Generally I need a holiday to recover from our holidays. Especially when air travel and family are involved. It’s not that it was an awful trip or a bad time. Even with the transportation snafu’s*, nothing came up that wasn’t manageable. Inconvenient, exhausting and enough to make a person question the various intelligence levels of those who thought saving the airlines after 9-11 was a good idea – but the whole thing was very doable. The family experience was one of the smoothest and most enjoyable I can remember.
The trouble is that I usually don’t get a break from my routine when we travel. My routine follows me. Part of it is that I write constantly. Even if it is just in my head. Another issue is food preparation. My allergies are worse than they were because of my avoidance habits. Exposures, even tiny ones, cause instant reactions. This means I do the cooking and at Mom’s I am cooking for a minimum of four and most of the time twice that. As an example, I made pizza on Sunday evening. Four pizzas plus a pan of bread sticks (which I cheated on and used Pillsbury despite not really being able to eat them myself). I did this after a three hour drive back from the wedding brunch in Pella and while dealing with Dee and her cousins and nOne’s girlfriend (a rather pleasant girl who is sufficiently smitten with nOne to help him watch his two little cousins.)
I also do laundry. When will I learn to underpack when a washer and dryer are on site? We take along too many articles of clothing (in part because the weather is unpredictable this time of year) and then I end up washing anyway (mostly because of the destroyed and soaked luggage thing this time).
I also clean. Mom complains that she can only clean so much and then she is merely cleaning clean stuff, but I think she could spend more time on the bathroom and on things like sweeping, vacuuming and possibly overcoming her resistance to the idea of a kitchen waste can as opposed to a plastic sack in the sink. Seriously. But I have always cleaned when I am at my folks. It was my way of avoiding the ever present tension that went resentfully unspoken. And it is because, despite my being an indifferent clutter person at best, obvious grime on counters, in sinks and bathtubs and on eating surfaces grosses me out.
“You’re such a good little scullery maid,” Rob remarked at one point.
“Call me Cinderella,” I said. Really, do.
We arrived home to pouring rain, wild winds and a cat in full meltdown mode, and there was unpacking to do, laundry to start and supper to make (bean and veggie soup with bread sticks I had made before we left and froze). We were all in bed and asleep by nine. And we are all still dragging today. Dehydrated, headachy, and wishing I could have slept in, there is the grocery to hit and Ashtanga in the afternoon plus Dee’s new winter coat needs to be washed so she can start wearing it. I put her on the bus in layers that might keep her warm enough today but won’t suffice for too many days longer. It is fall on the brink of winter here.
*The last leg of the trip was mainly delays but forty minutes here and twenty there add up and weigh a person’s patience down. I didn’t crack though. Good on me.