Back when we first moved in to our Chicago apartment and finally invested in some proper (albeit IKEA) tall hardwood bookshelves, Leo, in his ever-present quest to explore every possible surface in the house, managed to use his impressive jumping abilities to get to the top of one of them. He had not, however, considered how he was going to get down, and spent a good few minutes making increasingly distressed murfling noises until Brian took a chair over, climbed up, and got him down. I remember being a little amused by this, asking "Don't you think if he got up there himself, he could probably get down?" But Brian insisted that it was more important to him that Leo know his Dadcat would always be there to get him down off the bookshelf.
Needless to say, when he came to pick me up from the airport at 8:30 AM on a Saturday a full week ahead of when I'd planned to be back, I felt more than a little like Leo on the bookshelf. I must be awfully lucky to have someone who'll always come get me.
Two nap-filled days later, I'm much more sanguine about my mental state. Saturday night was book group, which I'd originally been sort of bummed about missing (the group had taken my suggestion of Anansi Boys
, one of my favorite books), so I slept a lot that day and got to show up looking only a little hangdog. No one made fun of me for having had a proximity-to-family freakout; Megan (of the Alternative Yoga Practice
) even encouraged me to "Practice a little controlled comfort-eating. It's okay, you're among friends." <3 (Our host this time around was Heidi, who in addition to having just moved into our neighborhood, is apparently known in the group for providing Martha Stewart-level spreads. I'm afraid she kind of blew Brian's and my mini-cupcake-and-tartlet offering from our turn hosting out of the water. But it was some damn fine comfort eating.) Sunday I went to my friend Elyse's yoga class, which turned out to be thoroughly appropriate - not only was it a less-intensive-and-more-meditative practice than she usually does, but it was based around the story of Ganesh getting angry at the moon and slaying it with one of his tusks, thus trapping the Earth in eternal daylight and leaving its denizens unable to sleep until the other gods came down and insisted he fix things. Synchronicity! And then, after yet another nap on my part, Brian and I had a lovely twilit walk watching for fireflies before getting ice cream from our neighborhood's amazing shop.
My sweet mother has been sending me pictures from the Homer trip, which has been lovely to see, if a little bittersweet at times. On the upside, with all the flying I've been doing, I have enough miles to be within $300 of a (coach-class, but still) ticket up there again. I have some ideas for a make-up trip later this year, but due to the potential readership of this post I don't think I'm going to go into them in detail yet. I am, however, once more pleased to find myself living near a major airport; trying to get anywhere from Tucson on mileage was just Not Happening.
One last tidbit for the folks who don't read my Facebook: Before (and during) this trip, Mum and I had been joking about how the Grumpy Cat gene ran her side the family (she doesn't have it, being a Pollyanna of the highest degree, but my grandmother and I sure do at times, and my brother practically lives to be grumpy). So I was thoroughly entertained, as I was drifting to my airport gate in my sleep-deprived and weepy/overemotional state, to find my spirit animal at the airport bookstore waiting for me:
She kept me company all through the long flight back, and now sits on the bookshelf in our bedroom, where the cats are occasionally eyeing her warily and generally giving her a wide berth.
So! My truncated vacation has ended well enough, with hope for the future, which is about the best I could ask for from it. I did write a short story while in the throes of sleep deprivation (my mother: "It's only 8 AM. Weren't you going to sleep some more in my bedroom?" Me, typing and sounding more and more like Grumpy Cat: "Can't sleep, muse will eat me." Mother: "Want some coffee?" Me: "YES."); I think, now that I've recovered, I'm going to poke at revising it. Sleep deprivation may not be a great state for a lot of things, but when your emotions are all bubbling that close to the surface, it's rather easier to find a story's emotional core. Odd how that works...