Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be moving to a foreign country to live, let alone a country in the Middle East. Over the 2009 Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my husband Roger and I discussed what we wanted the next part of our life to be like. He thought that before retiring, he would like to do one more airport project but only if he could find something very interesting. I half-jokingly agreed that would be fine but could he try for an exotic location? As usual, Roger came through and soon we were headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This blog is a recap of our "leap-of- faith" wanderings around the Middle East and beyond. We joyfully share these expat experiences.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Brooke & Nanny
With Mother’s Day in the USA coming up this Sunday, I am digressing from my regular Arabian travel stories and posting a special message to my teenage granddaughters Brooke and Lindsey.

I just want to impart a little grandmotherly advice to you as you travel the uncertain paths of the tumultuous teenage years. 

Love and miss you Brooke and Lindsey. 
Lindsey & Nanny

For my readers, let me know if I missed any important points! I am certain these translate into any language. Please also share with your teenagers. I would love to know what they think.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!   

Everyone, don't forget to call your Moms and Grandmothers on Sunday!

1. Mom is the Queen  . . . and ruler of the Kingdom! 

As ruler of the kingdom, Mom has the authority to say “Off with your Head!” or at least ground you for the remainder of your teenage life. 

2. Mom is older than you are  . . .  but never let on you know this! Mom likes to think she is eternally hip and young – think Madonna - no matter how much havoc gravity has wrought. Keep this myth alive and you will be forever in her favor!

3. Mom has the keys to the treasury  . . .  she who has the gold rules! Mom has the authority to cut your allowance! Financial independence is the ONLY way to be the Captain of your own ship. Until you achieve that be prepared to “swab the decks and empty the slop” whenever commanded to! 

 4. Mom was the first one to provide you with unconditional love . . . and will be the last! Mom has the innate grace to love her children despite unfathomable escapades and uncouth behavior that would wear down the patience Mother Teresa. 

5. Mom will always be your best friend  . . . if and when you grow up! Your mom is your parent by accident but your best friend by choice - as soon as you leave the alien time-warp of teenage years and enter the brave new world of adulthood.   

6. Mom has passed this way ahead of you . . . experience, experience, experience! Mom knows all about how it feels to be a teenager because all your faults are the ones she has outgrown.  

7. Mom is always watching your back . . . and everywhere else! Mom is the ultimate superpower complete with X-ray vision, bionic hearing, extrasensory perception and inherent omniscience (look it up)!  

8. Mom knows you like a book  . . . even if you are a science fiction horror story! Mom is like a good author who steers her characters through the treachery, depravity and the catastrophic events of the teenage saga.  

9. Mom knows she will get even . . . when you have teenagers of your own! Payback is going to be hell! A compassionate grandmother will help you survive.   

10. Mom will push you forward . . . and help you when you stumble! Mom knows you are capable of 100% success in all your endeavors and is always there when you spin out. Ready with open arms  to pick you up, dust you off and send you back into life’s race again!  

11. Mom understands Panophobia  . . .  the fear of fear! Mom has seen it all and in some cases done most of it. She is there to protect you while you experiment with one abnormal persona after another on the road to finding your true self.   

12. As you get older your Mom will become smarter . . . you will actually seek her advice! Amazing fact, grounded in research, is that Moms experience a rapid increase in their intellectual abilities once their teenagers hit their mid-20s.  

13. Mom will survive a growing pain . . . you! Mom understands that her most difficult task is to survive babies and teenagers . . . one disturbs your sleep, the other disturbs your life, and that eventually both will grow up and make her proud.  

14. Because Mom said so . .  . and that is that! Never under estimate the power of the spoken word. Remember she is the monarch and you are her subject!

Postscripts . . . 
Stephanie & Kiara
Morgan, Riley, Charlene & Lindsey

Maxx, Cynthia, Brooke, Gerry  III

A very special Happy Mother's Day to my daughters Charlene and Cynthia and daughter-in-law  Stephanie. 

Thanks for all the beautiful grandchildren. 


  1. I may not be a mother or a daughter, but I enjoyed reading this list. Much of it reminded me of my own mother, who turned eighty-seven today.

  2. Lovely post Katie. Will share with my daughters,sons as well and on twitter.
    Happy Mother's day to you!

  3. Hi Katie,
    I laughed my way through this as I thought about my mom and read it out loud to my mother-in-law as we sat on our beds getting ready for another day of adventure in Paris. What a wonderful post!
    Happy Mother's Day to you,
    Anne :)

  4. Fun to read as always, Katie. It was especially great to see your beautiful family. I know they love you very much.

  5. I hope all is well for you and Ken. We have moved to Abu Dhabi and do miss our friends in Dubai. If you all do get here please let us know as we would love to spend some time with you.