Home Sweet Home

Homebody:  [hōmbäd′ē] – a person mainly concerned with affairs of the home or one who prefers to stay at home.

Yep, that’s pretty much my M.O.  except for the red shoes. NoPlaceLikeHome

Being places, seeing family and friends, those things are fun.  Traveling to get there is not.  First, I’m obsessing about what to pack, how many meds, supplies, equipment, extra, etc., will I need to last me until I return home.  Because there is always that – thing hanging over me.  I don’t even know what the item is!  But it is the one I completely forgot that is critical to have.  This horrible fear of screwing up is agony.  Why don’t I trust myself?  I made my list and checked everything off.  I packed my suitcase like an overstuffed parlor chair.

Then, I open the fridge door to grab my water bottle as we leave for the airport.  At this moment, my heart stops, and I can’t breathe.  I see the little drawer I keep my insulin in – that was not packed. This is why I don’t trust myself!  I can’t stop beating myself up about it.  I imagined my pump alerting me to change it to a new one and realizing I had not packed the insulin.  Whew!  Close call there, but no harm done.  Not physically.

Because of approaching snowstorms, I am dumped off at an airport hotel the day before my flight.  It took until noon to dig the cars out from the previous night’s snowfall.  Then another 3 hours to navigate icy mountain roads to Sacramento – normally a 2-hour trip.  After a quick kiss and hug goodbye, hubby & son were back on the road, hoping to beat the incoming storm home.  I was able to relax here in a hotel, alone, with power.  I felt almost giddy.  I could even watch a movie on TV.  The mountain has not had electricity since the last week.  I almost felt guilty.  I got over it.

After a leisurely shower, I watched a movie, wrote in my journal, and slept like the dead.  The 4:30 am wake-up call got me outta bed and repacking.  I wanted to “gussy up”, but in the hideous fluorescent bathroom lighting, no amount of makeup or hairspray could help me look better than a morgue shot.

I was looking forward to a large coffee at the airport, but the coffee shop line was so long that I had to get out of line to make my flight.  I was still feeling edgy from nearly leaving my insulin in the hotel room fridge.  Thank you, Guardian Angel!

I can’t leave home without him 🙂


You CAN Go Home Again (But You Won’t Like It)

Writing 101: Day 13
Part II of  “Loss Squared

It doesn’t matter how old you are – your mom is your mom and she will treat you like a little kid who knows nothing. Especially when you are living under her roof again.

I was 54-years young when I moved in with mom to help sis take care of her. Mom could not get over how I forgot where the glasses were kept. Or the cooking utensils, pots, linens – whatever. She and dad had moved away in 1989, so her current house was not the house(s) I grew up in.

I was suddenly only 12-years old. I didn’t know how to cook, clean, do laundry . Luckily, I could drive. Sis had lost her driver’s license, and mom could not miss getting her weekly Lotto tickets at the liquor store. If not for that, we would live off of what Safeway delivered.

I also got crap from sis because when I did the dishes I didn’t always put them away in the right place. What the heck had happened to her? Sis was wound tighter than a slinky. She seemed angry and depressed all the time, which wasn’t new, but she didn’t even try to hide it anymore. Was living with mom for 2 years the reason?

After the first few months, I began to feel the strain of a care-giver. After my arrival, sis could let her hair down and relax. She ‘relaxed’ way too much, and now I was taking care of both of them.

I missed my house and my hubby! I missed sleeping in a real bed. Both bedrooms were occupied, so it was the couch for me. My clothing and items I brought with me were stored behind said couch. I did not have the guts to rearrange mom’s bedroom to accommodate my things. Or start packing up things in the house. How rude would that be?

We were all perfectly aware that her condition was terminal. Her ‘arrangements’ were all taken care of.  Mom went over the instructions on how she wanted us to handle everything. Like which of her grandchildren got what. I was surprised to learn she owned a Krugerrand. It belongs to her youngest great-grandchild now.

