Before I left Ketchikan to come over here, the most common question of all is “What are you going to do there for three months!” I am always a bit taken back, when people ask that. I sort of want to ask what they will be doing for three months. But I don’t. I just smile and say something along the lines of “Oh boy…so much to do!” For example…I don’t even know what today is. I mean I do, because I have deadlines and have to keep up with them – but time goes SO fast around here, that three months – seems literally, like three days.
The first two weeks of our trip was focused on vacation time. We went to Portugal, and then spent the next week trying to cram as much as possible into our schedules because mom and dad would be leaving in a week. If you want to see time fly, literally, just try to do everything in one week. Its not possible. We did a lot, but not everything. And then they left. And life went back to deadlines and projects.
So just WHAT will I be doing for three months? To be honest, Im not entirely sure. I couldn’t even tell you what I have been doing these past few weeks, or how long I have been here. Or what day it is. But if its anything like this past stretch of time has been – Im pretty sure I wont need to worry about that. Take today, for example.
I woke up a little bit early so instead of rolling back for a few more zz’s I took advantage of the quiet and read my bible. About 20 minutes later, Amanda flung the door open. And about 2 minutes after that, Judah came running in. Then there was breakfast. And coffee. Which isnt as easy as it sounds. Because the kitchen is down about 10 flights of stairs, and the coffee pot is a French press. And Judah likes to grind the beans. A short time later, David leaves for work.
After coffee I take my shower and get ready for the day, where its decided that I will take the first stab at writing. I pack my computer, and head to the coffee shop around 11. This is the only way to really get any writing done. We frequent the coffee shop a lot. I write for three hours, when Amanda shows up. We have errands to run she says. And normally – errands are no fun. Except that here, they are. Because Im not doing them alone. And everything is somewhat of an adventure.
We hit up the post office, the computer shop and return a coat I didn’t like. We laugh about returning things, and comment about “How old” we are – returning things, and frequenting the post office. We look for masa…something that doesn’t seem to exist in this town, or country – and then Amanda says good bye. Judah and I hit the store for some food, because three hours of writing, followed by an hour of running around doing errands, then trekking back up the mile long hill will make a person hungry.
I haven’t hit the stores alone with a 2 year old before, but we managed. He growled at other customers, and I tried to remember how much was too much to pay for a loaf of bread. We forget the peanut butter in the cart, and then stop to ride the coin operated toys. He rides them without any money – and I sort the groceries. Then we make our way home.
He points out all the flowers, the trees, that man….wait a minute…that man happens to be David. We wave, and continue on. Up up up UP the hill. And into the kitchen. We get lunch. He grabs a fist full of jelly from the jar, and panics that the recycling wont return. We make our way up the ten flights of stairs. We watch some curious George, I email with Amanda – and then my computer dies. She has my charger, so instead Judah and I play monsters. And then we go outside to “Shoot the bad guys.”
I try to give him some photography tips “The light is PERFECT for portraits” I tell him. But hes having none of it. “Stand in this shadowy light!” he looks at me like Im nuts. And I probably am.
Then Amanda shows up. Hungry from her three hour writing stunt, and trek up the hill, we go into the kitchen. She gets a bright idea! “ Lets plant the garden” we race out. Just as we start digging holes – it starts. One drop followed by another – and before long its pouring rain. We run fast, laughing at the sight.
Then we make cookies. Because what else does one do on a rainy afternoon when there is so much to be done, and so little time?
After cookies, we clean. Dishes, vacuuming, and a little bit of sorting. The vacuum leads to some unexpected hair styles, and Judah spends nearly an hour giving himself new styles.
By the time its all over, its nearly 9pm.
There is nothing to show for the days work. A few cookies, two or three cloves of garlic that happened to make it in the ground, and a few blurry pictures. But somehow, the day was perfect. Its not story worthy. It cant be retold in three months as “What I did for three months” and it certainly wont go down in the history books. Except maybe it will. Because that’s what life looks like at the moment. Running in the rain, planting garlic, making cookies, and hair styles.
I couldn’t tell you what I did today. Couldn’t tell you what occupied my time these last few weeks. But I can tell you this – the times I spend here? Are some of the best times in my life. I just dont know how to say what I do.