Monday, September 10, 2018

Up, Up, And Away

The last time I was on an airplane was 1994, when we did a military transfer. Larry drove the car cross country, while I got on the plane with 3-year-old Theo and 1-year-old Anna for a 5-hour flight. Larry actually came on the plane with us, to get us settled. Imagine that - his being able to accompany us to our seats. It was a different world, for sure.

And then we sat on the tarmac for an extra hour, because they had to switch out an engine. I remember asking the guy sitting behind us, "Is that, uh, normal?" And he just shook his head and said, "Everything's gone to hell since they deregulated the industry."

THAT was reassuring.

The 24 years since then? Well, more kids came along and any trip we took was within driving distance and who the heck was going to pay for all those plane tickets, anyway? So, yeah, no flying for me. The kids eventually all flew, as they got older and went to camps or college or whatever. At this point, it's only Susie who's unfamiliar with the miracle of human flight.

SO. What could make more sense than for me and Susie to get on an airplane tomorrow and fly, oh, 10 HOURS, all the way to Tel Aviv? That's a good way to introduce someone to the miracle of flight, right? Especially someone who refuses to even get on an escalator? What could go wrong?

I guess we're about to find out. Being that I'm such a rookie, Larry's been putting me through TSA dress rehearsals, as it were, showing me how to pack things (knitting!) and which things I need to pull out at the checkpoint. Luckily, I experienced a bit of the TSA magic a couple of weeks ago, when I accompanied my daughter's friend (the one who came to the beach with us) to her gate for her flight back home. So I think I can do this. I think I can, I think I can...

Susie wasn't too sure about this whole scheme of visiting Theo and Anna overseas, I must say.  But then I showed her a picture of the amazing Israeli breakfast the hostel serves its guests every morning. And Theo keeps sending her pictures of lunch. That girl's very food-oriented, is what I'm saying. Just...keep your fingers crossed that this flight (2 flights, really) goes smoothly. Because I don't know what I'll do if she freaks out. Also, I'm not sure I won't freak out myself.

24 years is a really long time.

And yes, we're staying in hostels again. Because I like feeling like Grandma Moses while I'm vacationing. Also, I spent all my money on those plane tickets.

Anywhoo, I won't blog while I'm away, but I'll take my usual copious (and cryptic) notes. And I WILL be posting photos and comments to this blog's Facebook page, so follow/like that page if you want to stay updated. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to spend the rest of the night on Duolingo, trying to revive the Hebrew that has been lying dormant in my brain for over 3 decades. That should work, right?

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Back In The Saddle

Hello! I was shaken out of my knitting slump this week by the arrival of 2 boxes of (you guessed it) yarn:

It's like Christmas in my mailbox!

Knitcrate had a special offer where a new member could get 2 boxes for the price of one, and hey, what makes more sense than ordering new yarn just when you are considering giving up knitting altogether?

So the boxes arrived on Friday and I opened them and then left them sitting out while I left the house to talk to some neighbors, which means they were plainly visible when Larry came home from work over 2 hours early.

You know how often he comes home from work early? NEVER.

I'll give him credit, though: he didn't say anything. I think Larry's just glad I have a room to put all my yarn in now, is all. And, to prove I needed it, I used the worsted yarn to start a pair of fingerless mitts  and I think that's cured my knitting lethargy:

Colors aren't true here, for some
complicated photography reason

I've got socks going, too, as always. So, yeah, I guess I got back on that horse and things have returned to normal. Whew! I really didn't want to have to find a new hobby.

It's summer, in case you didn't know, and - instead of our region's normal heat and humidity - this year we've had EVEN MORE heat and humidity. When it's not super-hot and humid, it's raining. Or, it's super-hot and humid AND raining. It feels as though we're living in a rain forest. I stick my head out the door and expect to see monkeys swinging by on trees and parrots flying around.

Do monkeys live in rain forests? Must check.

So, to say our yard has been neglected would be a generous understatement. I can't recall just how long ago I said, "I'll wait until we get a not-devastatingly-humid day to pull those weeds," but "those weeds" have now grown big enough to make our house look abandoned and maybe just a little haunted. So this morning I bathed myself in bug repellent and pulled out the gardening gloves:

What were the odds, people?

The first five gloves I pulled out were all left-handed. Or right-handed, I can't tell. I almost gave up right there, but instead I persevered - because I'm an adult and also because I didn't want our neighbors calling the HOA on us - and managed to find an entire pair. I went outside and weeded for 20 minutes, by the end of which I was covered in sweat and dirt and bug bites, because the evil mosquitoes we have here are out all day and they bite right through clothing.

See? I tried.

The garden on our back deck looks similarly neglected, but I waded out there, too, and brought in the harvest:

Yeah, I don't know what's up with that cucumber, either.

There's also some basil growing, but I was too sick of summer to deal with it. Instead, I drove a couple of friends to a yarn store that was having a 20% off sale, where - you guessed it - I bought MORE YARN.

Winter is coming...

I know, it's a sickness.

And, yes, there ARE other people around here, but I'm ignoring them. Actually, our household is now smaller than it has been in over 20 years: only Susie and Rachel are living with us at this point. It feels really weird. And Rachel just picked up a job at Best Buy (following in her brother's footsteps), so - what with that and school and Civil Air Patrol - I don't know how much we'll even be seeing her.

That leaves just Susie, who got dragged along to the yarn store today (we promised her ice cream) and then (back home) ended up listening to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me with me while I lay on the couch, fending off a migraine. She's essentially an only child now, poor girl, but she doesn't seem to mind (because, hey, there's that ice cream).

Make sure to look for my next book: The Grandparent Method - An Essential Child Rearing Guide for Older Parents.