True Story (ies)

I actually have two true stories for you today: 1 is a sad, but true tale of the state of my brain, the other is a wee anecdote that may bring a smile to your face, or at least cause a raised eyebrow (of the they-are-so-weird-it-is-lucky-for-them-that-they-found-each-other variety).

I always like to end on the happier note, so I’ll share the sad (sad for me, anyway) story first. It started a few weeks ago. I was preparing for a brief visit home (my father and sister were very thoughtful in arranging their birthdays very close together which makes for a convenient visit from Germany). I thought, “I will go ahead and put ALL of the pictures we’ve taken on my computer so that I can work on catching up on the blog in all those hours that I will be awake before anyone else is up for being sociable!” Wonderful idea – marrying productivity and jet lag! Woo hoo! Except that it didn’t work out that well… Not that I wasn’t up ridiculously early everyday (which definitely has it’s perks), but not much blogging got done. As you probably can tell.

Fast forward a few days, and my family is getting ready for the penultimate airport run (on my behalf, anyway, as the next time they’ll grace the.. Uhm, “efficiency” of Atlanta’s international terminal will be as Mike and I return from our stretch abroad. As is typical, there are the usual questions: do you have your toothbrush? Did you get your makeup bag? Is your laptop in your carry-on? (I promise, neither vanity nor IT are strong suits among my clan..) in my rush to get out the door (the security sequester slow-down at weighing heavily on my mind, not to mention my rapt anticipation for the delights of the airplane’s culinary delights — that was sarcasm for those of you who struggle with picking up on that sort of tonal shift), I was quick with my responses: of course, yes, and YES! Let’s go!

Guess what? I have my toothbrush and my make-up bag. My computer, and all of my beautiful pictures, however, are many miles away. 😦 it is so sad. So very, very sad (don’t worry, I cried and cried when I got on the plane, so the appropriate emotion has been expressed; and yes, the food really was worth crying over, too). Poor man sitting next to me.. In any case, expect a few less pictures. I will try, til we are reunited, my computer and I, to be more colorful in my language (though not THAT colorful). Not for the first time, I am really grateful for my phone, but it really just isn’t the same.

One of the things Mike and I had to do upon my return is to decide how we were going to use the rest of our time here. Giverny and Nomandy are very high priorities (we spent almost 2 weeks in Paris on our honeymoon, loving every minute, but we didn’t venture further than Versailles on that trip), and we continue to entertain London, Ireland, Prague, Brugge, Poland, and several destinations in Switzerland. With only 38 days left (not that anyone here is counting) over 5 weekends, it isn’t likely that we’re even going to do half of that. That’s the sad part of this story. We discussed this over dinner the other night, weighing out available time, time off, and financial considerations, and as Mike was loading the dishwasher, he pointed out that we have only 23 washing tabs left! So… We then figured that since we tend to wash every day on the weekends (it is a Very, Very small dishwasher), that will eat up 10 loads right there. Which means we will need to be elsewhere on at least 2 weekends, or a total of at least 4-6 days (depending on weekend days vs weekday days). That’s right. Our dishwashing supplies will impact our vacation planning… I guess something to go on is better than nothing? Or, it is just weird and even weirder that I shared it (really, though, you have no idea, I promise, about just how things work around here- and by that I mean within our apartment, not in Germany).

Raise your hand if something similar has happened to you… (Really… It will make me feel better!)

I feel maybe a smidge extra weird about the whole situation with the dishwashing tabs, remembering an incident in my adolescence when my parents marched my sister and I to the local IHOP for a family meeting (I know, the pancake theme of this blog runs deep) but who said I can’t be bribed with carbs and buttery goodness? I am at least up front about that!.During this meeting, we drew straws to determine our vacation plans. (That was the first time my sister limited travel to Germany through no fault of her own; we’d planned this lovely German excursion, and mysteriously, everyone else got their passports updated in plenty of time, but the wise and wonderful government only sent back her cancelled passport, not her new one. So, we had to come up with a new plan at the last minute…) we ended up on a really lovely trip to California, wandering among the redwoods and cruising up Route 1, exploring Monterrey and all of the wonder of that area. Nonetheless, I’m starting to see a pattern of randomness here, of not-fully-intentional tripping, if you will. I’m not sure whether I’m comfortable with it or not… Or perhaps I’m meant to learn something from this that I just haven’t gotten yet. Nonetheless, I do feel like it is possible that Mike and I are being rewarded (a little bit) for our chronic lack of planning. True, we aren’t going to be able to do everything, but now we have an excuse, as if to ensure that we can’t do nothing! Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.

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