Friday, February 15, 2013

The Process Has Begun

Yesterday I went downtown and met with Kevin's "right hand" to plan out the schedule for our move back to Washington. There are many steps in the process of moving with the U.S. Government and it is in our best interest to begin as early as possible. 

I scheduled our "pack out" date for May 20th, which is almost a month earlier than I initially wanted. My original plan was for the kids to finish school on June 7th, hang out with their friends and then help me organize for a pack out on June 17th. However, I found out yesterday that it is only after our pack out is completed that the Embassy can apply for the export permits needed to ship our stuff out of Thailand - and just getting those permits can take up to six weeks. So, the sooner our pack out is completed, the sooner the permit process can start and the sooner we will have our stuff on the other end. 

This process is actually better than the one for our move here. Although we packed out of Miami in early June, per Government regulations, our household goods were not released for shipment to Bangkok until after we arrived in Thailand - and we didn't receive them in Bangkok until two months later. Since the house in Nichada is furnished and the Embassy will give us a "survival kit", it makes sense to pack out earlier, especially if there is a slight possibility that our stuff can leave Thailand before we do. Or right after. 

Although I did all of this just two years ago, I forgot how much there is involved with organizing a move, and an international one at that. In addition to deciding how/when Kevin, the kids and I will fly back, I need to figure out how to get Sonder home. Obviously, when we moved here, he and Simpson made the trip together. Although they were in different crates on the airplane, they were kept side by side at all times and they seemed to do really well on the trip over. Now we are leaving minus Simpson and I am worried about how Sonder will do traveling solo.

For Christmas, Jim and Jan gave Kevin the book "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.   
Kevin read it while we were in Beijing, Jim read it while we were in Koh Chang and Jan read it one night (until 1:00 am!) in Bangkok. I couldn't be left out and had to read this book. 

"A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln.
More than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor; recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy--and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.

The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the reader. This may well be the most talked about book of the year." 

Since the book is based on fact and the outcome is certainly known before even picking up the book, I thought the story would be told in such a way so as to lend credence to the conspiracy theory angle but that wasn't the case. In fact, I felt the authors did just the opposite and presented how a "perfect storm" of random events and seemingly inconsequential actions on that day (many done at Kennedy's own direction) combined with Oswald's anger, fortunate timing and place of employment to create the opportunity for Kennedy to be shot.

"Killing Kennedy" is a very easy and interesting book to read and there were so many things that I learned while reading that definitely made it worth the read. I would highly recommend it. Even if you don't like the Kennedy family. Or Bill O'Reilly. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this book - it was just "that" kind of a book. 

Have a great Friday!

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