I had grand intentions for my life during this trip. I was going to take copious notes in my sky blue Moleskine and promptly transfer them to internet. I was going to receive profound revelations about family and time-travel with a 2-year-old and the painful beauty of returning to places from your past. I was going to read two books that I've been meaning to get through for over a year; I was going to discover fabulous new music and write about it. I was going to sleep a whole lot. I was not going to have any health crises like the two major marthritis flares that characterized recent Virginia visits, or the minor-but-urgent hand surgery of two years ago, or the toe surgery that I was recovering from last year, or last year's crazy ankle pain that may have been caused my the bear claw growing in my ankle or my cheapo super-ugly fake Uggs (I'm leaning toward the latter). I was not going to gain 10 pounds. I was going to sweep in as a superhero to save my sister from her two kids and her chronic illness. I was going to stun strangers with my witty insight into living on Okinawa.
I'm typing this with an achy body from sleeplessness, having read prettymuch nothing but 21% of a random vampire novel* (The Passage by Justin Cronin), wondering which Richmond-area urgent care clinic is least sketchy in case my inflamed eye continues to slouch toward self-destruction, probably having gained at least 7 pounds already. When strangers ask about Okinawa I stare at them with a slight inadvertent edge of hostility and say "It's been difficult." My three-month-old nephew didn't seem to enjoy my company particularly much. In my Moleskine, have a couple of notes on California and the ghosts of summers past and how it never really registered with me that my grandmothers are gone because I couldn't go to their funerals. Nothing revelatory or even, actually, coherent. The jetlag has been amazingly brutal on me and Eva, and on top of that I feel bad complaining about it because the Pater Familias has done most all of the getting-her-to-sleep work.
But. It's so warm here we haven't even worn coats yet. We caught 2 breathtaking, sunny days in winter in Humboldt County; I got pictures of my two loves amongst the redwoods. My ankle feels wonderful. I got to see family that I rarely see and Eva got the privilege of a second visit with two of her great-grandfathers. My sister is healthy and her baby is so huge that I'm not sure I could handle holding him all day if she weren't. I still have time to read books and not gain 3 more pounds (but hah! what is 3 pounds?!) and get adjusted to the time and maybe even avoid doctor's visits.
I'm still too woozy to wrap this up with some kind of great wrapup, by the way.
Can't wait to see you, Mom, Dad, Gaily-wail, & T-mo!
*I will neverevereverever read Twilight, btw. And apparently this is more of an apocalyptic/horror novel, which I can safely say is a genre I have never delved into before. Hmm. It snuck up on me.