Sunday, November 6, 2011

He's Ba-ack!

Blog, can I just say how nice it is to finally have my brother back home in the states? It's really nice. After four years of living in Italy, he's back. And he's not only back in the country, he's back in North Dakota. Granted, he's on the other side of North Dakota in Minot, he's still in North Dakota. That's about as good as you can get as far as proximity goes in this massive country of ours. Maybe not as good as far as Air Force base assignments go... I wouldn't want to live in Minot. I mean, it is nicknamed "Magic City", but all that flooding...

It's funny to think about the four years he's been gone. I was the one who dropped him off at the airport when he flew away to Italy. He came back a just few times over the years to visit, and with the immense distance that was always between us, I've grown used to the idea that my brother will just never be a staple in my life. I remember dropping him off in the wee hours of the morning so he could catch his flight to Europe. All he had was a big duffel bag/back pack filled with whatever possessions he could fit into it. It is impressive to think about him leaving with that bag since he has since returned with a wife, a baby, and a shipment of furniture and other belongings that is currently on its way to North Dakota via a semi truck that picked up said shipment somewhere in Texas after it had spent four weeks on a boat crossing the Atlantic.

My little brother walks away after finishing up his basic training...

Bam! Four years later, wife and baby. Thanks Air Force.

It's amazing how much the military does for those who work within it. Capella can't even provide me with decent cutlery to accompany my lunch let alone offer to pack up my belongings and sail them across an ocean for me. Thanks Capella.

Then again, Capella won't send me to a war-torn desert where I have nothing to do but play yahtzee and sleep in a tiny room with 8 other people for five months. So there's that.

I digress. It's nice to have him back. This Christmas will be the first Christmas I've spent with my brother since 2006, I believe; and I honestly have no recollection of what that Christmas entailed. Even better, he's got this wife and kid now so it'll be extra special family times. I mean, there's a baby involved. A baby who apparently looks like me. How fun is that?

Not only is it nice to have him back in a holiday sense, but also because he can now hang out with my mom and keep her occupied instead of resting that entire task upon my shoulders. I love my mom, but it's hard to make the 4+ hour drive to North Dakota on a regular basis to see her. And the few times she's been down here have been stressful since she's terrible at navigating city streets and I have nowhere to put her up. But now my brother is back and can remind my mom that she actually has two kids. My brother was also brilliant and procreated so he can leave his spawn with my mother (which satisfies her beyond belief) and traipse about in the metropolis of Fargo with his betrothed. Win, win, win, win. The only one who loses out is the baby and that's only because she's not on a routine yet with her grandmother.

It's weird to think that my mom is a grandma. Of course I've known that she is a grandma for over a year, but it's only becoming a reality now that everyone is on this side of the Atlantic. It's strange how much of a difference has already been made with Ian being back and I haven't even seen him yet. Just a couple weeks and Thanksgiving is upon us. So is a reunion with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. Had you asked the 13 year old version of me if I was excited to see my brother for Thanksgiving back in '98 I would have awkwardly laughed in your face and then felt some sort of strange and obscure Catholic guilt about it, but still would have known it to be utterly ridiculous to think that I at any point in time would wholly appreciate my brother's presence in my life.


  1. You make a good point about the military, I have pretty much come to the same conclusion, there are really nice parts and really lame parts. And no, I don't think Minot would be a particularly nice assignment. Also, I am not sure why you were taking pictures of your brother and his family taking a bath? It makes you seem creepy. Creepy, Veldhouse, creepy.

  2. Minot is nice just for proximity's sake. They're only three hours away from my mom, which is much more convenient than, oh say, Italy. I mean, now I can get pictures of them all bathing together now that they're home since there are no baths in Italy, right?