December 2006

That title is an actual quote uttered by me just yesterday. The occasion? Since my return yesterday morning, and the resulting partial unpacking of all the goodies that I brought back from “the homeland,” there are things scattered all over the bedroom floor and living room. The “things” include everything from suitcases to Christmas presents to shoes, and yesterday Danny tripped over one or another of those items as he attempted to traverse our bedroom. He indicated his disapproval of the messiness of the room, to which I replied (in all seriousness) with the quote above. We both, of course, promptly burst out laughing that I would think that was an appropriate response to his frustration with my stuff lying all over the floor.

The sad thing is that for most of the time that we’ve been married, having me does equal not having a clean house. The brief three months during which I wasn’t working was about the only time that I actually kept up with keeping things neat, but I can’t totally blame my job for the fact that I’ve never cared too much about neatness. I don’t like dirtiness, but some piles of things lying around really don’t faze me. I often don’t even notice.

When Danny went TDY for a couple of months last year, it took me three days of cleaning up after work to put away the piles of stuff that had accumulated in his absence, and even then he started cleaning up the morning after he got back. My sister at some point bought a book entitled “How Not to be a Messy,” which I should probably have brought here rather than storing. Of course, I’ve had it for six and a half years now without it seeming to make much of a difference…

I’m back here at the ends of the earth — my visit home, although brief, went really well and my trip back was as smooth as can be expected for so long a journey. Since our Christmas tree was rejected by our shipping system because the box was too big, I brought a four foot tree back with me in my suitcase, since I refuse to not have Christmas cheer just because we’re here. The shatterproof ornaments that we ordered were already waiting here, and although they do look better than what I would have expected from plastic ornaments, I have to say that our selection of decorations here is a little on the ghetto side. Our apartment looks a wee bit like a dorm room decorated for Christmas — a random hodge podge of decorations and lights strung up on the wall, but at least it’s festive! Here are some pictures:
The mini tree

Random snowflakes

I’m not a critical reader — I tend to read for the experience of immersing myself in a story, rather than to analyze the writing style and grammar and how effectively the author makes his point. There have been books that I’ve read that I loved but friends who tend to read everything critically said that they couldn’t get past the poor writing, which I may not have even noticed. I read in much the same way my husband watches movies — I can find something that I like about almost any book.

In the past six months or so, I’ve been really into John Irving — I’ve read Until I Find You, A Widow for One Year, and The World According to Garp, and I’m hoping to pick up more of his books while I’m home. One of my other favorite authors is Pat Conroy, but my problem with Conroy’s books is that it seems as though the same characters populate each of the books, just in slightly different forms. What I love about Irving’s books, in addition to the fact that he weaves a really interesting story, is that each of the three books I’ve read are so different. I also really like Salman Rushdie, although I admit that some of his books are a little weird even for me, with all of the surreal alternate reality portions.

For some reason, reading Irvin makes me want to write. Every time I finish his books, it makes me wish that I had ideas for writing books myself. Reading Conroy makes me wish I had grown up in a small town (without the psychotic father and suicidal sister/wife, of course), but Irving makes me want to create a world of my own and put it into words. I finished The World According to Garp on the plane yesterday (one of the many, many planes I’ve spent quality time with in the past few days), and for a good half hour later couldn’t bring myself to start a new book or talk to anyone, because I was still absorbed in the world he created in his book. That’s my favorite reading experience…to be so drawn in by the events of the story that I keep thinking about the characters and the world in the book after I’m done reading it. If I were going to write, I would want to create something like that — a world that people would want to keep thinking about even when they were done reading the book, and characters they would want to imagine continuing on in their lives after the end of the story.

The miracle of modern travel is one that I don’t often really think about, as much as I use it, but I have to say it does come in handy. I’m back home now, for only a few days, as a result of a family emergency that is in the process of resolving itself. It’s bizarre to me how quickly (in relative terms, I will admit that it didn’t feel so quick during the hours and days spent in transit!) I could go from our erstwhile home at the ends of the earth back to home when it needs to be done. Almost too quickly to adjust to the radical change in environment — it seems as though it SHOULD take days or weeks to go from somewhere as remote as where we live back to billboards and well-paved roads.

We had our first snow of the winter just before I left, which almost succeeded in preventing me from leaving, as the airport was shut down for a day before my departure. I’m hoping for a good amount of snowfall this winter to ensure a good harvest next year, although I will admit that on a selfish level I’m fervently hoping that the good snowfall doesn’t coincide with our scheduled R&R departure date in January…

On a side note, I’m pretty sure that our Christmas tree is not going to be delivered. I think the box was too big or too heavy or both to meet the size limits on our mail, and am fairly certain that it got rejected and sent back to target. One of Danny’s parents’ friends very kindly sent us a miniature tree that is currently sitting on our dining room table, but I’m still hoping to bring a slightly larger one back with me. I’ll either have to give in and get a smaller size, or try to find one that packaged small enough to stick inside the spare suitcase I brought with me just for that purpose. (Well, that and Christmas presents…)