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« Christmas Day 2007 | Forget the Keys... »

Life is Complicated and Then...

Life is complicated and just becomes more so. Yes, that's how I feel at the moment. It is 4:01AM on December 1st. As the photo attests, we are back home in sunny south Florida where today's, oops, no that was yesterday's temperature, was eight-two degrees Fahrenheit and the sky was as blue as Paul Newman's eyes. There were big, puffy, white clouds reigning over all. Is home good?...youbetcha it is!

It's now the wee hours of Saturday morning. We arrived home late Thursday afternoon. Our flight was two hours late out of London. We had arrives at Heathrow at 7AM, having awakened at 5AM. It, for once, due to the hour, was an easy drive into London. We returned the rental car and were shuttled to terminal 3. Because it was not yet even 7 o'clock in the morning, checking in and going through security was a breeze. Heathrow is the world's busiest airport so any measure of mercy getting in or out of there is much appreciated. We are always early airport arrivers. We'd rather sit and people watch than feel hurried. We had a really nice breakfast after which John settled in to obsessively watch the monitor that announces flights and gates even though ours wouldn't be posted for hours, while I strolled through all the high end duty free shops. I swear, I am having some kind of a life alterting change going on...I couldn't find a thing to buy. I'm worried about me.

After killing a whole bunch of time, we trudged down to our announced gate only to kill a whole bunch more time. There was some sort of baggage snafu, then a maintenance snafu and finally we boarded two hours late. The flight itself was uneventful except that I spent almost two hours sobbing my eyes out. No, it wasn't British Airways fault. I chose to watch the movie "Away From Her" based on an Alice Monroe novel and starring Julie Christie, who is still unbelievably gorgeous these forty five or so years after Dr. Zhivago, as a woman with Alzehimer's who must separate from her husband to live in a care facility. What a poignant movie. I cried more in this movie than I do watching "Imitation of Life" with Lana Turner and I've been sobbing through that one in reruns on late night Television for forty years.

Somehow, we made up an hour's time arriving in Miami only one hour late. My poor Dad was there waiting to pick us up. I love to travel. I love England and adore France. I'm always glad when we leave home for six weeks or so and rebond with our English family BUT...I love to come home to the states and to the people I love. I love our big highways and our fast pace and vast expanse of land. I am an America, a true baby boomer born as this country entered the 1950s. I've never known a time without television or two car families and really have little memory of a time without MacDonalds. I do admit to remembering the advent of color televison though...I was seven or eight. Our neighbors, the LaBells bought a color set, the first one in the neighborhood and to show off invited us over to watch the Rose Bowl Parade on New Year's! Afterwards, my brother and I begged Dad for a color TV, but he refused on the grounds that he is color blind! Well, all of that was a huge digression. Suffice it to say, I was thrilled to be home. I immediately shed my socks and my sweater and threw kisses to the palm trees we passed as we left the airport.

We arrived at my folk's house where my stepmom had prepared dinner for us. The French home exchangers were spending their last night at our house so we were sleeping five doors away at my folk's place. We ate and tumbled into bed as it was after midnight UK time and we had been up for almost twenty hours. I of course slept five hours and was up at 1 AM which was 6AM UK time. I watched TV and played on the computer until my dad arose at 5 AM and I had a playmate. Finally John crawled out of bed at seven or so. We showered and ate breakfast.

At ten, we headed up to our house to pick up our exchange partners and drive them all the way back to Miami. We dumped our suitcases in our house. I quickly found shorts, flipflops and a t-shirt to wear and changed. All of my tan has vanished. We loaded up the Frenchies' suitcases and headed off to Miami, dropped them and headed the ninety minutes home. We stopped for lunch on the way back, someplace in Ft. Lauderdale and I had a huge cheeseburger, American style...manna from heaven! Close to home I made a mad dash into the grocery for essentials.
I have six weeks worth of mail to sort, cases to unpack, laundry to do etc.. Today, in about four hours, we head up to Orlando to pick Taffy up from David and Tina. We'll overnight there and return home Sunday. And here's the kicker....

Upon our arrival home, we were notified by Ralph, our friend/rental agent, that he has rented our house out from December 15th to April 15th. We have twelve days to get this place packed up, dressers and closets empty, kitchen and bathrooms empty and so on and so forth as well as packing up the travel trailer to head off across the country for four months accompanied by my English BIL and SIL. I am trying to remain calm. But, if you're wondering why I can't's a bit more than jet lag...try jet lag combined with high anxiety. John on the other hand, napped twice this afternoon, went to bed at 8PM tonight and is still snoring. I am waiting for the sun to rise over the palm trees...

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