Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend #10

Today is a crazy day. I was overwrought last night, and as I was stumbling into wakefulness this morning, I could feel that I’d been grinding my teeth in my sleep. Sweet Nicole at work brought me a diet Coke and I slurped it up with gusto. Now the caffeine is racing through my blood stream wreaking havoc on my customarily caffeine free nervous system. So I have clamped my mouth shut and am steering clear of social sites on the internet. Caffeine has caused me to carry-on conversations that keep me up at night squirming with embarrassment at the memory. Thankfully, I have a respite here at work with me. A friend has lent me James A Michener’s Hawaii to read before our upcoming journey, and it is a lyrical description of adventure and beauty. The physical book itself makes me happy because it has a worn canvas cover suggesting years of reader enjoyment, and on the thick spine Hawaii is written out in faded pastel Copperplate – each letter a printed in a different color. It is charming and friendly. Here is my favorite sentence from just the first page, “Agitated by a moon stronger then than now, immense tides ripped across this tremendous ocean, keeping it in a state of torment.” My jaw aches and there is squabble buzzing around my head, but I have Michener at my fingertips and Hawaii is only four weeks away!

This weekend was atypical to say the least. Matt surprised me by taking me to a bed and breakfast in Asheville. I’ve never been to a bed and breakfast before, and found the entire experience utterly delightful. Asheville was alive with the change in season. The morning air was undeniably cold and the trees were the colors of fire. I'd always considered the suggestion to "rediscover romance" to be merely a marketing device; I now realize the distinct benefit of spending time together far away from the day to day tasks of laundry, dirty dishes, and dingy carpets that seem to stare up at me accusingly. The room was white and clean and had a fireplace. There was a four poster bed and a goose down comforter. We ate at a Spanish fusion restaurant in funky downtown Asheville. The mountainous terrain and dated architecture give Asheville a unique feel. Matt mentioned that it reminded him of Diagon Alley and that he expected to see a flying car at any minute. And sitting in the restaurant, half undeground, the flash of headlights was well above our heads. I love how Matt is imaginative to relate to my poetic side but also gounded enough to keep me from overdosing on emotions. When we got back to our "cottage," we found chocolate covered strawberries waiting at our bedside table (courtesy of the romantic Mr. Collins). We ate them as slowly as we could in front of the fireplace.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Money-Free Weekend #9

"I'm a pack rat of sorts myself. Of emotions. Not so much with actual things." - Pushing Daisies

South Carolina has succumbed to autumn. The days are mild and the evenings are distinctly chilly; the vivid blue sky is turning grey, and the silky green trees are edged with red. I have traded in my sundresses for wool slacks, and I’ve tucked away my polo shirts and unfolded my sweaters to hang in the closet. Fall is upon us and Hawaii is only a month away!

Saturday morning began with a sharp dose of reality. Matt had to work, so I got up with him and helped him gather up all his stuff and kiss him goodbye. When I opened the garage door, I was abruptly reminded of our community garage sale. There were a dozen people standing at the end of our short (very short) driveway staring at me as I stood there in my ratty sweatpants and sweat shirt, my greasy hair piled on my head haphazardly. There should be some kind of law preventing strangers from being in front of your house at 8:00 am on a Saturday. If I wanted people to know what I really looked like I wouldn’t spend so much money at Sephora. After slipping Matt a discrete goodbye kiss, I slipped back inside where I debated between going back to bed or snuggling on the couch with Henry and watching Pushing Daisies. Henry and Pushing Daisies won, so we settled down on the couch and watched the Piemaker and the girl he calls Chuck solve the mysteries of life and death.

At 10:00, I packed Henry in the back of the car and headed out to pick up Lucy. Lucy is the two-year old daughter our friends Nathan and Holly. Nathan is Matt's best friend, and Holly and I are fortunate enough to get along as well. Lucy is delightful, and I'd been wanting to have a play date with her for a while. It finally worked out that Holly needed someone to watch her at the same time that I was free to do so! Lucy came out dressed in a green sweater, blue and green flowered pants and matching green and blue striped glasses. I generally have a rule that children in my presence can not be better dressed than I am, but I made an exception for Lucy. We stopped at Liquid Highway to get some lattes for the adults, and then met Beth at the dog park downtown. As we made our way from the parking lot to the dog park (all the while trying to juggle two lattes, a pug, a dauschund, and a two year old), we passed some volunteers planting. One of them called out to Lucy, "I like your sunglasses," so she stopped and twirled for them and announced, "I have a 'pack-pack' too!"
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