Sunday, June 14, 2009

Good Times, Bad Times

Today I had a wonderful day catching up with my co-workers and meeting my new boss (when I return).

I also got some bad news from Iraq. Another soldier from our unit went home a few days before I did. His daughter was just born and he got to be there. But the happy occasion turned to mourning when his new daughter died suddenly. It happened Saturday while I was traveling. The wake is tomorrow afternoon in Altoona PA about 3 hours away, so I should be able to attend. It's good that he could be home for his family, but so sad that his leave from Iraq would be marked with tragedy.

Home

At 5pm yesterday, my daughters picked me up at Harrisburg International Airport, just 57 hours after I showed up at the passenger terminal at Tallil Air Base. Since we gained 7 hours, the trip actually took 64 clock hours. But my leave did not start until one minute after midnight today, so I have only used 18 of the 360 hours (15 days) of leave.

When we got back to Lancaster from Harrisburg last night, we picked up my son Nigel then went out to dinner at Isaac's Restaurant & Deli, my favorite place to eat in Lancaster since they opened in 1983. All of the sandwiches are named after birds. My favorite sandwich is a Bird of Paradise:
An all-time favorite from our original menu! A combination of mushrooms, green olives, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, melted Swiss and Muenster cheeses on rye with mayo. 7.39
My kids each have a favorite sandwich so we ate at Isaac's then went to the Starbucks on Columbia Avenue. I got a free latte for coming back from Iraq. I'll get another one next year. We all talked and laughed till 10pm when I turned into a jet-lagged zombie and went to bed.

This morning, Nigel and I went to Dosie Dough a coffee shop and bakery near Franklin and Marshall College where my wife is a professor. We rode bikes. I had a croissant and a latte. We all walked to Church together. After Church I went to the Bike Line of Lancaster where my new bike was waiting for a test drive. The GT Peace 9 R is army green and will be stylin' in Iraq.

I rode 20 miles by myself then a dozen more with Lisa who wants to do a bunch of bicycle cross training while I am home. We'll be going to a New Orleans brass concert in the park tonight.
Tomorrow is Philadelphia.