Family Journal: June 23, 2021

Drivers License Center – Hazelton, PA

It was a big day because Owen got his Learner’s Permit to drive. Growing up overseas, Third Culture Kids often are not able to get a license and often to not need to. We have a driver and taxis cost $1 – $2 anywhere in the city. Owen studied the information provided by the Penn Department of Transport Driver and Vehicles Services website. He took a lot of online quizzes and when we were driving around, we asked a lot of questions to him about signs, rules, et. It paid off because he hit the 15 correct answer mark on the 16th question. You have to get 15 right out of 18 questions to pass. He enrolled in a driver’s school to help him with the driving test and hone his skills and safety knowledge. Taking the Japanese driving test helped me become a better driver, and the safety reminders will be useful. It is one of the most dangerous activities adolescent males do .

It was a quiet day. I am still moving slowly so we did some grocery shopping and took the kids to Barnes & Noble to by books. As all parents, we are fighting against phones and video and finding ways to encourage them to read. Nadia and my Uncle Jack are excellent chefs and we had a delicious meal of rigatoni with Jack’s homemade tomato sauce and meatballs. He also provided Italian sausages from Stravino’s, a deli in Whitehall, PA. I ate to the point of being uncomfortable.

I finished off the night with a 2-mile walk around Freeland, PA. Both of my biological parents are from here so I have a lot of DNA in the area. Freeland is a small town of 3,531 people and developed because of the coal mines of Poconos Mountains. Since the 1960s, the town has diminished because of the demise of the coal industry. Walking through the town you can see the impact with dilapidated homes, closed businesses, etc. Most people of means built homes in the forests around the town and down in “the valley” towards Hazelton. It was a cool, clear night and the fresh air felt good. It is quiet here and a nice change in climate from Tashkent. As you can see in the photo, Oliver really didn’t want to walk with me, however, Nadia does not want me to walk alone in case I run into trouble.

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