a rambling glimpse in

After all the travel and all the sickness, and all the hustle and bustle of getting the house in order, our bodies have decided we will do nothing but slow down. Energy is low. We all need to re-charge. Larry has more travel coming up soon and there’s a lot we should be trying to take care of before he goes, but the motivation feels on the floor. So while I’m just hanging out trying to resist the urge to Netflix and at the same time avoiding the inevitable task of finding a doctor, here’s a selection of random things that have been happening around here or bouncing around my head, in no particular order of importance or relevance:

The frustrations with the technology of this home have reached new peaks without any hope of resolution or respect. We went the entire long holiday weekend with no access to the control panel that allows us to answer the doorbell, control the heat, adjust windows, etc.  I was told today an electrician would show up at 1. He rolled in at 4. And he is essentially clueless as far as I’m concerned. But I’m certain he feels the same about me. I’m so supremely frustrated that my German is no where near where I need it to be to express my anger. I’m raising my voice in a language that makes no sense to this man. And it’s just going to go around again. Right now it works. But in a day or three — maybe a week, the camera will stop working. The bell will stop working. The elevator will stop working.  I’d bang my head against the wall, but that would probably just result an anonymous complaint and formal letter.

Finding a doctor and dealing with the whole insurance thing.  Ugh.. just ugh.  Again, my poor German skills, coupled with my hate of insurance makes this a brutally unappealing task, one that I barely manage for my kids, but seem utterly incapable of accomplishing for myself.

For all my bitching about my poor German skills — and they are still very poor — I do see incremental improvements, especially in reading comprehension. Small baby steps.  Small. I still very much enjoy our lessons and our German teacher. I think we really lucked out with her.

a couple nights ago, when I crawled out of bed to join the family for dinner I was rewarded by some of the most amazing, wonderful engaging, interesting dinner conversation. We went the gamut of religion, the rise of civilization, literature, philosophy.  We discussed family, travel, education, science, and world events (and blessedly very little US presidential politics). We talked family and family history, and Larry even reminisced about our “courtship,” causing both kids to laugh at his choice of words. “You’re so old fashioned, dad.”

Homesickness… Larry and I are both feeling a bit homesick. It came on when my folks left, but we got a beautiful bittersweet surge of it when Adam shared the videos and the pictures from this year’s spring Rock the Dock, the smallest crew yet to Head’s Down Thumbs Up, but perhaps the most appreciated gathering ever of Larry’s best friends.  Thank you, Adam, John, and Ronnie Towne for meeting Doodles up there and taking care of the camp. Larry will be back in the Bay State in a week or so, so he’ll get a little fix.

The weather here has been awful. Larry and I did successfully sneak in a bike ride around town in the three hours that it didn’t rain this past Saturday. (of course, after that I needed a nap). But other than that little break it has been rainy and cold and gross for part or all of the days for the past week.

Although Larry has had less time than usual to play music, the kids both have been playing more.  Elliot’s been working to teach himself guitar.  Merrie finagled herself a flute on loan and has been practicing that and her piano to great affect.  Both kids inspired Larry, who got his guitar out on Friday evening. I tried singing along (raspily and nasally and eventually had to stop) and both kids came out from their rooms on their own and joined in for a little bit. It was spontaneous and sweet.

Both kids separately have recently made comments about how happy they are with their family. Elliot commented that he clearly is closest with his family out of all his friends (in Salem and in Germany).  Meredith commented about how much she loves our family dinners and conversations.

Both kids are making really good strides at school with friends and with their schoolwork. I do think it will be OK. I hold to the hope and claim that this time next year things will be well settled and they will be well established.  Touch wood.




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