It was exactly 4 weeks ago today on October 27th that I left Abu Dhabi and flew back to Hoboken. The past four weeks were a blur as I finally settled my father-in-law's estate and then jumped right into moving my dad from his home of 50 years to an independent living community minutes from my sister and her family in Silver Spring, Maryland. I managed to fit in shopping for things to bring back to Abu Dhabi, and I spent some lovely time with friends.
But dear heaven it was a stressful four weeks. Many times I woke up in the middle of the night and had a few moments of disorientation: "Where am I? Am I in Hoboken or in Clinton Corners in my childhood bedroom? Or at Lori's in Maryland? Or Abu Dhabi?" One night I remember waking up alone in bed and thinking, "Oh Doug is still doing email out in the living room. I need to go get him," only to realize in the next moment that he was half a world away.
I am so grateful I was able to come home and get my dad settled. Now I can rest easy knowing he is in a safe and comfortable place with lots of neighbors and plenty of activities to occupy his time. My sister is thrilled that he is near so he can join their family for holiday meals and attend his grandchildren's school concerts and other activities. I feel such relief knowing Dad's house is completely cleared out and cleaned up so when it is finally sold (fingers crossed) there will be nothing to do other than deal with the paperwork. And I am so happy I was able to meet up with many of my friends.
But I am very, very happy to be returning to Abu Dhabi. Before I left I was able to get our apartment set up, so when I arrive I can simply unpack and settle in. Now that I know I will be there for a good chunk of time I can begin exploring in earnest and find interesting activities or classes...... who knows? I can begin planning Jeff's Christmas visit, and then in January my friend Linda is flying in from San Francisco, and among other things we're going birding in the Dubai Creek area. My friend Mary Catherine wants to rendezvous in either India or Africa. I mean how cool is that? And I am hoping other friends will be able to come visit in Abu Dhabi or meet me somewhere in Europe. I can hardly believe I have these opportunities!
Mainly, however, I am looking forward to returning to Abu Dhabi so I can rejoin Doug. When we decided to go over with his NYU job it was with the idea that it would be an adventure we would share. The past few years have been challenging for us, and even though his position at NYUAD is intense and will require vast amounts of his time, we are committed to exploring and enjoying this time together. I can't wait!
Let the Arabian Adventure resume.
I'm flying back on Lufthansa with a 7-hour (ugh!!!!) layover in Frankfurt. I've never flown a 747 before, so this is another "first" for me.