Monday, August 17th:
I spent large parts of this morning putting clothes on the line outside. I knew there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms but the sun was shining rather insistently.
Then I was doing some things online, including pieces of blog posts I'd started writing and one of which I'd actually meant to post days ago but quite apparently it never went out. (Thank you, dear Lou, for making this clear to me!)
And on top of the beat of the classic radio station and the whir and rush of the rotating fan I started to hear something else, some other louder whir and rush - I was literally outside 10 minutes ago looking at what might already be dry, taking those things down, and putting up the second load of laundry - so as I was sitting here fussing with the blog and hearing the rush and whir I thought no, that can't be rain - looked out the window ahead of me and the sun was just as bright but there was something about that noise, so I went outside for a second and sure enough, it was raining and everything was soaked all over again. I started to try to pull it inside but I was getting soaked myself and the clothes, I thought, would do better outside when it got dry again - and in the time it took me to write this paragraph, though my shoulders and arms are still wet from my seconds outside, it has completely stopped raining again and the sun is shining!
I can't tell everything that's happened so here are bits and pieces:
we've been back in Bloomington 2 weeks. Forgot a piece of luggage in our building the day we left, hubby went back in a taxi rushing home and back while Felix and I waited nervously after checking in at the airport. Flew from Berlin to Newark uneventfully, in Newark we waited forever to find out our flight to Indianapolis was canceled, so we spent an absolutely delightful day in New York and flew home a day later.
Got home late Monday night, dear neighbors Jenny and Michael met us and drove us home and what a wonderful welcome that was, also flowers and balloons and edible goodies in the house from four different sets of neighbors, then the next morning more friends and neighbors visiting, and promptly at 12:30 midday Tuesday, 12 hours after we'd gotten to our house, a thunderstorm started, lasted only minutes I think but our power went out and stayed off for 21 hours. What a welcome!
Felix has started school, is enjoying 7th grade, he's taking French and going to play percussion in the band, he has some good teachers and he's enjoying seeing all the old friends again, the schoolbus leaves from 2 corners down at 7:27 in the morning and brings him back around 3:15 p.m., a big difference for him and me from last year. Also in school, instead of multiple breaks with lots of running around, they have NO breaks for running around, 30 minutes for lunch, one 45-minute physical education period of which they are changing in and out of their clothes for probably at least 15 or 20 minutes of it I would guess. Hmph. But he's doing fine so far. Has two dog-walking jobs this week, and looking forward to soon buying the computer he's been saving up for.
And I? I'm walking with my ladies of my ladies' book group, so happy to be doing that. We're meeting every weekday morning at 7:45 and we walk for about an hour and it's wonderful. Catching up on everything, talking about everything, starting the day with friendly faces and funny stories and other people's family woes to add to our own or put ours in perspective.
Haven't got my editorial work up to speed, my clients have to get used to the fact that I'm back and working, but I've been talking to a lot of friends and neighbors and consulting more formally with my buddy and blogspiration Ellen about the idea of pushing my coaching work harder - the writing coach work but also starting up weight-loss coaching with some clients locally and maybe farther away. It's keeping my mind busy thinking about what might work.
Went to a wonderful concert Saturday night, our neighbor and friend Jason Fickel telling hilarious stories about growing up in Kansas in between folksy/bluesy (I'm not so good on genres) songs he wrote and that he sings and plays with a number of other wonderful local musicians, including our very good old friend Boo on trombone with a plunger making it go woo-woo-woo. Lots of friends and neighbors there.
As I told niece Fanny in a little blog just for her: the fridge here is huge! I mean, it was our fridge before we left, and I do recognize it, but the fridge we had in Berlin, and three more just like it, could fit, I'm pretty sure, into the fridge part - and then there's the whole freezer part below. In fact if you rearranged the shape of the fridge we had in Berlin but kept it the same size, I think it could fit into the door pockets of this fridge here. I'm just saying.
And I've been to three, no four at least, grocery stores since we got back, and a few days ago I was at the least funky-organic-sophisticated and most down-home-Indiana one of the ones I ever go to, and the shopping carts were an outrageous size. And I was pushing it around and I wanted to get maybe ten things but I kept feeling like I should put more things in the cart. So the last few days I've been going to the natural food co-op instead more, where the baskets are a more reasonable size and the food is more local and organic.
And I'm sorry, I got kind of offended when people in Berlin said "oh, everybody in the States is fat" but when I look around here in Bloomington it is pretty striking how different the body shapes are here.
So those are some impressions. It's nice to be back, though, and I do feel anchored.
I'm wearing my twenty-pound weight vest for ladies' morning walk. We start the day talking and walking and, as Jenny said, she goes off to work with a smile on her face when we start like that. It's not always the same group of us but four or five or six of us cycle through - there have always so far been at least three of us. I'm loving it, and my ladies tell me I got them up and running (OK, walking) again, so it's good to feel that I can do that.
I've gone over many, many pages of rules and instructions from Felix's different teachers that we had to sign, and sheets of information to fill out for the school administration, most of which I had already filled out. They now have multiple phone numbers for us and our address and e-mail addresses, and the names and phone numbers of half our neighbors, in about 8 different places.
Not finding any small offices to rent downtown this year - turns out in this economy everyone who used to have big offices is downsizing to the small kind I was always wanting and having. So we're going to reconfigure things in the house for me to work at home again for a while.
Oh, and Annette, Bianca, Susanne, and Sabine, I am putting you down to get automatic e-mail with this blog when I write it because it seemed like accessing the blog was not necessarily so easy for you. If you'd rather not get it please do let me know! I miss you and our walks and play-readings! And there is NOwhere in Bloomington to go swimming with fish and ducks and herons and no clothes.
And oh, sorry, one last thing: we *are* going to start a play-reading group here in Bloomington - in German!