Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays From Okinawa!

by Pa Rock
Tramp of the World

(The following is the holiday message that I sent out to friends and family earlier today.  That effort consumed all of my originality quotient for the day and will have to suffice for this space as well!  Happy holidays!)

Happy holidays to all of my friends back in the snow!   It is Christmas Eve afternoon on Okinawa, the temperature is 80 degrees under mostly clear skies, and I have been running up and down the island is shorts and a tee-shirt getting some last-minute things done before all of the stores close this evening.

For you Jackass fans, Wee Man is on the island.  I haven't run into him yet, which is a wonder because we have been at some of the same places this morning.  He was giving an hilarious interview on the local radio station when I rolled out of bed this morning.  Jackass 3-D is premiering at the local military theatres today, and he is here to pump up interest in the film.   I will probably catch it in a a few days because I am a fan.  I thought the first movie was hysterical, but the second didn't live up to the high standards set by the first!

Trace Atkins is also someplace on Okinawa performing for the USO.  

There was a special announcement on the radio this morning begging everyone who uses the Kadena post office to come in and pick up their incoming Christmas presents because the facility had literally run out of room to pile packages.  There probably fifteen people were working at the package window when I got there - including the base Commanding General, Command Sergeant Major, and a few bird colonels!  One thing I can say for Brigadier General Wilsbach, he had the place running smoother than I have ever seen it function before.  His elves knew how to hop-to!

Friends and I went to a wonderful jazz concert last night by a Japanese pianist named Hiromi Uehara.  She was absolutely amazing and kept the audience of three or four thousand (at $60 a ticket!) enthralled for nearly three hours!   Ms. Uehara pounded out some serious jazz, interspersed with bits of musical humor and whimsy.  She is quite a showman - sort of a mix of Jerry Lee Lewis and Marian McPartland!

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, the same friends and I are meeting at one of their houses to share a potluck meal and play some games.  I am going to bring two of my world famous store-bought pies and a carton of ice cream!

Two of those same friends and I spent Thanksgiving in Korea - Seoul and Busan.  We arrived the very day that North Korea shelled the island in South Korea, which resulted in our planned side trip to the DMZ being cancelled.  But other than that one little hiccup, the trip was fun and a major success!  I am hoping to also get to Vietnam while living in the Far East.

My kids all appear to be doing fine.  Tim and Erin are coming to Okinawa and then on to Tokyo in April, and I hope that the rest will make it out here sometime during the summer. Gail and all of her kids are heading out on a cruise December 26th.  The Smith kids lost their father last year on New Year's Eve in a tragic accident that almost took Reed from us. (Gail and I lost our father last year on Christmas day.)   May this holiday season be much better for all of us!

All is well here.  No, it doesn't feel like the Christmas season, but I know that it is, and I wish you the very best for the upcoming New Year. 

1 comment:

nick said...

Merry Christmas Dad. We miss you and wish you we could all be together for the holiday.

Nick and Boone