Time for Top Tens!

Three weeks and counting! Made a couple of mental lists while driving around the ‘burbs today.

Top Ten Things I Won’t Miss about NoVA

1.) Women in minivans yakking on cell phones. Going ten miles under the speed limit and/or making very slow, wide left turns with one hand. You know who you are.

2.) Guys in white Dodge vans doing the same thing. Except they are whizzing along the Beltway and changing lanes without looking.

3.) Freezing cold grocery stores. I HATE that starting in May, I have to keep a sweatshirt in the car for grocery shopping. I have never had to do this in any other country. It’s a peculiarly wasteful and irritating American habit.

4.) Freezing cold restaurants. I don’t get that either. I hate it.

5.) Deer. They are everywhere, and should be culled big-time while there are still a few azaleas and hostas left. This week. Bring on the bow-hunters. I’ll duck–I promise! And you can leave some venison on the porch for me, OK?

6.) The Design Review Board.

7.) Public high school. I’m sorry. It worked out really well for my daughter. But for the teenager–not so much. We’re pretty much over it.

8.) Dragging my kid out of bed at 6:30 AM. See above.

9.) Too much salt and/or too much sugar.

10.) Waivers, privacy notices, and permission slips. Enough already!

Top Ten Things I Will Miss About NoVA

1.) Cheap ethnic restaurants. God, I love ’em.

2.) Thrift stores. We probably do 75 percent of our dry goods shopping this way, and find some pretty cool stuff, too.

3.) Free and inexpensive museums. With signs in English!

4.) The Goya section at Giant Food.

5.) Farmer’s markets and roadside produce stands.

6.) Having a garden (even with deer chomping on it all the time).

7.) Nearly everyone being nice. Yes, I mean it. Americans in the DC area are nearly always pleasant to interact with, at least on an everyday basis. You don’t know how great that is until you’ve lived a couple of years in Eastern Europe. I’m going to approach Vienna with an open mind in this regard, but I don’t know, it’s just three hours from Prague…

8.) The Virginia countryside and associated Civil War geekery.

9.) My stitch and bitch group. Yeah, I know I can start another one at post, and I know we’ll stay in touch. But it really helped me stay sane over the last year. No one else would have understood all the crap we were going through. Thanks, ladies!

10.) Being able to drive down and see my daughter every few weeks at UVa. OK, I was spoiled. But it really was nice!


  1. Sniff, sniff..I was trying to ignore the fact that you were leaving…but after number 9 on the miss list! BTW, I WILL learn how to knit next year, I promise…just having, you know, confidence issues right now…but I’ll get there! Who knows, maybe we’ll end up in EUR and we can do a mini-S&B!


  2. What’s wrong with driving under the speed limit? It is safer than what everyone here does, which involved unseemly speeds in any weather.


  3. Here are mine …

    Swimming at the beach all year
    Exercising in my own little swimming pool
    Getting a fresh coconut water at the gas station on my way home
    Going to Baños de San Vicente and having a massage with volcanic mud – for $4.00
    Taking a walk in my neighborhood and seeing parrots and iguanas
    Buying a giant head of broccoli for 50 cents
    Visiting people with leprosy and receiving a blessing from them
    Flying to the Galapagos for $250
    Walking around school and having everyone say hello to me, and teenage boys kiss me on the cheek

    Getting excited when the supermarket has Tastee-O’s (generic Cheerios)
    People creating a nonexistent middle lane by zooming between other cars (or trucks full of rocks)
    Trying to watch something online and getting the message “You cannot use our service because your computer is located outside the United States”
    Having metal bars on all my windows and armed guards at the entrance to my neighborhood
    Feeling sweat running down my back every afternoon, all year, about 3:00
    Washing my lettuce and strawberries in a smelly chemical bath
    Driving to the mall on Sunday afternoon – but giving up and leaving because there aren’t any parking spaces
    Worrying about being carjacked on the way home from school
    Not going out because the risk isn’t worth it.


  4. Restaurants here in Saudi are cold too. I often wear a light sweatshirt under my abaya so I don’t freeze, even though it means I sweat to and from.


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