Hurry up and wait has been my motto for so long, now I have to change it, at least, temporarily. And I have to admit, it’s hard to get out of this gear I’ve been stuck in for so long.
My last article was posted, but it was posted late as I tend to have been in hurry up and wait mode for far too long. This article too is coming a little late, but I’m going to throw in another part that will bring us current to date on our process.
FIRST: My wife has PASSED her citizenship test!!! YAY!!!! They still interrogated her on the reason her name was not on various things again, but she was prepared and took out everything with our name together. Vehicle Title, Insurance, etc. We don’t have much since we’ve been waiting in limbo for a while and have been prepared to leave this cold state for months now. But, she was strong, held her ground, and then passed her test! I had no doubt that she would pass, as we studied pretty often by quizzing her. And she studied relentlessly each day. She was determined to get this on the first try, and she’s a smart cookie anyway… so I had no doubt. They only ask ten questions, and you need to get six right. Once you have six questions right, they stop. They only had to ask her six questions, as she got them all right! I told you she was smart!
After the exam, she came out with a simple white piece of paper that stated that she had passed and that citizenship was recommend. We waited in the lobby for a short while afterwards for the staff to come out and give all who passed an official letter stating they would be sworn in on February 20, 2014. That’s right!!!! As I write this article, that day is just a short three days away!!!! Only a one week wait. I’ve heard of ten-30 days, so I didn’t really know what to expect, and that swear in date is what we needed, or rather I needed to know, before I could proceed with everything else.
Now, as I stated earlier, I have been in hurry up and wait mode for a long time. We’ve been set back at almost every step since she got here. So when we heard that the Oath Ceremony would be in just a week, it changed my gears. I had to use my clutch and shift out of first gear, or neutral and into some high gears fast!! And old Sammy Hagar song comes to mind, “I can’t drive 55!!!”. It seems that I have a lot to do now, and not much time to do it in, as I am determined to travel to the warmth as soon as possible. The weather isn’t getting any better here in Michigan anytime soon, so some warm weather and sunshine would be a welcome change for a while! And summer is right around the corner there too, so I’ll be in full speed sweat mode.
So, let’s take a few steps back since I am running a little behind in this article writing and got a couple steps ahead of myself. My wife’s test was February 13, 2014. One day before Valentine’s Day. Now, I’m not a big fan of the holiday, but I am a fan of my wife and I am VERY happy we are able to celebrate her passing the citizenship test, so we had to celebrate. We had other things to do on the 13th, due to family obligations, but we managed to get out on the 14th for some shopping at the mall, some other errands to pick up a dress coat from the dry cleaners for my wife’s oath taking ceremony, and then out to dinner. It was a nice dinner and I should have enjoyed the moment more, but my mind was on my list. I really need to think more about getting into the moment with something special like that. That is definitely one of my pitfalls. My mind always seems to be on something that needs to be done. And… with the speed of the Oath taking ceremony fast approaching, and our departure seemingly closer than I thought it would be, I was thinking I was now not situated for an easy finalization of our trip.
Since the test we have packed our final boxes, had them picked up by Albert, our trusty Balik Bayan box guy, and have made arrangements with my sister to continue to send us boxes of things we need or want that we can’t seem to find in the PI. My main concern for me is clothes, as I know they don’t sell Big Men’s clothes in the PI. I’ve also been thinking about some of my favorite cooking recipes and the party I want to hold to celebrate our arrival in the PI and the foods I would like to make for everyone. So, the list of ingredients has been written, food has been shopped for, and that too has been put into the BB boxes and sent off.
I also suddenly remembered that I wore out a pair of sandals in one short Michigan summer, so the thought of getting some new sandals was on my mind as well. We went shopping and bought some items to add to another BB box to be sent out when we leave. And some sandals to take with me on the plane. I’d like to get off the plane in full-on vacation gear! Shorts, sandals, t-shirt, and Hawaiian shirt! I’ve been waiting for this trip since we were supposed to go on vacation two years ago, but didn’t because I got hurt. Now… it’s going to be AWESOME!
Today is President’s Day here in the U.S. A holiday that as far as I can tell is not even celebrated, except by the government employees who get the day off, or if they are needed, get overtime. Oh, and some of the kids are out for “winter break”. I would think they would have gotten enough of that in January when they had over ten snow days!! I guess not though. I was hoping to call around to the Philippines Consulate and check into the few things my wife and I would like to get accomplished before our travels, like an extended visa for myself instead of traveling all over to get an extension after we arrive. If memory serves me correctly, this is an easy thing to do on arrival, as I’m married to a Philippine born spouse, but I want to make sure.
I’m going to cut this short as I seem to be rambling. Another issue I have when I have too much on the plate and can’t find an answer I need. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel though, and it has long been coming.
I’ll be selling my car here now, getting plane tickets, and making sure we have a nice party for my wife to celebrate her Oath Ceremony, and a going away party for us as well.
Quick question for those that aren’t cheap like me… should I hold two different parties? One party to celebrate my wife becoming a U.S. Citizen, and another for our departure to the Philippines? I’m thinking all at one time. In part because I am cheap, but also because the dates for her ceremony party and our departure would be very close together. Of course, all the more reason to get together with everyone and spend time with them before we go, right?
Any suggestions on that part would be helpful!! I love you wise married men!!!
Until next time, paalam, ingat, and God bless!