Up, Down, All Around, Near and Far Away

It’s been one of the most topsy-turvy weeks in some time: how’s that for leading off with an old-fashioned expression?  Here, late Friday, the train is speeding us all home from the city; many miles have we all gone since Monday. In my little circle we have a daughter with baby due in two weeks;  a great grandmother recovering in hospital far away;  another daughter just engaged. We have boys working outside on others’ grounds, and the weekend will bring the two travelling kids home, one by plane, the other by bus, but thankfully arriving close to the same hour.  Somewhere in the week was the “normal” job to do and all the catch-up  home work from being two weeks away.

I should add that the road trip back from the Midwest was highlighted by the addition of a picnic table that miraculously fit into our van,  a table that will seat at least 8. On that note, and here at week’s end, I think a small summary is in order.

You Know You are in the Midwest When….

  • The greeter at Walmart asks if you exercise, tells you your legs look fit, and isn’t worried about doing it.
  • The grocery store manager opens up another lane for you, scans your goods and takes the check on which you (kind of ) forged your mom’s name, no worries.
  • The “carry out” boy (man) lets you know the county fair has free admission that day after 3pm, and no, he didn’t get to PierogiFest. Maybe next year.
  • Sunny dry days are met with cool, slow evenings, with a baseball game or two televised to the (usually disappointed) fans.
  • You cold call stores using the manual Yellow Pages, and staff give you friendly advice.
  • Next –door neighbors bring blueberry pie, awesome cake, and come over to chat while you hang clothes on the line.

You Know You are Back Home (as it happens, in the East) When….

  • The ride into town is a cocoon of silence, and you don’t actually mind it.
  • On that final stretch home on the Turnpike,  the cars seem to be pulled down, down into our sea-level Basin.
  • Neighbors are all too busy and tired to call or drop by, and since you are, too, it’s cool.
  • You notice the voluminous weed growth outside and many, many tuffs of animal hair inside.
  • Plugging in the laptops and recharging the devices seems natural.
  • It’s muggy in the house, on the porch, in your wardrobe, and on your person. Ugh.
  • The baseball team not only wins, but pulls out a big win in the bottom of the 9th.

I wish you a happy weekend and smooth roads ahead.

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