Back to life?

We’re back home from sending Al off to college at Cornell. It was a very busy five days, very emotionally fraught: sometimes tense, sometimes excited, sometimes sad. But she’s safely set up in her dorm now, and will begin the fabulous four years of self- and world- discovery that is college. I’m proud of who she is now, and eager to see who she’ll grow into. And I miss her already, which is absurd because we don’t even live in the same house… but we’ve had so much fun this summer, it won’t feel right not to be seeing her regularly anymore.

Yesterday was a marathon transit session for Erik and me, and I’m still feeling disoriented. We woke up at 6:45 AM in New York, got to the adorable Ithaca-Tompkins County Airport at 8:30 (only a few gates! they only open security when a flight is about to board, otherwise it’s closed! post-security food and drink are on the honor system!), and deplaned in Newark about 11 AM. We managed to get ourselves onto a 4:20 flight to SFO rather than our original 5:30, but delays kept us on the runway until about that time anyway, and we arrived in SFO just before 9 PM Pacific Time. We took the AirTrain shuttle to BART, transferred trains in Oakland, and finally arrived in El Cerrito just about 11 PM. We were pretty much dead on our feet, but we were hungry, so we went to Daimo. I love that place, and I love good Chinese-restaurant waiters. They were very busy (I think they may be the only restaurant in the area that’s open late, besides Nation’s and Denny’s), but there was always someone when we needed something, and my food came in about two minutes. Literally two minutes — directly the waiter took our orders, I went to the bathroom to pee and wash my hands, and when I came back from the bathroom, I sat down, and someone put my dish in front of me. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, especially near midnight after an 18-hour day or whatever it was.* We ate like starving animals and then drove home and fell asleep. I had no dreams.

Now to get back to regular life. I feel like I’ve been gone for weeks and weeks. It’s going to be an interesting adjustment.

Oh, and on our plane rides I read three wonderful books: Jane Austen’s Emma, Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart, and Julia Child’s My Life in France. Result? I kept thinking of things in Austenese (“exceedingly! Do not you think?”), I sat in meditation for the entire first leg of yesterday’s flight, and I am craving French food like nobody’s business.

Also, what is up with my zinnias? They wanted watering almost every day before I left, and I come back after 5 days and they are as perky as can be. Not that I’m complaining, but did it rain while we were gone or something???

*We are even more in awe of Eurie’s triathlon now. All we did was sit all day and we were barely able to function.