So I'm back from outer space. Back in my home with my family and my cat. And now that I'm not in the midst of a long day at the airport, I can tell you about the conference and how cool it was.
Checked out of the hotel, got a cab to the airport. Waited in line to check my bag, waited in line to dump out my water bottle, waited in line to take off my shoes and do the TSA shuffle, waited in line to refill my water bottle, waited in line for food, waited in line for the bathroom. Settled at gate and cracked open paperback. The PA system announced a gate change. Resettled at new gate and recracked open paperback. The flight is delayed. Not rare. The flight is completely full. Not rare.
I am tired. Not. Rare.
My grandfather's name was Poppy. Actually it was Ferdinand, and Fred to his friends, but it was Grandpops to the kids. And I, the youngest of four grandkids, couldn't figure out how to say that when I was small, I guess. So to me, he was Poppy.
Last week I was at a family camp retreat with, not surprisingly, my family, amongst others. We go on this particular retreat most summers and this year I volunteered to keep the kids entertained for a hour every day. I got a group of four kids, including my own, that were all in the 7-9 age range. I've volunteered for this job many times over the years, and this time came in armed with a plan that we would do science experiments.
Between home/work/whatever, I've got a lot on my plate. Like, I need a platter. Or maybe a big industrial grill. Not sure. Just a whole lot of stuff going on. To complicate matters, I'm traveling so much this summer, the intervals at home feel like the vacation. If I don't look at the calendar I can avoid most of the panic, and rather just reduce the whole thing to the sort of low-level constant anxiety that belongs to small twitchy herbivores who expect to get eaten at any moment.
I've had a head cold. I've been traveling for work. I've been traveling for work with a head cold. Between cars and planes and cold meds, I feel muddled past the state of coherent sentences.
I'm juggling a fair amount of stuff this week. With my above-discussed razor sharp mental reflexes, I feel like I'm just managing everything, but managing it all badly. And all I really want to do is huddle in a little ball in the dark and read the latest edition of Knitty undisturbed.
My son and I were walking down Main Street. I was still singing the song that had been on the radio in the bookshop we just left, a catchy tune that suggested that I should shake, shake, shake my booty.
"I don't think that's very appropriate," said my eight-year-old.
"Which part? The lyrics to the song, or the fact that I'm singing it out loud in public?"
"A little of both, actually."
"Hmm..." I replied. "Would it be more appropriate if I danced while I sang it?"
I proceeded to demonstrate, dancing in the manner the song suggested.
Names are a big deal in the family to which I was born. Not your given name precisely, at least not the one you start out with. It's the name that becomes yours over time. Its the name that's chosen for you.
This week was my birthday (do-do-do-do-do-doo-do-doo). That's 37 trips around the sun and here I am gearing up for another go.