Two weeks….

Faiza and me in my Kurdish robes

Saying good-bye is hard to do. I recently resigned from the board of the Hyattsville Life & Times, which I’ve chaired for the past three years and wrote my farewell editorial. I took Veeka past our old home in Severna Park, so she could see where I lived from 1966-1971. The house has been thoroughly remodeled and doesn’t look much like the kind of tacky place it was so long ago. The present owner even came out and chatted with us. I had forgotten some of the back streets of Cape Arthur, Oakleigh Forest and Westridge. We stopped for pizza across the street from Dawson’s, which has turned into a liquor store. The shopping center was horribly run-down; probably all the new development has gone to malls but it’s a shame how bad it looked. Drove past my old junior high, which has been very much rebuilt and added onto.
Spent an evening with my Kurdish friends saying good-bye to them. We have known each other since 1997 when I befriended a new family from northern Iraq. Never dreamed it would lead to my taking a year of Kurdish and going to northern Iraq in 2004. They gave me a lovely Kurdish outfit, which I am wearing here while picture with Faiza, the matriarch of the clan. Unfortunately it makes me look VERY heavy – it’s all an optical illusion! The 18 pounds I lost is still pretty much off!

Veeka striking her modeling pose

Had another lunch with Veeka’s godparents who showered her with gifts. Am getting my car fixed for the 800-mile trip and was horrified to learn today I had a nail in one tire that was making it leak. And some ball bearings that would have caused my car to come to a dead halt – fortunately the Subaru corporation has a warranty on right rear bearings but still that means I have to drag my car to the dealership on Friday. Today I polished off the first draft of a WaPo piece (probably the last I’ll get to do for awhile) I’m working on plus a book PR gig I’ve been working on and off on since May. July 17 was the pub date but my goodness, *everyone* seems to be on vacation this week. I didn’t sign Veeka up for camp this or next week, so I need to amuse her so let’s just say things are very busy. What doesn’t help is that, either due to some electrical snafu from recent power outages or…something, my TV refuses to work. The set top box does, but not the TV. So Veeka can’t watch her movies. Which makes for some long days here.