Am sitting in the dark on my big sister’s leather couch in Savannah like a creeper, but I’m awake extra early and just don’t want to put a light on that disturbs anyone. So I guess I’ll collect my various thoughts, none of which are all that interesting– mostly, airline travel, elderly dogs, and the foibles of children. The almost-5-year-old niece, who was quite standoffish last time she saw me (understandably, I seldom see her) has decided I am The Best, and over the course of yesterday extended this to my dude, who in the last five or six years has gone from mildly distressed by small children to pretty used to them. Which is good, because last night she decided he was For Climbing, and her favorite thing is to climb into his lap and then press her nose to his nose, which is disconcerting if you’re used to adult personal space concepts. (I don’t usually do things like that to him, so – but he’s been quite amused and graceful about it, which, I mean, you have to be somewhat, but I’ve been substituting my cheek for my nose because I don’t want her to mash my glasses into my eyeballs, for example.)
The trip was uneventful; full planes, but no real issues. First leg had a large group traveling together where apparently nobody spoke English, and so this being the US, it’s not like the airline was going to have anyone on staff who could translate for them, so they just stood in the way of a lot of things and the staff repeated themselves without slowing down and generally no one was thrilled by this, especially when they extended this to listening to crew instructions in the cabin. But they seemed copacetic with the Fasten Seat Belt sign, at least, so in the end it went smoothly enough.
We arrived in Savannah to discover that it was a lovely, breezy, relatively cool sunny day– of course much warmer than we’d left (freeze warning last night in Buffalo, wtf), and there were strange bugs everywhere– black beetles with red dots, flying around in pairs conjoined at the ass. Dude Googled them, and discovered that they were Red-Shouldered Bugs, also sometimes known as Love Bugs, because at mating season they stick their asses together and stay like that for a couple of days at a time, while going about their business. They have become a theme so far, because my sister’s back porch seems to have some kind of nest of them or something underneath it, they’re just everywhere out there. But they’re not really by the pool so much, so you just have to kind of wave your hands as you go out that door.
The closing dates on #1 buying my sister’s new house and #2 selling her old one are actually lining up in a copacetic fashion, which is very good and also important. Of course, my sister is still trying to finish out her position with the Georgia national guard, so she’s managed to cram two back-to-back sessions (you know how the pitch is “a weekend a month, two weeks a year” well she’s trying to do I think two months’ weekends just to wrap up all her stuff, and she has to cram that in right before moving), and also her husband has already moved so she’s on her own doing it. (He’s living in the barracks of a tiny National Guard post up in Maryland, which is their destination. She says he’s doing better than she thought he would; his only real distress is that he loves to cook and hates eating out, and his kitchen facilities currently are a microwave and a mini-fridge, so he is dying inside, but figures if that’s his only complaint he can’t really count himself that unfortunate. He really is kind of a foodie, though, so I’ve no doubt his suffering is real. It’s not even that he likes fancy stuff, it’s that he really likes making it himself. He has discovered that Maryland has excellent crab everything, though.)
But, Middle-Little, and Mom and Dad, are both able to come help move, so.
Today, a Pod arrives, that we’re going to try to fill. One Pod is already gone, and it had all the stuff she was sure she wouldn’t miss over the short term in it. (”We packed up the liquor! That might have been premature.” There’s some tequila and some gin left, I’ll improvise.)
I told Big Sister what Dad had told me, which was that since her specialty is logistics, he had great faith in her. She rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, he’s not wrong, I even have the letters after my name,” and I don’t know what that means so that’s today’s line of questioning.
Her children went off to free-range the neighborhood at one point, and she wound up dragging lawn chairs out to the driveway in front so she could at least keep tabs on what was going on. We were scrubbing her driveway, as well, because her mother-in-law had, last visit, done a really cool art project with tempera paint that was supposed to be washable, but it turns out if you let tempera paint dry on uncoated concrete, it is not in fact washable anymore, and now she has this house she has nearly sold that has not been closed upon yet and the driveway is completely coated in splatters of paint with childrens’ footprints in it.
So– there was some name for it, Mouse Painting or something, like from a book or something– parents or caretakers of young children, note this down, it was a great activity and enormously fun, and cleanup can be easy– throw the kids in the pool! no problem– but for the love of all that’s holy, hose down the driveway while the paint is still wet. It was several days baked in Georgia sun by the time my sister got home, and it’s apparently indelible, so we spent a while with Oxy Clean and scrub brushes out there trying to get it faded enough that the buyers on this house don’t back out.
(This, by the way, is a great encapsulation of that particular mother-in-law relationship.)
So my first afternoon in Georgia was spent sitting on lawn chairs out front listening to children shriek in the yard across the street. Sort of off-handedly, I don’t know what this says about anything, my sister told me the names of all the surrounding dogs. She has two, who wander the neighborhood a bit, and so she’s just aware of the surrounding dog-terrain, because everyone’s dogs kind of wander a little bit. That one’s Georgia, she said, so-and-so got her for her (child’s) birthday, she’s a little under two years old now. That one’s Max, he’s not quite a rescue– rescue orgs wouldn’t give them a Shepherd because they didn’t have a fence, but she found that one on Craigslist, and then just got a fence right away anyway, he’s like a year old and he’s got some anxiety problems and tried to eat my cat but I don’t blame him, I try to keep my dogs from bothering him too much, etc.
The punchline of the dogs thing though is that later, all three kids were climbing the trees in the back, and the middle child had asked me to come watch, so I was standing there watching (and discovering that there were fire ant hills out here, i’m glad I was mentally prepared for that), and Max was pacing in his yard and watching us, so I said hi Max! to him, and middle child was astonished that I knew the dog’s name. So I told him I was psychic and knew dogs’ names, and, get ready for this- he said oh yeah?? what’s the name of that dog across the street? and I said, Georgia! She’s two!
It blew him away.
He then demanded whether I knew the name of the hound they’d found and rescued once in a brief incident like five years ago, and I was like, look buddy it only applies to current dogs, but as of this moment I’ve just remembered that dog was named Julep, so. I have to think of how to bust that out.
Oh I also rediscovered my childhood superpower of swimming in water everyone else thinks is cold but I find comfortable. Dude couldn’t even stay in the pool ten minutes but I was in there close to an hour, me and Middle Child, who’s the most, hm, thermally stable, let’s say (he’s a Substantial Boy), and I felt like the water was warm, but after I’d been out, dried off, gotten dressed, and was sitting at the dinner table, I realized that all the fat in my thighs was still chilled, and then I was cold.