We had a party Monday evening at our new house. We wanted a way to thank all the people who had been kind to us since we came. Some of them were calling it a house warming party, but we were just thinking we wanted to be nice to people who had been nice to us. Not everyone we invited had time to come, but we will eventually get everyone thanked.
The guest list included Dale and Sheila, but they couldn’t come. Dale was the youth minister at the church next door when I was in high school, and he and Sheila met us at the airport when we got here. They put us in their house and let us stay there while we looked for a job and a place to live. The guest list also included my cousin Hal. From the first time, I figured out how to get in contact with Hal since I came, I could tell he was thrilled we were here, and I appreciated it. He invited us to go out with him and his friends, and I have been to his house once since I came. Also on our guest list was my daughter’s boss, Mike. Mike has become a real friend since coming here. He tries to protect my daughter at work, and we both appreciate it. He also invited us out to eat and also to a party since we have been here. Linda was also at the party. Linda also met us at the airport. I have known Linda a long time. She was a student at Oklahoma Christian University when I was there. She sang at my wedding many years ago. She and her sister, Debbie, have been hanging out with me some since I have been here. Debbie was in Japan with me many years ago. She was a bride’s maid at my wedding and we were room mates one summer. When we moved from the apartment to our new house, Debbie, her husband Ron, and her son Daniel came and helped us move. We really appreciate what they did, so of course, all three of them were on the guest list. We also invited Allison, a girl from the church in North Carolina that sent us to Romania. She and her mother took us out to eat once since coming here. Some of these people didn’t know one another, but they got to know one another a bit at our house and seemed to really enjoy themselves.
My daughter and I made a kind of international buffet for them. We made Japanese/Korean rice balls with little pieces of vegetables in them like a friend of ours in Korea made that we enjoyed. We made meat balls like our Romanian friends used to make. We made guacamole, a Mexican dish. We also had carrots with Ranch dressing as a dip that went over really big. We made sugar cookies and lemon squares. We also had rice cakes with sweet beans in them. The Japanese call them O’mochi, and the Koreans call them dock. Everyone loved them! In case someone was afraid to eat something sweet, we also included grapes. We knew we had to provide sweet iced tea because we are in Oklahoma. We also included Coca Cola, a basic, Sprite in case someone didn’t want caffeine, and Coca Cola Zero in case someone was afraid of sugar. Someone said, “What? You didn’t make kimchee?” We had to tell them we don’t eat spicy things like that, and they seemed fine with it.
After they all the food and drinks they wanted, we sat around our Korean table that we are using as a coffee table and played “Apples to Apples” and played music in the background. They loved the game, and I thought they would because it is a wonderful game. It is hilarious! Some had played it before, but others learned it. We had more games, but once they played “Apples to Apples,” they didn’t want to play anything else, only “Apples to Apples” again and again. They laughed and talked like old friends, but several of them had just met.
Some had questions about Korea and others about Romania. We learned that Ron’s real name was Kim Yong Il, and I told him that “Yong” meant “Dragon” and “Kim” was his family name. He was born Korean, but adopted by Americans and knows nothing about Korea. Some brought my daughter gifts. Her boss brought her a kind of pitcher. A couple of them brought cards, and one of them gave her a gift card from Wal-Mart so she could buy something she needed for the house. Some thought it was a Christmas party, but it was a thankyou party. Part of the way through, someone called my daughter’s boss and the hotel he runs had no electricity. She though sure he would leave, but he didn’t. He gave instructions on how to handle it and continued at the party. He must have been enjoying himself. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and I was glad. They even wanted seconds on the food, even the O’mochi.