In real time, in positive news, my son was featured in a nice article in his local paper.
How can I complain about the weather, or anything, when he is doing so well?
Back at Auntie Margaret’s flat, it was time for packing and laundry for the both of us. But first, Heidi locked herself out. The laundry room is outside, she didn’t take the key to the building with her, and the door clicked behind her.
The house phone kept ringing and I ignored it. I was busy! I had to somehow cram all these kangaroo hats and koala candles and goanna t-shirts into my suitcase—what could I jettison?
“Gee, Heidi’s been gone for a while,” I finally noticed. “She must be waiting in the laundry room while the wash runs its cycle.”
The phone rang again. “Wait—maybe she’s not …” and I picked up to hear her voice, a bit strained, “Annie, I’ve been out here for 20 minutes, calling over and over!”
I ran down the hall to let her in. “What a dolt I am!” I apologized. This was the only time I detected the slightest hint of irritation in Heidi’s demeanor, although she was soon over it, busy packing and repacking for her week to come. Clothes for work, for driving to the farm, for bunking at her cousin’s, for one night at Auntie Margaret’s.
In the morning, we pushed my now-much-heavier, bulging suitcase up the hill to McMann’s Point station. At Central Station, we waited on the platform until my train to the airport arrived, then hugged fiercely and waved good-bye as the train rolled away. Heidi would catch a different train to work.
When I boarded the plane I discovered that miracle all travelers live for—an empty seat next to mine! I was in the very last row across from the toilet, but I could live with the whooshing noise. I am short enough that, curling up in the fetal position, I am able to lie down in a two-seat row.
What I hadn’t counted on was the loud talkers who soon congregated in the open space behind my seat. Even with ear plugs, I could hear them yammering away. I turned around and asked them to lower their voices. They did, for a minute. Some people just can’t help themselves. It was already a long flight, but this was going to make it seem like eternity. I got up and stood behind the seat myself. “I thought I’d join you,” I said, smiling like an imbecile.
They quickly dispersed back to their seats.
Home. Like I’ve written before, I love leaving it and love coming back to it.
It’s satisfying to dump all the clothes I’ve worn over and over for a month into the laundry bag and to take out something fresh.
I look forward to unpacking all the cheap crap I bought and bestowing it on people who have no idea why I thought they needed a wallaby-themed calendar. Taken out of context, much of what I buy on trips seems lame. But my nephews appreciated their koala and wombat hats.
And lucky me, I will be going to Japan with these guys in June.