Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So I made it back to Atlanta with lots of stories to tell and REALLy dirty feet. And I as much as I'd love to post a picture as evidence, I really can't, because then I'd have to kill you, and I'm just so not in the mood for a prison relationship right now. My life is complicated enough without having to pretend I'm someone's girlfriend just so they don't strangle me with their dental floss. But I digress.

We got back Sunday night, and unpacked right away; which, in my pre-married life, never happened. I was the kind of girl who could go for a few weeks without emptying my suitcase, using it instead as a sort-of makeshift wardrobe. Whatever was still clean was mine for the wearing, and when that got dirty I'd launder it, thus the wardrobe would move to the clean-clothes basket, then the empty side of the bed, then, if in the middle of the night I dreamed I was running up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or something, I'd kick it on the floor. And that's how I ended up on Hoarders. Just kidding.

Really, though, my former messiness (which is sometimes not-so-former) has met its match in my husband, who believes that the best time to clean/unpack/sanitize/put away is always RIGHTNOW. I'm not going to say he's militant about it, but he is not kidding when he says that right when we pull in the driveway, at the end of this 10-hour car trip during which the air conditioner broke, every one of us is going to unpack the vehicle, shake out the floor mats, and, if required, give the interior a once-over with the hand-vac. And no, it doesn't matter if you're experiencing low blood sugar or need to go potty, you'll thank me for this later. And actually, I do. Thank him. It's pretty great to have your entire car unloaded, clothes put back in drawers, and a load in the washer just an hour or so after your return.

But-even though that's all really lovely-the remnants of the vacation being in their proper place and all that, I think there was something in me, and maybe still is, that liked basking in the afterglow of a good road trip. I enjoyed the physical reminders of jetsetting, the smells of the seashore on my still-packed clothes, the last bits of sand shifting around in my shoes. Is it practical to forgo bathing for a week post-beach holiday? No, but I suppose I considered it all a sort-of living scrapbook. An eco-friendly collection of mementos requiring no expensive paper borders or acid-free doo-dads. Just my stinky self and a big pile of rumpled, sandy sarongs. I mean, who wouldn't want in on that action?

But, anyway...I meant to bring everyone up to speed last night, but needed a little more time to unwind since there was no tangible proof I'd spent the last nine days doing just that: unwinding. I actually felt a little like I'd been propelled back into the atmosphere too quickly and bits of my brain were flying out my ear like deorbiting space junk. I'm sure you can relate. So, instead of blogging, I stayed up till 2:00 am eating cold pizza, ordering internet skincare, and watching Bridezillas. And now I feel SENSATIONAL! But wait, there's more: with my qualifying purchase, I received free shipping, two deluxe samples of my choice, and a complimentary full-size coconut body scrub!

So, I feel better today. Well, actually I feel worse, but at least I canceled out the pizza with a raw blender soup I made with half a cantaloupe, some fresh basil, one large can of San Marzano tomatoes, and three cloves of garlic. I won't mention the prosciutto crisp garnish. But hopefully, last night's debauchery's got me covered, I've re-entered normal life with both my vacation memories and real-world identity in act, and life and posting will go on as planned. I've spent the last couple of hours trying to remember all the snippets of story that occurred in the last three weeks, and I guess this is why people take pictures, right? Or carry index cards and little golf pencils around in their back pockets. Overachievers. I am willing to bet my deluxe samples that in addition to being highly organized writer-bloggers, these individuals have also attended the Mr. Other People's Chicken School of Unpacking. Oh, well. At least I got the coconut scrub.

Image courtesy of A Touch of Glass's Flickr Stream

Friday, June 11, 2010

Status Update

Hi. Since someone called today to ask if I was still alive, I thought it'd be a good idea to post something informative. As in, sorry to leave you hanging folks, but I've been at the greenhouse this week helping out, pushing plants on unsuspecting strangers, etc. Thus, my blogging skills and hygiene have taken a dire turn, as evidenced in the photo above-- but I've been getting lots of work done and my farmer's tan is AWESOME. So there you go. I'd write more, but I am really bedraggled, and probably should shower, what with the town pool not opening this year and my daily beauty/disinfecting ritual shot to hell. I'll say this: It's kind of a drag not being able to combine one's daily dose of recreation with the washing of one's hair, but I do get to eat all the strawberries I want, right out of the patch...and wear really big boots. And eat like a trucker. Don't be jealous. I still love you, internet. Let's never fight again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where Is Everybody?

A couple of weeks ago I was looking through some old photos in order to rustle up some inspiration for a "Happy Birthday" post I'd planned on writing for my dear father, not that I need inspiration, really, but I figured browsing through snapshots of my childhood might help me recall a particular moment, something from which to launch my essay. Of course, the search that might have taken a half-hour or so is still in progress; mostly due to my predisposition for waxing poetic over every single photo, which might not sound like a medical condition, but BELIEVE ME, IT IS.

Sidetracked? Yes, I am. You see, a couple years back, during a bout of pregnancy-induced hyperorganizationitis (also a medical condition),  I decided to distill my gigantic box-o-pictures by staging an elimination process so cutthroat that only the strong/beautiful/able to speak a thousand words were left standing. In addition to eliciting the best and brightest, I also cast out any photos that, were I the subject of such unflattering light or clothing selection, would want shredded and/or burned. It doesn't matter if the person once peed in your shampoo bottle, or never paid for dinner, or pinched your cheeks and called you chubby until you were 27-if you own a photo where this person's unibrow is the shot's defining artistic element, then the good and righteous thing to do is get rid of it. So they've double-crossed you--who cares? By doing the right thing with your arch-rival's unbecoming mug, you're initiating a cycle of good, one you can only hope results in your finding random piles of cash and jewelry. Okay, maybe not quite, but at least you get the prize of a well-edited photo library, with the added clean-conscience bonus. Kind of a "tastes great, less filling" situation, if you will.

So-my collection of photos is truly special--each shot feels like my favorite. And I love perusing them in bed, propped up on pillows with my knees drawn chest-high. I balance the box of pictures there and get lost in the looking back. Every now and then my children come in to ask why my eyes are "all shiny", or, more often, "who the little boy is, mommy?" Yes, I admit it's kind of a drag to have to remind them that no, Mommy wasn't a boy when she was little. She just thought that her haircut was awesome, even if it was an almost-mullet with a half-grown out perm, even if ponytails were not an option until she was 16.  That's all, kids, move along. Actually, this could explain why I'm ponied up nearly every day; now that my hair's finally past my earlobes and nobody calls me "young man" anymore.