My immediate family's quirks are well-documented. Our pets die in mysterious and bizarre ways, we gamble on Christmas Eve, and we used to have chicken on Thanksgiving because it was "close enough."
What most folks don't know is that we've been embroiled in a years-long, epic, Highlander-esque battle to be the only family member who resides in the continental United States. The winner, and there can be only one, is known as the Last Stamey Standing.
We've been exiling family members since 1998, when my mom moved back to her native Australia. Dad was launched into Costa Rica a few years later, and I went overseas in 2003. My sister, Skye, enjoyed several glorious years as the Last Stamey Standing. She solidified her grip on the United States, added a few territories, and gloated her head off.
Then, in 2006, I returned. A mighty battle ensued. Words were spoken, cities were torched, and goats were pilfered. And I, the smallest and youngest, won! Or, rather, Skye's job shipped her off to a six-month assignment in London.
But she's packing her bags and preparing to return home. Her assignment is drawing to a close. And the battle shall begin anew.
All of this is a very convoluted way of saying that if I start posting from the jungles of Peru or the mighty Mongolian steppe, it's because I'm no longer the Last Stamey Standing.