MIA: believed to be en route
4450 kilometers (2765 miles) later we are home. Our bodies arrived a few hours of schedule. Our brains seem to have been lost in transit. Hopefully they’ll catch up with us before too many days go by.
Highlights people without brains can remember:
Air BnB: Has everyone except me heard of this? I had never heard of it until this trip. We rented a small house from a local couple for the week. Full kitchen, two bathrooms, laundry room, porch, yard, living room, 4 bedrooms . . . it was amazing.
Public Transit: Once we figured out how to use public transit (which wasn’t that hard because we ran into so many helpful people) the city became a very easy place to get around. Buses were good. The kids liked them, but the subways were great. Major thumbs up from all parties. The first day we had to ride around on them for a while even though we’d already been everywhere we needed to go. Tired people in their seats couldn’t help smiling and laughing at the kids yammering about what was out the window and doing motion experiments holding on to things or not when the subway stopped.
Fruit: When you drive two days south and go to the grocery store, the fruit is a lot more remarkable.
Cash: We haven’t ever done a trip in cash before but we’ll do it again. It was downright exciting to sit girl one and boy two down at the table and assign them to count out our money for the trip. We attempted to write down everything we spent so we’d have a tally of how much went for gas, food, museum admission etc. but that kind of fell apart. Regardless, there is something really nice about having money that you can count and see.
Blue Ridge Mountains: Our little timeout onto the parkway to see the mountains (estimated at half an hour) turned into an hour and a half. The fog was so thick up in the mountains that we couldn’t see twenty feet in front of the car and had to drive very slowly with the hazard lights on. We had a very good laugh about the view from the mountains
It’s good to be back, with or without the brains.
Bitsabobs, by Boy two and the girls
Tuesday my lists were long, my spirit overwhelmed, and my brain sick of starving. Brain space is a problem around here. Heart space that lacks sufficient solitude gets satisfied in other ways, the magic of children, the joy of love. But brain space can be meager rations.
At breakfast I said I had a few quick things to do, work jobs began at 9:00 a.m. sharp. It was a plan. There was logic involved. On the porch, I wrote and thought. The kids don’t wear watches anyway, said I to me at 9:00. What’s it to them if we start late? At 11:30, I decided to run an errand, integral I determined to getting my ducks in a row. Besides, I could still hear them. I’ll be back in an hour. Make PB & J if you get hungry, I said to the children.
But why was there paint everywhere? They were squatting in a circle holding paintbrushes. And paint was against the rules without permission. I told them to clean it up, noted to be angry later, and left. I arrived home to apple cores and trails and piles of raisins on the table, happy sounds coming from upstairs. The raisins had been some kind of medicine or ammunition. I couldn’t understand the explanation, but whatever it was, it required them to consume great amounts with a great deal remaining, various piles belonging very specifically to someone. With great pride they told me of the triple decker, open faced PB & J sandwich that three of them had split. I was then asked to negotiate a battle involving a needle.
What needle, I asked cluing in half way through the diatribe of who did what. They had, I learned, forsaken the forbidden paints and gone straight to the use with permission only sewing kit. Amazing clothing had been produced, but they were terribly sorry about the not asking part. Someone should have done something really grim. But I couldn’t do it. I needed more space to think and didn’t want my entire brain power spent on speeches about rules and permission. I made them clean it up and promised out loud to be angry later. It seemed like the least I could do. Then I went back to thinking.
After dinner I sent everybody on a task that required them to be somewhere else and was somehow related to their crimes, although everyone preferred what they were asked to do to dishes. I did the dishes by myself in peace. Then I took pictures of their painted creation and their sewing projects.
One plus one is supposed to be two. Ergo, I should feel terrible about letting so much go . . . but if Bitsabobs and stuffed animal clothes were the cost of damn the torpedoes while the house crashes down around us so I can breathe some space to think, I accept with gratitude.
Another view of contraband laden, Bitsabob
Pants to accommodate tails available for early Christmas orders. :)