About a week ago I was trying to adjust to being home after three weeks in Sacramento, preparing for and welcoming my new grandson, Sam. As always, when I come home from visiting one of the kids, I’m a little sad and sometimes teary, missing them. My husband—you remember the Center of the Universe—caught me in such a moment, and tried to fix the problem, as men so often do. (Remember the whole “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” phenomenon?) He gave me a big hug, and said, “Hey, you had a great visit with them, and now it’s time for just you and me alone for a while.” I looked up at him and said, “How do you know that’s not what’s bothering me?” Fortunately, we both laughed.
So the big lug and I were about to get into our car to head off for a few relaxing days at the Lake of the Ozarks. You may have noticed that we’ve been on a marathon of trips to Boston, Boston, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and Sacramento since the end of March, and REALLY needed some simple ‘down time’. We went off to use the lovely and comfy condo of our friends who were in Florida at the time. I hope to God they don’t find out. No—just kidding—they gave us the keys, and encouraged us to take advantage of it, so who are we to disappoint such generous friends? And ‘the Lake’, as we St. Louisans like to call it, is only a couple of hours’ drive away, so it makes for a pleasant trip.
CoTU is looking at the driver’s door on our dark blue Forester, and says, “Why does our car get so many more dings and dents than anybody else’s?”
I said, “It doesn’t. You just look at it more carefully than you look at other cars. It’s like you never see yourself the way other people see you. Most of us are more critical of ourselves than others would be of us. We worry about all our little flaws too much.”
“I don’t have character flaws,” he deadpanned. Or maybe he was serious. It’s hard to know sometimes.
Here’s what we prepared to take with us. Then there's what the car looked like when we took off for the Lake. We were only going for 4-5 days. I think we could have spent three months in Europe with the same amount of luggage. Of course, I’ll never know because we will never go to Europe, but I’m just saying… We packed simply, but between taking enough stuff to read for days on end, and enough projects to do some writing on, plus some food so we don’t have to leave the condo and eat out three meals a day, it adds up.
Putting this stuff in the car is no big deal, but then when we get to the Lake, and it’s 100 degrees out, and the humidity is 98%, and we have to climb up a flight and a half of stairs to get to this little paradise, we realize that we should have packed lighter. Oh well, lessons learned. Maybe next time we’ll share the same tube of toothpaste.