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Wake up late, say, 9 a.m.

Arrange bedhead into more acceptable form of chaos.

Toss on a t-shirt and short pants and hop in the car.

Get some cash — we always spend it all, so not too much.

Drive downtown.

Park.

Haul out the wagon and wander toward the smell of fresh plants and eggs cooking.

Meander toward the bagel stand and order up an egg and cheese on garlic and a steaming hot coffee. (The kids get warm chocolate chip cookies and the best lemonade in the universe.)

Sit. Eat. Drink. Watch pale feet in sandals scurry past. Notice, as usual, that everyone is smiling.

Grab some plants, some rhubarb, some asparagus, some herbs. Catch a few notes of banjo that are floating through the perfect 68-degree air.

Go home, hoping the farmers’ market high lasts all day.

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I wish I could say it’s nice to be home.

We were welcomed by an upstairs saturated with cat piss, a musty basement and a cold-ass Memorial Day.

Yeah, I’m cranky.

So I’m going to use it to dig the good old U.S.A. After spending two weeks in Ireland, it’s hard not to notice all the annoying things about where we live.

We drive everywhere. It’s stupid. I got home, walked to the corner to Walgreens, and realized I never do that. I usually drive. Crossing the busy street it’s on is no picnic on foot, but really, there’s no excuse.

We rarely acknowledge each other. Unless it’s a checkout clerk, no one interacts with you when you’re in a public place. I am really missing the friendly “hello, love” I got from nearly every passing stranger. When I first got home, I’d look at people expectantly, waiting for them to acknowledge me, or I’d say hi first, only to be looked at like I was nuts.

Our buildings are ugly. I’m so used to looking at quaint little cottages and brightly colored storefronts that being home hurts my eyes. Even their new buildings are cute. Ours are garish (beige) cardboard boxes in comparison.

Our coffee sucks. Even the “good” coffee house coffee is shit compared to the stuff we had in Ireland. I don’t know what they do differently, but I’m slamming the massive amounts of the black stuff I need to slog through the jet lag like it’s medicine.

We don’t use reusable grocery bags. I’ve actually heard grocery store clerks bitching about people who bring their own bags. In Ireland, if you want a disposable bag, you pay. And it’s not cheap. So everyone brings their own bags to the store.

On the other hand, I did miss vegetables. The Irish diet is decidedly heavy on potatoes (yes, there is such a thing as too many), and light on green stuff.

Other than that, I’m giving Ireland a check in all other categories.

How hard would it be to become an ex-patriot, I wonder?

Washing the day (a hellava day at that) away with a pint (or three) … CHECK!

Awesome room above the pub … CHECK!

Getting a tap on the shoulder and a friendly goodbye from a local … CHECK!

Talked up by a drunken Irishman … CHECK!

Nearly creaming a sheep while driving on a road, as Ed said, as narrow as a bike path … CHECK!

Standing in the wind staring at an amazing green mountain that plummets into an emerald ocean … CHECK!

Loving Ireland … CHECK!

 

Well, it’s Friday of the shortest (and longest) week I can remember. I’ve been busy tying up lots of loose ends and haven’t really gotten around to packing.

We leave Sunday. For Ireland. The kids are coming. That’s a lot of packing.

I’ve been so preoccupied this week that I’ve:

  • Put my underwear on inside out. Twice.
  • Forgotten to get the treats for a work meeting.
  • Spaced ordering my mom’s Mother’s Day gift until it was too late to get there on time. (Sorry, mom!)
  • Ordered and paid for coffee then left the shop without taking it with me.
  • Done numerous other stupid things I can’t remember. I’m preoccupied.

However, it was all for a good reason. I’m proud to be a part of launching this Web site, which is actually functioning now. (Its official kick-off date is Sunday, Mother’s Day.)

If you click on the link to the Daily Juggle, you’ll find me and 13 other moms blogging about the craziness that is parenting. My screen name is 3isthenew2. There are lots of great writers participating, and I’m really proud to be a part of it.

I’ll be blogging there from Ireland. I am not sure if I’ll get around to updating this site while I’m gone. If not, I’ll be back after Memorial Day.

So last week, while I was ending my short tour as a single parent, I got food poisoning.

Yeah, yeah, it was no fun and I was tired after being in the bathroom all night. My nanny came anyway so I could get some sleep after I was done regurgitating my favorite D’Amico and Sons salad (hard-boiled egg, bacon, olives, stinky cheese). In the end, it didn’t turn out so badly. At least I got to put the kids to bed for an extra night.

It turned out fine, except for this teeny, tiny little bit.

I blew my nose today, and it felt a little weird. So I opened the tissue and had a look (oh, don’t tell me you never do that).

Guess what I found?

For the past almost six days, the geek has been yukking it up with museum people in Denver.

He returns tonight.

While it’s been sort of nice, as an experience with a definite end point, to be the sole caregiver, the only lap, the lone tickler, I’m exhausted.

During the second shift of baths last night, I was covered in bubbles, still recovering from the previous night’s bout of food poisioning when it occurred to me: I couldn’t do this on my own. Not forever.

So today, I tip my hat to the millions of moms who do it every day, by themselves, with no partner to relieve them. You are my heroes.