Yearly Archives: 2011


January 25, 2011

We almost didn’t make it.

We stayed for Christmas, and had a lovely holiday. Once the holiday passed, I began to feel restless to move again, but was ambivalent about going back to California. Let’s just be honest – I’ve never been able to figure out why I left Greece. I guess when you find a place where you’re never wishing you were somewhere else, that place becomes the somewhere else for every place you go after that.

Parse THAT, English speakers.

At any rate, it wasn’t until we encountered a variety of frustrating setbacks that I started wishing we were back home. I missed our birds. I missed our library (we’d only had it put together for a couple of months before hitting the road). I missed our friends and family. And since the Universe knows I’m a little engine that runs on spite, the Universe kept on setting up roadblocks to ensure that once we DID finally make it home, I would be grateful.

We’ve been sick since – hell, I can’t even remember. I know it started with a cold on Halloween, and just got worse from there. We’re still sick, but it feels like we’ve turned a corner. At any rate, when a window of opportunity opened up for us to leave a week ago, we took it. We didn’t even get to say goodbye to everyone – we had to hit the road while Josh could breathe, while the skies were clear, while the car was running, while we could. I’m so grateful to our friends and family in Missouri who kept us so comfortable and made us feel so loved during our trip. I think that’s why I was so ambivalent about leaving until it looked like we wouldn’t be able to – we were happy and cozy and yes we were sick, but not sick and alone and working twelve hours days like usual. We couldn’t. It was logistically impossible.

So we made a break for it when we could. Grandma packed us a lunch and we said goodbye to whomever we could find and we hit the road and immediately got stuck in Kansas City traffic on I-70. A shortcut we were trying ended up taking two hours longer than the normal route would have, which we found hilarious at the time. By the next day, halfway through the trip, delays were no longer so hilarious. Josh was in a lot of pain. I kept eyeballing the little towns we passed, assessing their emergency medical facilities in case I could convince him to stop.

I couldn’t. He kept going. We made it home and Josh staggered into the house and the next morning we were in the emergency room hoping hoping hoping that his lungs were clear. Thankfully they were. A week later he’s still in pain, still coughing, but it’s better. Not great, but better.

The birds took a couple of days to realize we were back, but they’ve been visiting every morning. The house felt huge and foreign and is back to feeling small and cozy. The weather has been incredible – we’ve been blessed with a week of 70 degree days, warm enough to open all the windows and let the fresh air blow out four months of stagnant energy. I’ve been slowly cleaning all the corners while catching up on work, and thinking about this year’s garden. The library is still the best room in the house – it just feels good to walk in there. I almost think I can hear the books communing in there.

Speaking of books, here’s the 100 books I read last year (I stopped writing them down at 100, and several on the list I read twice or more last year because that’s how I do it. Books marked with an asterisk I was reading for the first time. And the Erotic Bustle Poppers I listed were Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series but I couldn’t even be bothered to remember the titles, I found them kind of boring on this re-read)

1) Sirens of Titan (read this 3x this year)
2) Bird by Bird
3) My Man Jeeves
4) The Sparrow
5) Franny and Zooey*
6) Death in the Afternoon (2x)
7) A House Like a Lotus
8) Oryx and Crake
9) Jurassic Park
10) The Stand*
11) Alice in Wonderland
12) The Fantastic Mr. Fox*
13) Monstrous Regiment
14) Wee Free Men
15) A Hat Full of Sky (2x)
16) Wintersmith* (2x)
17) Night Watch
18) Witches Abroad
19) Equal Rites
20) Carpe Jugulum*
21) Wyrd Sisters*
22) Goodnight Mr. Tom
23) Outlander
24) Magic for Beginners
25) Howl’s Moving Castle
26) The Mysterious Affair at Styles
27) Tag*
28) Hob an Lam
29) An Echo in the Bone*
30) The Eyre Affair
31) In The Year 2889
32) Mudlevel*
33) Fireflies*
34) Lost in a Good Book
35) The Well of Lost Plots
36) The Hunger Games*
37) Something Rotten
38) Fishboy*
39) A Scanner Darkly*
40) The Giver
41) He, She and It
42) Mortally Challenged*
43) Some bustle popper
44) Pandora
45) The Imperfectionists*
46) Jane Eyre
47) Pretty Monsters*
48) The Manual of Detection*
49) Cloud Atlas*
50) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
51) Slaughterhouse Five
52) Sea Rose Red
53) Fablehaven*
54) Under the Dome* (ick)
55) The Knife of Never Letting Go*
56) The Monsters of Templeton*
57) Looking For Alaska*
58) Geek Love
59) The Secret Hour* (Midnighters Series)
60) Bluebeard*
61) The Opposite of Fate
62) Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell
63) Erotic bustle popper #1
64) Erotic bustle popper #2
65) Erotic bustle popper #3
66) Four Past Midnight
67) The Opposite of Fate
68) The Bonesetter’s Daughter
69) Middlesex
70) A Moveable Feast*
71) House of Many Ways*
72) The Game*
73) The Martian Chronicles
74) Dandelion Wine
75) Fahrenheit 451
76) Strange Pilgrims*
77) City of the Beast*
78) Mother Night*
79) Henderson, the Rain King
80) The Old Man and the Sea
81) Green Hills of Africa*
82) The Abbot’s Ghost*
83) Dandelion Wine
84) Hocus Pocus
85) Twilight*
86) New Moon*
87) Eclipse*
88) Breaking Dawn*
89) The Unidentified
90) Flow My Tears the Policeman Said*
91) Decreation*
92) Blood Meridian*
93) Something by Pio Baroja whose title I can’t remember (Cesar or Nothing?)
94) Stranger Things Happen
95) Candide
96) The Vampire Armand
97) The Moon and Sixpence* (I had like three false starts on this and then finally finished it and quite liked it)
98) Anthem
99) American Fairy Tales (L. Frank Baum)
100) The Awakening