So I have a few items laying in one small suitcase that I want to bring with me as a taste of home for the year. These things include several small framed pictures, of family and also art that has been part of my family for years. I invested in some double-sided 5 lb. tape and also Gorilla tape as I don't think I can find that easily in my neighborhood of Shanghai. A few days ago a return air fare around Christmas was about the same price as last year; by the time a few days passed and I decided I wanted to buy it the price went up by about $500 making me rethink my Christmas plans. Maybe I'll go lay on a beach in Thailand, or Okinawa. It feels like leading a double life in a way as there are many aspects of life in Shanghai that do not exist here and vice versa. But things are wrapping up reasonably OK here. I was worried about leaving my house for a year but what I will do is have a good friend use it for some of her business so she will be in it often enough to look like someone is there. I am so relieved! Now to go dig out that suitcase I had shoved to the back of my closet, and leave room in it for a stack of music that I ordered for use at school during the year. Or maybe that will become carry-on. Ugh. Too heavy.