If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

23 June 2005

Re-entry Pangs

I'm not sure which was harder -- reentry to the states 2 weeks ago, or the subsequent reentry here to Italy yesterday! There are so many things that stand out to me differently now, just after one short month. It just goes to show how quickly you can change 'normal' in your own mind! There are so many ridiculous comparisons to make, political commentary to offer on the rampant consumerism and disposable society that exists in the US. But that, friends in blogville, is a depressing rant for another day. Instead I will offer just a few of the fascinating juxtapositions (aaah, who can resist the chance to use a Venegoni word?!?!) of the past two weeks:

In Minnesota last week ... I called the hotel engineer twice to try to fix and then replace my air conditioning unit, rather than sleep in the sticky night air at the Marriott (and my window was sealed shut... !!)

In Tuscany last night ... I left my three windows and door standing open to try to get some sort of cross breeze into the slightly-toasty guest house that I'm living in until The Diplomat & Renaissance Artist leave for Cairo. The heat is only bad a few weeks a year here, apparently, but it's been an unusually warm spring and the house was closed up while I was gone. Of course, that meant that I woke up to an unexpected knock on my partially-open door from the TV guy this morning - he stopped in to drop off my invoice for the satellite wiring he did. Thankfully I was sleeping in something - (ahem)- modest! Lesson learned!!!

In Minnesota last week ... I was staying across the street from the mecca of all horrifying consumerism: the Mall of America. Anything and everything your little heart could desire, nearly all of it that you don't need, available nearly 24 hours a day.

In Tuscany this morning ... I was thankful that I had a granola bar left over in my purse from my travels, since when I drove through town yesterday, it was during the 'lunch break' and stores were closed. Mrs. Hubbard's Cupboards were VERY bare!

In Minnesota last week ... a busload of people got all a-flutter (pun intended!) when a bee found its way into the open bus door.

In Tuscany today ... welcome back to the Insect Grand Prix in my open room. The yard has changed so much in the few weeks that I've been gone: tons more butterflies now, which are beautiful. Also discovered that I have 'mud daubers,' which are apparently wasps that eat spiders but don't bite people. THESE are my kinda wasps!

In Minnesota last week ... I selectively bought 1,750 Q-tips (more than 500 days' worth!) and 192 gallon size ziploc bags at COSTCO to pack into my return suitcase. As I was leaving, Chickie presented me with his farewell gift: two bottles of Advil (enough for 165 days of morning-after dosages!)

In Tuscany yesterday... I was tickled to have not one but TWO boxes of gifties waiting for me from Chickie and The Mom. (apparently my plaintive wailing here has not gone unnoticed!) Soooooooo thoughtful: The Mom sent chipotle spice and recipes, BBQ sauce, some Ghirardelli chocolates from the 'homeland', and Advil. Chickie, bless his sweet heart, sent a year's supply of Bounce even though he's violently allergic to it, plus loads of Carmex and some fun sippy straws with umbrellas. I'll have static-free clothes and soft but spicy lips to wrap around copious amounts of straws ... Let the party begin!

In Minnesota last week ... I had to be witty and entertaining to 210 friends (okay, a few friends and mostly strangers) on less than 4 hours of sleep a night.

In Tuscany last night ... I had to be witty and entertaining to 8 guests at a dinner after a night of sleeping badly for a few hours in a coach airplane seat next to a guy who snored... At least I was *kind of* in charge back in Minnesota!

In Minnesota last week ... I was rudely awakened more than once by a screaming child in the room next door.

In Tuscany this morning... I was rudely awakened just a touch after dawn by what I would *swear* is a cuckoo bird. I had no idea these actually existed other than on those gaudy Swiss clocks! They're loud. And persistent. Like the clock chiming continuously at noon. Those earplugs that I used for the snoring guy on the plane are coming in handy.

I'm resigned to the fact that for the next few months, home is where my suitcase is, which is part of the adventure. I'm in that awkward time when neither place feels like home. (Cue Neil Diamond crooning "LA's fine, but it ain't home -- New York's home but it ain't mine no more!") Going back to DC next month should be interesting. But for the moment, at least until I pack Magdalena (that's my suitcase. long story.) up again, it's really good to be back. I *do* think I'm gonna like it here. But I still miss the hell out of my Caribou large vanilla nonfat no foam latte.


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