Cliffy and Katya

I've often laughed that when I decided to marry John that Clifton (and Scott) came along as part of the package. So, Clifton (like John) has been part of my life for 20+ years. About 12 years ago, when he decided to take a programming job in St. Petersberg, we thought he was nuts. After all, why would you go live somewhere that you didn't speak the language, had no friends, and was absolutely bitterly cold compared to Texas?

Then, when he let us know three years later that he was bringing back a wife, I have to admit I wasn't so sure about it. After all, Clifton is family. What if I wasn't crazy about my new sister-in-law?

Katya was a total surprise. Completely unafraid, she let me drag her from one adventure to the next and we had fun. Her son, Vadim (5 at the time) became fast friends with Chase (though Chase complained at the time that he always spoke Russian).

Now, Dr. Kathryn Bean has more letters after her name than you could imagine, their son (now William) is a junior at UT and daughter, Natalie, is simply beautiful.

However, Katya's extensive software development and intense study hasn't gone unnoticed. She was recruited by a software company in Dublin and they are moving next week.

Last night, we went to their home--which was mostly in boxes--and shared pizza and stories. It seems odd to think that this is the last time we will see them for awhile. She showed us photos from her interview trip the last time we got together at Trinity Tavern in Mockingbird station (amazing food and any type of beer you could possibly imagine). The city is beautiful and I had no idea Dublin was the global Silicon Valley until she told me. (She also showed me in Gaelic. Really interesting.

Natalie, like Katya, is fine with the adventure and though she is sad to leave her friends she is also excited to discover Ireland. (Natalie often visits her grandparents in Russia during the summers and is as fluent as William so she is already very cosmopolitan.)

John wants to see Cliffy again on Sunday for some one-on-one time before they depart. (As you might imagine, their schedule is intense as they prep to leave.) The thing we have now that we didn't have the last time Clifton lived overseas is easy internet connection.

Cliffy, you'd better set up your blog today. Because for me, that is way more important than you packing boxes!

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Maira Gall