I think my fondest memories are the times sis and I climbed into mom’s fancy Sleep Number bed and got a massage while watching our (taped daily) soaps. Mom and sis even had ‘rules’ about soap watching time, like get your soda, pillow, knitting & whatever,  and go potty before we start, because we fast-forward through ads and we don’t like to pause and wait for anybody.

All-righty then.  I had stopped watching our soaps years ago. Then they sucked me back in! I couldn’t tell you what was going on in the soaps, but thinking about all of us crammed into mom’s bed talking, bitching, and laughing at the stupidity going on, remains imprinted in my heart.

Mom now watched (and somehow sis got recruited into watching)  Japanese soap operas, of all things. I kept my mouth shut about it – I have my own eccentricities. Like blogging. I have to admit that although the constant yelling in Japanese gave me a headache, they were entertaining to watch. Even the subtitles were funny.

I have never regretted spending my mom’s last months, living as a kid under her roof. I don’t think it was easy on any one of us, but I am so glad we could all be a family again – at least for a little while.

There’s No Place Like Home

NoPlaceLikeHomeUnlike Dorothy, I needed Delta Airlines to transport me back home.  I don’t have a pair of sparkly red shoes, my fault, for not taking my granddaughter’s advice while shopping.

“You gotta get the sparkly shoes too, grandma!” the 9-year old demanded.

“You gotta, gramma!” insisted the 3-year old, while pointing her index finger at me, and her other hand was placed firmly on her hip, which was exactly the way her older sister was standing. Do they practice this, or is it genetic? Their mother did that too, now that I think about it. Never mind – I just answered my question…

Oh dear. I got off on a tangent. [That happens a lot here at Not Pretending – BTW. Just so you know  😉 ]

I’m not sure who started this whole “travel for fun” thing. The explorers and pioneers probably did not have much fun. Unless it was a ‘rush’ to conquer unknown lands and bring back stuff made in China.

I complain about 4-hour flights in “economy class*”. I would not have survived month after month on board a sea-going vessel, or a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail. Not me.

Stories written by travelers make traveling sound exciting and romantic. Often movies portray travel in the same way. There are also some very creative travel blogs, with amazing photos and great tips.

I am not familiar with that kind of travel. The movie that portrays my experience traveling is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”, with a bit of “Vacation”  thrown in to perk things up.  If you’re thinking, ‘Oh, she’s exaggerating to be funny’, you would be wrong.

The purpose of going on vacation is to have a fun and relaxing time. But there is no relaxing when you are traveling. Maybe there is to the travelers in First Class, which is why they pay four times the airfare than I do.

Airports used to be exciting. Now they are annoying. Every 5-minutes the dude on the speakers warns you about carrying other people’s bags and that ‘smoking is prohibited’.

Like I don’t have enough trouble carrying my own bags? And why the Hell are you reminding smokers that they can’t smoke? Do they even have a clue how maddening that is – especially to former-smokers (a.k.a., nicotine addicts)? Stop announcing crap unless there’s an emergency!

And then, there are all those other people around. Observing and listening, while you wait in lines and gates. ‘People Watching’ is considered an acceptable activity these days. When I was growing up they called it ‘being nosy’.

And then, there’s the noise factor. The neighbors above and next door to your hotel room never sleep. You hear them stomping around, watching high-defvolume TV. They make sounds that defy your imagination. What can they be doing up there? Moving furniture? Maybe we don’t want to know.

The noises got so bizarre on our last trip that hubby and I would lie in bed giggling and make up stuff about what was going on. When we noticed the water stain on the ceiling above the jacuzzi, we thought maybe it was repairmen. But at two in the morning? It’s going to be one of many mysteries we encounter when we travel.

Things NEVER go as you plan them. And the unknown variables that happen can really mess with your trip. Like hurricanes and their residual storms. It was making me crazy to be in a tropical paradise, with a gorgeous beach and not be able to walk along the surf or lounge under an umbrella reading my book while a waiter fetches me another soda. And forget about booking a tour to visit ancient ruins. Another outside activity canceled due to high winds and heavy rain.

In many ways it really sucked. But we survived. And here we are, back at our favorite place to be – ♥ home ♥

* PC term for "cram as many seats as we can into the plane for the largest profit class"