The time has come. The time is now. Just go. Go. GO! I don't care how. - Dr. Seuss, Marvin K. Mooney Will you please go Now!
The time has come for the trip to Maine. Tomorrow I fly up to the cooler land with the kids, and PH will be joining us next week. There has been laundry to wash, socks to match, packing to complete, and interviews to arrange for PH (don't hold your breath, but at least there has been a bit of a positive response to his cv in Maine). Also, three friends have had babies recently (better them than me!) so meals have been cooked and cute little clothes gifted. In all the running around, it hasn't hit me that (A) we are leaving tomorrow, and (B) this is the first time I've been home in a year. For many people an annual trip home is the norm, but this is the first time in ten years that I have lasted a year without a visit. We didn't plan it that way, it just sort of happened.
So what have I missed this year . . . here's the list.
1. Lobster - In Maine, there is one way to eat a lobster and that is steamed with a cup of warm butter. Don't bother with the work of stuffing it or broiling it. Put an inch of water in a pot, bring it to a boil, throw in the lobster and steam for eighteen minutes. If you insist on a vegetable, make a salad. I'm drooling just thinking about this meal.
2. Cool Weather - Nothing else to say here.
3. Woods - Real trees, and woods with pine needles and cones, and animals that are not reptilian.
4. Humpty Dumpty Potato Chips- Yes, they are made in Canada, but I can only find them in Maine and a few places in New Hampshire. The best kind are BBQ, served with a tuna italian from Whipper's Pizza. Whipper's has no link - I'm not sure they would even know how to turn on a computer but they make the best sandwiches and pizza. More drool.
5. Real lakes - Any retention pond filled with reptilian critters is considered a lake here. Real lakes are cool (maybe a bit cold) and I only need to worry about fish and the occasional leech. The canoe, a book, and a breeze.
7. The New Balance Outlet - Great sneakers at great prices.
8. Country Stores - The kind that sell bait, hunting permits, penny candy, and formal wear. Hussey's General Storeadvertises beer, guns, and wedding gown - all you need for a wedding!
9. The Maine Accent - Drop your "R" and "ER" is pronounced a "A". This is not the Massachusetts accent and compare them at your own risk.
10. Home - The place you know, the stories, the memories. If I can get the kids to watch a movie on the plane, then here's what I'll be listening to on my ipod
Goin' Home Mary Chapin Carpenter
This morning I work up with the feelin’ that I’d been away too long All this blacktop runnin’ underneath my wheels makes me feel too gone Well I could use a lot of sleep and a little bit of time on my own And then the sight of you just waiting for me with open arms
Goin’ h-o-o-o-o-ome, Goin’ h-o-o-o-o-ome
Now it’s the middle of November and the lilies bloom by the Gage springs Yeah, I can see us flyin’ down the Craig store road like we’ve got wings Turn the radio off, baby, all I want to do is hear you sing Yeah, I can close my eyes and perfectly imagine everything
All the time that I been takin’ All the things I’ve never found Suddenly were waiting for me The minute that I slowed it down
All the time that I been takin’ All the things I’ve never found Suddenly were waiting for me The minute that I turned around
Tonight I’m gonna wish you all the things that love can bring And then I’ll climb right up and watch the sun go down on top of Reilly’s hill I feel the beautiful breeze just a-slippin’ in under the windowsill And smell the perfume of the night from those lilies of those fields
Dear Mr. Hiring Director at VIP Company located in the Beautiful Place of my Dreams:
We received your email yesterday requesting further information from PH as you are considering his application for employment. To be frank, after reading the email we both stood slack-jawed for a bit. You see we applied for the position knowing there was no way PH would be seriously considered. We even laughed a bit at our foolishness for applying. By not sending us the form rejection letter outright, you have caught us by surprise and infused hope into a dream that we were slowly letting go.
Don't get me wrong, PH would be an ideal candidate. As his wife, I can certainly attest to his thorough education that was nearly the cost of a home, his dedication to his job, his anal retentive need for perfection, and his ability to handle a stressful situation with a calm demeanor, such as when our toddler son split his lip and had to be mummified to a table, while several shots were injected in the lip before the rushed doctors could suture the gaping, bloody cut. There is no job that PH could not handle if given the opportunity.
However, we had begun to search out prospects closer to our current home. It just seemed easier - no language barrier, a move that is cross country versus across the Atlantic, our licenses to practice law is recognized without any further classes, applications or tests. Easier wasn't necessarily our aim, but after months of steady rejections, we began to realize our skills weren't exactly marketable in a "global economy."
The thing is, your email reminded me of why we wanted a more difficult road - the education and life lessons for our children, being forced to learn a new language and a new culture, the excitement of being forced out of comfort zone and the potential growth we would experience. I don't mean to sound like a Hallmark card, but there is a pull to try and live as an expat. One that I can't necessarily explain. I want to not be hopeful so that the line is cut and dry, but your email has thrown me back into the turmoil of wondering if we are giving up to easy? Are we settling?
I suppose there is nothing else to tell you - you have the paperwork and now, we just wait. PH is following up on things closer to home. But me, I want to say that I am reasonable and I know this opportunity is such an incredible long shot, but damned if I don't still have hope and will be disappointed when the rejection letter comes.
For the second day in a row PH has a migraine. While he tries to sleep off the headache in a drug induced state, I am left to quietly entertain two small children for whom the word "quietly" is a foreign concept. Maybe it would be easier if we could get outside, but it 92F with 100% humidity. We tried our daily bike ride this morning at 7:45 A.M., but it just resulted in both kids begging to go back inside the house. The moment we stepped outside, we were assaulted with the thick hot air. I just wanted to cry - we are only a few weeks into this miserable weather and although I have an escape soon, I know I will have to come back. In front of me sits the most recent National Geographic Traveler with pictures of Antarctica and the mountains of Slovenia. I just want to pack a bag and go.