Posted by: jeanne | May 26, 2017

tick tick tic

well it’s getting to be that time again, a flurry of trips to the shopping centers because there’s no time to wait on amazon, writing lots of sticky notes for the housesitter, and my favorite – packing and repacking 4 suitcases and 4 backpacks until the scales are creaking from repeated use.

we’re down to less than a week before leaving for iceland.

i just spent two days with my family,

grandpa and mema


organizing with mom,

mom at the dmv

getting official type things done. it was exhausting. and i had to get back today, so when i didn’t get on standby,

dulles. we used to play there as children

i hung around with buddy’s family for awhile (and got my phone fixed by an 11 year old – “just hand it to a toddler!”)

the other reason i went up – hanging out with my brothers and sisters

then buddy and susie brought me to the bus station (and then went to the pub for a pint, how thoughtless of them),


and i took a 15 hour trip on the top of a double decker,


then took the subway,


and walked the dozen blocks home, and turned around and walked the dogs.


and then i spent the next two hours with my painting on my lap on the porch, working on a speculative commission.


not answering the phone. not checking emails. just me, my pint of guinness, and tumbles and sudie on the glider next to me.


and jim cleaning up in the kitchen and connor not wanting to go to bed.  it’s hours later and i’ve made dinner, and both boys have come home from their special days – jim has been modeling for a portrait class and connor has been with allen at work, because i missed my flight.  i’m about knackered and with my last energy i’m forwarding this narrative. inspired by kim stanley robinson whose latest novel occupied 200 pages of my bus trip today. he can write a book a year, i can write a blog post. maybe not an entire one, but persisting is good.

on the bus i discovered the miracle that is the travel pillow. i had always disdained it because of its clownlike appearance, but because it makes a shelf for your head, you can sleep resting against anything – uncomfortable seat backs, wedged-in corners, walls, the floor. you can use it as a lumbar rest or sit on it, and if you droop your head on your chest when you sleep then you can just turn it around and sleep with your face in it. never mind how ridiculous it is, i’m going to the shopping center to get 4 of them.

it’s friday now, and i go get avery from his last day as a third grader at around 3, but until then i can do something significant here, but that’ll be it for the day. i’ll get back around 6 (rush hour in atlanta) and the boys will play and i’ll sit on the porch and drink my pint o’guinness, talk to jim, eat, walk the dogs, and go to bed. saturday afternoon allison and her friend come for the night (so saturday morning i can work), and sunday afternoon they and avery go visit granny (so sunday afternoon i can work). monday the housesitter comes over to spend a few hours with us (so i can work for a few hours before or after that). tuesday evening i go get avery from granny’s, (so i can devote the morning and afternoon to work).

and that’s it. wednesday morning we head for the airport.

have i just given myself 6 half days?  to see if the boys have enough of the right clothes and make a list and send them all off with allison to the thrift store; to run around and get the thousand things done that need doing (big bag of dog food); to print out forms for jim to take to central casting so he can register, to return the cable box because i’ve decided we really don’t need to be paying for cable because not even the guests watch it. i’ve also got to make sure my card works because it didn’t when we were in italy and that was a real drag. i’ve got to transfer a lot of photos to a memory stick for jim so he can have his reference photos even when i’m not here. there’s also a dozen sticky notes to write – about the formula for laundering the dogs’ pee pads, and the dogs’ medication schedule, and reminders about cleaning out the cat litter so the cat doesn’t pee on the bed in revenge (not a thing i’d like to have a guest fearing, but it has happened). and then there’s the packing and weighing and repacking. this can’t mean just throwing things in, it’s a logistical problem just like packing a u-haul, and i love puzzles. plus i have to finish the painting.  the painting and the packing are the crucial things.  everything else could slide in a pinch.

currently the weather in the north of iceland is running 55 in the daytime and down to 45 at “night”, but it’s light all the time now, with only 3 technical sunset hours (and that’s diminishing fast). whether it’s raining or not is the important thing.  so that means it’s sweater weather with a down jacket/raincoat and knit gloves. that’s a lot less bulky than i was planning. of course it’ll vary wildly because this is one messed-up weather year and especially in iceland it’s good to plan for all kinds of weather. connor wants snow. i’m planting a garden of greens.

i may or may not have time to write another post before leaving on wednesday, but they’ll be very regular while i have jim and avery, and frequent when it’s me and connor for two months. there’ll be a lot about swimming and soccer, art projects and hikes.

i love my life.


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