When you've lived so far (the other side of the world) from traditional family for so long (11 years), people from back in the states tend to forget about you. I'm not saying I blame them, I mean, afterall, I have gone 4 years or more without seeing some of them, and even longer for most. Some don't have email (shocking, I know) and some do, but don't ever write anyway. Keeping in touch with someone is difficult for most people, even family. So what do you do about that? Living way out here, with no other family but our own, kids that have gone off to college and their own lives - what now? I'm truly thankful that my son and daughter-in-law are good about communicating and keeping us up to date on their lives. I truly treasure the moments shared with them. And I get beyond excited when they get to come out here and visit me. And I'm also thankful that Sarah is back from college and living with us for a while again. Again, the moments are treasured. But as far as other family - well, sometimes you just adopt your own. In this picture you can see some family that came over from the states, but some are Saipan "family". Yep, they are the ones that come to dinner parties, holiday dinners, beach cookouts, etc. I am so thankful for my Saipan family. Life would be lonelier without you - thanks for being there. So this is a heads up to the regular Saipan family - that's right, fall is just around the corner (ok, maybe it's still a month away). YES - my favorite time of year! And although I can't live in a place with fall colors and crisp air and leaves on the ground, I will still celebrate fall. As is tradition - we will decorate with fall colors, and maybe even crank up the a/c and wear our fall sweatshirts again. I've already started planning the menu with our fall favorites, of course. Sarah is happy to be around for this one, she had to miss the last two. I am already dreaming of apple crisp, pumpkin pie, fresh homemade bread, hot veggie soup, maybe some baked yams. Yum. Don't worry, Harry, there will be meat, too. It's true, I can get fairly fanatical about the fall celebration. But there are just some things you can't do without - even if you live out here - for me it's family and FALL.