Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Respite

Posting at nonstandard times, whaaaa?

My favorite American ex-pats (are they really? not sure. they moved out of country 5 years ago) are off meeting a former neighbor at a cafe, so I am whiling away the time until we can go have lunch at Chela's (there is a dearth of Mexican food in Sweden). How satisfying to have loved ones swoop in for a visit! They arrived at my house last night around 7:30; I had been puttering around, hearing phantom door knocks for a couple hours at that point. A green bean sweet potato curry was in its final stages, some Virgen of Guadalupe candles were glowing softly about the house and I was happy, happy. They were, naturally pretty bleary eyed, but being fine conversationalists and now stolid transplanted Swedes, we had a lovely evening, even as their circadian rhythms cursed them. We touched upon the classics of family dynamics (see also: dysfunction, impressive powers of denial, strong-love disclaimers, deft ability to trigger age-old emotional reactions in ten minutes flat); being thwarted in the office and academia; feeling displaced in other countries. Having children correct your rudimentary second language skills. Luckily, frustration is good fodder for creation. Their eyelids began to flutter around 9:30 and thus the day was done.

It was oddly enjoyable to sleep as a guest in my house. Following the sense of huge displacement during the month in China, I have come to the conclusion that I also like feeling displaced in small ways. Primarily, life is the same. But let's skew it just a tad. It's good for you. Anyway, the bed was just fine, though the room's dusty. In the morning I noticed the Calderesque mobile had become all janked up, with discordant angles causing slight rocking, rather than the fluid glide. Hmm. I heard slight rustlings and set water to boil for the French Press. J1 was playing with a new tablet from his workplace, at the dining room table. I opened the deck curtain. "Hmm. Sun," he noted. "We're all gearing up for when there's no sun. We used to laugh at the natives walking around the corner of a building, and when the sun would hit their faces, they would just...stop." He craned his face upward, eyes closed. "They'll literally lean against buildings, like this," his face continued to reach upward, in an intent, yearning gesture. "But....yeah."

"The weather has been very bad the past...Few Years." decides J2.

"Not to put too fine a point on it!" J1 raises his eyebrows in a shrugging fashion. "Well. We had a good Summer. Two years ago."

"You're making me feel better about Michigan weather. I am NOT looking forward to the Winter." We nod, drink more coffee; they make little pleased noises over the Zingerman's scones. It's low-key, but I can't help feeling we could catch up for many more days than today. What a relief, what a grateful pleasure it is to spend time with those with whom you share deeper understanding. There is no pretense. Maybe I'm just cynical at this point, but it strikes me as rare. That, and there's simply no way for us to collectively fit in all the newer good food in this short time! I'm not quibbling, even a day is quite nice, as is the opportunity to write for a bit before meeting up again.

We get distracted by the various animals traipsing/scurrying through my yard. Or maybe I get distracted and pull them in. The chipmunk appears one shift before the orange striped cat (larger, not the astounded one from weeks ago). The next door dog goes crazy because he still thinks my yard is his domain.

While a handful of felines stalk through my apportioned outdoors, the startled cat has somewhat claimed my backyard in the past few weeks. Much prettier than badgers of yore, less disconcerting and industrious than the below-deck raccoon.

Mournful that I won't permit entry.
Piteous mewing.

All for now. A Happy Thursday on this fine Fall day.



  1. I hear phantom door knocks too... or car doors/tires. I think you should let that kitty in - given your willingness for small displacements of late!

  2. Notgonnahappen,my friend! Displacement, sure, aggravating allergies, no.