Travel, Building Houses, and Books, All in One

It's Wednesday, hump day. Yesterday was one of those days where we woke up and thought we were in Seattle. Or Pittsburgh. Rained through the night, rained the entire live long day, sometimes hard and all of the time enough that if you went out you got wet. One of those days that makes you tend to not do what you're supposed to do.

So here I am at Wednesday, and in two days I pull out of the driveway and drive to Houston to meet our two girls. A night in a hotel then Saturday we climb out of bed, grab our suitcases, and drive to Galveston, where we'll climb aboard a ship that holds more people than lived in Pinckneyville, Illinois, the town we lived in for seven years. Pinckneyville had a Hardees and a Dairy Queen, a local pizza place and a couple of restaurants that had stools fastened to the floor next to the counter. This ship has more restaurants than I even know of, and more than we'll visit, with a water slide, outdoor theater, indoor theater, casino, karaoke, spas, and five pools. 3,500 vacationers, many of which will be wearing less swimsuit than they possibly might have chosen, and there's something in me that loves that. You're on vacation - enjoy! We three will not be those people, but we'll enjoy being surrounded by them. There's no place that offers up better people watching than poolside on a cruise ship.

We'll be away for five glorious days. Five days that have been much anticipated for five months, and will go by faster than we can even bear to think about right now. Two and a half will be at sea, when we'll all three be taking meds to fight motion sickness (feel free to pray for us!). Two will be at Progresso, Mexico and Cozumel, where I'd tell you what we'll be up to, but it's a surprise to Sarah so no reveal here. She's the birthday girl so we have a couple of fun surprises for her.

Their sweet husbands, super heroes in disguise, will be keeping alive six children between the two of them. Ranging from 14 down to less than 2 (feel free to pray for them!), either getting them off to school, or schooling them, or changing diapers or rocking, or feeding, or bathing, or all the things that mothers do on any given day - they'll be doing it. And I'd say they have no idea what they're in for but that's not true. Today's Daddys are more hands on than our own children grew up with, so I suspect they know they'll be busier than a one armed paper hanger. (I love that term and don't get to use it enough.)

By the way, does anyone out there know anything about Viber and Skype for talking and face timing when you're out of the country? Our first trip away, 20 years ago, we called from the hotel and the phone bill was $500. And the dog ate the couch, which we won't dwell on, but we don't want a repeat of either of those. When our daughters asked about staying in touch with said fathers who might possibly have a question or two, or said six children, who might need to see their mama's faces, they were told to download Skype and Viber from the app store and make sure phones on both ends had it. So can we really call and text for F.R.E.E.!!??!!! I assume it'll just use our megabytes of whatever it is we have on our phones, right? Just the cyber juice needed to run the apps? Any info would be appreciated as it makes my brain hurt to try to understand how it all works, and why it's free. We did download both apps last night, CS and I, and sat five feet away from each other and talked and face timed, but I'm a bit skeptical.

So that's what's going on here, plus some. Packing and cooking and note leaving and laundering and such on my end. God bless Don, he's having a big birthday while I'm away and told me to go, not worry over it. We'd celebrate when I get back, but still. Pretty big of him. And he's babysitting the two littles one evening while I'm away, and may have asked for a few notes on that too. He's not from the same generation my son-in-laws and son are, so it's a bit of a stretch for him.

I'm off - today's list was long before I added much of yesterday's to it. It involves going to hear a lecture on the political system, and how it came to be (sounds dry, won't be), and meeting with a builder - second meeting - to pick out doors and appliances and all the stuff a new home is made up of. Yep, moving this fall. I'll tell you more about that when I get back. Right now I've got a breakfast casserole to make, swimsuits to locate, and flip flops that have been buried for a few months, ready to be resurrected and brought back to life!

P.S. I just finished Bettyville last night (George Hodgman). There were some parts that were tough to get through. He's very honest about being gay and the struggles that brought to his life. That was half of the center of the book - the second half was living with his 90 year old mother, trying to care for her after his father died. I've always felt one of the gifts reading gives is it lets us into other people's lives, and that was certainly the case with this book. The language was rough at times, but appropriate I'd say, for what he was going through. And the writing was beautiful. You can look up other reviews, to decide for yourself, but I have a bigger picture of the world, having read it, and I'm convinced we all can use more of that.


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