to put up with my shenanigans, the flashlights bought for me to take to faire, the resolve to get up when the girls are howling so that I can lie in, the whispered, “love you, bye” when I think I’ve managed to get out the door without waking you, the love of travel and history, the debates over whatever has just been said on telly, the ability not to laugh in my face when I think I’m speaking Yorkshire, the shared love of Greenville, the support and encouragement to be a writer, the shared – and different – expat experience, and all the other things that I have been given over the past ten years that I most certainly did not and do not deserve. 
Ten years done and dusted, and as many more as I can get to come. Love you to absolute bits, Simon.


Lurve by Nancy Dunne
Lurve, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

Well, my bags are packed (not really), it’s early morn (in the US), the taxi’s waiting (he’s here for a neighbor I guess), he’s blowin’ his horn (not really, that’s just someone jaywalking)…

I don’t leave till tomorrow, but I am trying to go on and process it today so that tomorrow isn’t so awful. Flying days SUCK, but at least there are some bright spots this time:

I start a new job on Tuesday. More details on that later, as I’m not sure they’ve told everyone else that applied for the position.

We are an interview (and possibly a piece of documentation or two) away from Simon having his green card.

I will be living with my ClownA at least M-F and hopefully more if I can find a place to live that I can afford.

But still, something is tugging at me. This tiny island grabs hold of you with all it has when you let it, and it is so very hard to let go. One day I’ll be back for good, but for now we are ready to start a new chapter living in America. I’ve been ready to start that chapter since May!

See you guys on the other side of a big ocean and a tin bird.

Oh Christmas Tree…and other traditions


All my anti-holiday sentiment seems to have reversed itself in a fiery blaze of lights and stockings and tinsel and I’m all about Christmas now!  Amazing what one most-certainly overpriced plane ticket will do for one’s outlook, isn’t it?

I’m noticing the Christmas decorations in the stores.  I even purposefully turned the radio to one of those stations that thinks it’s a good idea to play Christmas music 24-7 from Thanksgiving till New Years.  I’m not sure what’s happened, but this Grinch’s heart has grown more than two sizes in the past week.

I was thinking today about my favourite Christmas traditions, and realised that other than some that revolved around going to church on Christmas eve my family doesn’t really have anything that we all do year after year at Christmas.  That made me a bit sad, but at the same time I think about how that give me and Simon a chance to create our own traditions and that, as my friend Lynne would say, makes me wickedly, wickedly happy.  I feel like so much of our married life has been…up in the air, I guess?  We haven’t settled into “Our First Married Home” because we were trying to sell it.  We didn’t know where we were going to end up, so I think we’ve sort of put the memory making part of being newlyweds on hold.  That includes Christmas traditions.  We eat our own little Christmas dinner for two, watch Christmas telly, and generally act like slugs all the way from the Queen’s speech to Doctor Who.

What are your family traditions?  What do you do every year without fail?  What makes Christmas feel like Christmas to you?  Mine will start with seeing my Mister’s face on Christmas Day.  Happy Two Weeks till Christmas Eve, y’all!