I am listening to a playlist I made before going to Kentucky to spend a long weekend touring the backroads, looking for the paternal family history. The transportation of choice for this trip was a screaming red Dodge Magnum station wagon. It pretty says “I might be a shaped like a station wagon but I am a MANLY wagon”. And MANLY is definitely in All Caps. I took this trip with two of my brothers and my dad. Dylan was late because he had chosen to route through Detroit to get an extra segment for his elite frequent flyer status so he ended up having to rent a car from Detroit and drive down to Louisville where the rest of us arrived on schedule. That sort of dedication to attaining status is pretty much vintage Dylan. He’s mellowed out some but at the time it was a pretty major motivator.
Anyway, it was an interesting trip and as I listen to this playlist I can very clearly see my mental state. I think even the best of family relationships are complex and in our family, we have some very difficult to navigate ones. I remember going on this trip and my mom sending me with a batch of roasted pecans. My mom encouraged me to go but at the time I felt very conflicted about going. That is something I have to say about my mom, she always tried to make sure that we had our own relationships with my dad. I don’t know that I could say that my dad would have had the same outlook. My parents were very different from each other. I don’t know if my brothers sometimes understand that the relationship I had with my mom was different then their’s, not because I am special and they are not but because we were in each other’s daily lives. And as much as I might not want to admit it, I know that my mom loved us all and as we were. I can’t deny that I wouldn’t like to go back to the 5 of February 1976, when I was still an only child 😉
I have been thinking about my mom a lot this week as I have been randomly inviting more people to the house warming cocktail hour on Saturday. I am not sure where I am going to have everyone sit. I do want the house to be filled with interesting people and their conversations. Ever practical, I have ordered 72 beers, 8 bottles of wine and enough appetizers (I hope) to feed everyone. That’s also channeling my mom and her tendency to stock up for any kind of entertaining. I guess whatever doesn’t get consumed can just go in the shed for a summer party. I was smart this time, I ordered everything from the AH website and they will deliver Saturday afternoon, three hours before the door opens. Much better than going to the grocery store six times to get beer!
I’ve been busy this week with work. I’ve been to Gouda and Ijmuiden. And my manager has told me to talk to him in sentences like a 4 year old. Today he said to me that he heard me thinking in English and talking in Dutch. So, I have to use short, declarative sentences. Basically, talking in bullet points!
I realized how American I am behind the wheel. I have a hard time trusting Ms. Nokia when I am using the drive app on my phone because inevitably I pass through the polders.By this time I think I am going in the wrong direction. What I realized yesterday is that a lot of the roads here are through the polders, the farmlands. It’s normal to leave the highway and travel at a high rate of speed through the countryside. Well, I am not really at the high rate of speed because I am too busy staring at the window at the sheep. So even when I am driving from one large city to another, farmland is definitely between the two. So, I am learning to trust Ms. Nokia, after all she has all the maps.
I also have a Dutch driver’s license now. I picked it up Tuesday morning so I would be street legal. It is an incredibly unflattering picture and good for ten years. I hope I never get pulled over. The picture on my residence permit is much better. And that one is only good for five years. They have all these rules that you can’t smile or have any kind of expression on your face for official photos so I think everyone probably looks terrible.
I don’t spend a lot of time wearing “professional” clothes. I spend most of my time in jeans and yoga pants. Except, of course, when I am going to a customer meeting. I try to dress appropriately then. But with fancy clothes, I always want to get more than one wear out of them before they have to go to the cleaners. So, I wore the same thing to Ijmuiden that I had worn to Gouda, consciously. And I noticed that my coworker (a man) had done the exact same thing. This cracks me up. Apparently, I am not the only fancy clothes recycler on my team. I will keep testing this theory in the months to come since we go to a lot of the same meetings.
I really want a crock pot. I am not sure if they have them here but I am on the hunt for one. I’ll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, I wish you were all here on Saturday. I will be thinking about you and wishing that you were.