The last time I wrote I had two weeks of home leave already under my belt. I spent those first two weeks with family in the midwest having a picture-perfect Christmas. It was truly amazing to see almost all of my extended family - especially all the new additions we've had this year!
Since then I have been on a whirlwind tour of the Sunshine State. My family came along too which was a huge blessing. It was good timing too. We still experienced the 'arctic blast' but it wasn't nearly as painful as it would have been back home. (On a side note, what were my ancestors thinking when they settled here? Did they fall off the wagon train? Get lost and mistakenly think they had arrived in California already? Were they just gluttons for punishment? It really is a mystery for the ages.)
Anyway, the main purpose of the trip was to purchase a house, and unlike last year's almost identical trip, this time I was successful. Well, not 100% successful - I actually bought land rather than a house which will slow things down a bit - but I think you'll agree that the trade off was worth it...
Now of course comes the part where I have to pay for the privilege. Not to mention the potentially fun but likely overwhelming part where I have to build a house (or rather, where someone else will build a house with my money with exactly zero supervision from me) while living a million miles away.
Still, I'm excited about this new step and the prospect of having my very own home to stay in the next time I'm on home leave.
*Incidentally, I've heard some very mixed reviews of home ownership as an expat from my foreign service friends. What do you say, internet? Good idea? Bad idea? What are your experiences?