This Is About Souvenirs
CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO
My life was a highway. I was sailing along in fifth gear enjoying the East China Sea, some coffee and a few rounds of Old MacDonald to keep peace with the boys. After two years and change on this road, I have been in cruise control.
And then on New Year’s Eve it turned into 2008.
Two. Thousand. Eight. The year of the mouse. Also, the year we are leaving Okinawa. Gadzooks.
So it’s more like third gear on the same highway now. The engine like a sack of exclamation points squealing at me. I will spare you my new rainbow of emotions. At the moment I am trying to sift the rainbow into lists because lists are order and sanity. Leaving and starting over is not sanity.
One super important list is called WHAT TO BUY BEFORE LEAVING. Super important. I save the big ticket souvenir shopping for the end of my travels so that I choose things that reflect my feelings about that place. Feelings isn’t the right word. I want things that represent what I have started to know and dig about the country, the people, the culture, the food and on and on.
So I made a choice.
Last year, almost exactly one year ago, we started this blog and added pictures from a Flickr group called Okinawa Lovers. These are the same pictures you see in the left sidebar now. Every time I saw a picture that I loved it was taken by annya_okinawa. And for a year I’ve enjoyed her work and how it captures something true and raw and gorgeous about this here Okinawa. So I’m going to buy me some of her stellar prints.
Here are just a few of the ton that I love:
I can totally picture some day in a different home, in a different country, at a different desk looking at these shots and getting transported back to our three years in Okinawa where Eli got his first stitches, where Henry was born, where Joe and I caught a groove in our marriage and where, despite having no family around, we made a home.
How about you? What will you bring home from Okinawa?