T Minus One

April 26, 2012 in blog, North America, Travelogue, United States

The cottage

In case you are wondering: I’m tired.

In nineteen short hours we’ll be underway and I’ll be breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Right now, the cottage is torn apart. Backpacks are lined up on the couch in various states of half packed. 

Plastic bins are overflowing with sleeping bags, therma-rest mats & a tent.

There are bits and pieces of travel kit strewn across three stories of floor.

I just finished a conference call with our Dream Intensive class in which we actually encouraged other people who want to do similarly insane things to push on and find ways to make it happen. Why would ANYONE want to make THIS MESS happen? That’s what I’m wondering tonight.

As launches go, this one hasn’t been half bad:

  • No one is throwing up
  • I haven’t cried yet.
  • Nothing is broken
  • The kids aren’t freaking out (yet)
  • We’re not trying to cram the last lessons of pick-a-school-subject in (because they’re on schedule for once!)
  • Tony isn’t jetting off to a meeting instead of loading the van
  • We know where we’re staying the first night out
  • It’s not an ice storm


We’ve had worse. 

Actually, we’ve never had better.

Pre-launch always sucks. Perhaps we’re just bad at it, who knows. I’ve heard that there are other people who sail through it with no stress and even lipstick on. I’ve never met them… just been told. That’s not us. Our style is a little more… earthy… read that chaotic. “Goat Rodeo” might conjure the right mental image. 

Ezra has just come up for the third time tonight to report that he’s not sleeping (as evidenced by the fact that he’s vertical instead of horizontal.)  I sent him back with a blue pill. Nerves. It happens to him every time. He’s a stinker for a solid week before we launch.

Hannah, for once, is not bulging at the seams with her personal baggage. The girl is a pack rat. This time she’s surprisingly well prepared and under capacity (she’s making up for it with the THREE instruments we’re taking.)

Gabriel has worked his rear off today: cleaned the van, cleaned under the couches, carried trash and resale items out of the house all day long, reorganized half of the kitchen for the next people to use this house, vacuumed, washed loads of laundry, stuffed sleeping bags. He’s a man-let. He’s packed. No drama. As usual. 

Elisha is wondering about fifty things that don’t matter yet, from what Mrs. Adams will serve for lunch three days from now in Pennsylvania, to why some of Ezra’s matchbox cars are in his ziploc bag to if it will be raining when we land in Thailand. None of these things are what I want to be thinking about right now. At least he works while he wonders. He tackled the pan cabinet today, which was no small task, and made me more than one cup of tea.

Tony is disassembling the mobile office, winding cords, sorting bits and pieces, double checking everything he’ll need to work from the wrong side of the world in a few short weeks. He’s also taken two loads to goodwill, cleaned out the (prodigious) pile of beer and wine bottles on the back step and run more than a few errands this evening. In between he keeps plying me with a really good bottle of riesling. He’s a good man.

Launch is easier with big kids than it was with little kids. 

We’re actually in a great place. Tomorrow will be a full day’s work, but we’re well within shooting distance of being done before our 3:30 p.m. deadline. 

I can hear the siren song of the open road and it is sweet indeed. 

This time tomorrow night I’ll be sipping wine and swapping travel plans with the Break Out Of Bushwick duo that we’ve come to love this year in NYC.

Can’t come soon enough.