Sunday, May 15, 2011

May 15: A Life in Luggage

Today’s the day we leave for Italy. The pets have both gone off to their respective hostels, the laundry has been running nonstop for days, the house looks like a family exploded in it, and just to make matters infinitely more interesting, my agent sold my novel to St. Martin’s Press on Friday. So there’s that twist to the tale. It could have been worse – the book could have gone to auction while I sat in rural Tuscany chewing my wrists open and trying to create a wifi connection out of sheer animal will, a wine bottle, and a heel blister. Instead I’m going to be trying to be sexy enough to carry this book thing off, while sitting in the Uffizi Gallery, looking at Venus. An infinitely better conundrum.

We managed to fit ourselves back into the same luggage we had last year, so we were again one suitcase full of Lydia and Dan, one suitcase full of Benny and Sadie, one suitcase full of bike paraphernalia, one road bike dissembled and packed in a bike box, two violins, two laptop bags, one helmet in a knapsack, one purse, two travel bags for the kids, and a partridge in a vise grip. This year we also had, which I swear we didn’t have last time, Sadie’s boppy pillow, her fleece horse blanket, and an overly larged stuffed rabbit. With this we would shove ourselves into a cab, roll out of the cab and into Norfolk International, then on to JFK.

The children were mellow enough to squabble with each other over ridiculous things, but hysterical enough to ask repeatedly where we were going, no specifically, where exactly we were going, and where after that, and where after that, and where specifically that was, etc. nigh unto death. Dan has been so manic with work and races and I have been so crazed with the book roller coaster, dosing myself on valerian to be able to sleep and then revving myself up for phone calls – I’m surprised the children still live indoors. Somewhere over the Atlantic, the 15th turned the 16th for us, and our first day was over.

We all lived. The plane managed to lift into the air bearing the weight of my jubilation and neuroses, Dan’s bike necessities, Sadie’s comfort items, and Benny’s growling discontent that Sadie was touching him, yes touching his foot, and her whole leg was on his side of the seat. Sheesh.

The things I forgot: chapstick, in spite of the fact I was given a nice new one on Tuesday. Swimming suit for me, although I packed two each for the kids.

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