In some ways, my last post was B.S. I did go to Portland and have the time of my life, but I was hardly "stepping out of my usual existence". Especially considering I've had no usual for the past three months.
This summer, J. was on sabbatical and, at the beginning of it, he announced that he didn't want to "waste" his time off at home, so away we went.
1. First, the kids and I traveled to Michigan for three weeks. During our visit, I left Max and Claire with my parents, met J. in Detroit and we flew to France for 8 days.
2. When we arrived home in Seattle, we took two days to unpack and repack, then drove South to Yosemite, stopping in Bend, Oregon, Reno, and San Francisco among other less illustrious towns. (Fortuna, California anyone? Shudder.)
3. After that, we spent another week and a half back in Seattle before jetting off to the Big Island of Hawaii for 2 weeks.
Kids threw up in Ziploc bags, we played road trip games, we ate at Subway more times than I care to admit, we kayaked and watched sunsets and stood in the crooks of redwoods. We rode mules and hiked and I cried because my feet hurt and it was all too much.
I realized I'm a princess whose idea of camping has its roots in childhood when my sister and I slept in the yard in our dad's musty pup tent, opening a cooler for breakfast and served ourselves cereal and milk. Then trooped inside to watch cartoons. It had nothing to do with fecund, grimy bathrooms, locking everything with a possible scent, including lip balm, in a bear locker, or counting down the hours until I'd arrive at an Oakland Holiday Inn.
The summer was deliriously spectacular. It was fun. It was hard. It was messy. It's something, given a another six months or so, I'll grow nostalgic for.
Now the kids are back in school, J. is back at the office, and I am back to my usual of food prep, laundry, and going into work a few hours a week. I have been sneaking in a little writing most days, which fills me to the brim with satisfaction.
So yeah, life is just settling back down again. But when I wrote my last post from the train zipping between Portland and Seattle, there was no normal at all.