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Coming Home

Monday, October 12, 2015

Howdy! I got back from three weeks in South Africa on the afternoon of October 7. I hit the Stopwatch on my iPhone about an hour into the five-hour drive from Wakkerstroom to the Johannesburg airport, and let it run until I opened the front door to the joyous kisses of Chet Baker. All told, this was how long I was in transit, getting home. The trip went very smoothly, but I gotta say, it's a hell of a trip. 

It was also completely totally worth it, and I will do it again!! More on that later. Maybe you'd like to come along?

  I had to stop on my way home to record The Three Graces, who are always a balm to my eye, but never more than on this crystalline October 7.

And being the compulsive documenter of all things wonderful, I had to shoot a photo or two of poor little Chet Baker before I opened the door and let him out.

He was, of course, rooing for all he was worth. METHER YOU SILLY PERSON LET ME OUT SO I KIN WASH YOUR FACE!!!

Which he did, and then he immediately took off on a long-overdue chiptymunk run. Just too much joy to contain, had to run away. Made me laugh!


I just got home and you go running off around the corner of the house!! Get back here you worthless puppeh!

Oh right! Here I come, ready or not! Pucker up!!

If a dog can smile, this dog is beaming. 

I got home Wednesday afternoon. Friday night I had some paintings in a show that opened at Marietta College's Gallery 310. It was a nice opening, built around some Audubon prints, with three invited contemporary artists who use birds in their work. I think I represented the classic traditional bird painter. This photo was taken at about 6 pm, which was midnight by my donked-up internal clock. Tan, but not very rested nor ready to go! Thanks to Bill for coming to the opening and taking this photo. While I was gone, he'd not only held down the fort, cared for Liam and kept all my planties and fish alive and thriving, but he'd also overseen the Midwest Birding Symposium and the smashingly successful American Birding Expo! Whatta guy.

Saturday was given over to Liam's cross country meet about an hour away. He got a personal best in the race! 

Saturday night was Homecoming. Liam wanted to go to the dance. I volunteered to take him and wait outside the gym until he was done. I took plenty of work with me, but as soon as I'd kissed him goodbye I reclined the seat, closed my eyes, laced my fingers over my chest just like my Dad used to do, and slept in a quiet parking lot for 2 1/2 hours while he danced. After three weeks of trying to catch a little sleep in airplane and van seats while bolt upright, that Subaru felt like a private sleeping berth to me.

He came back, all aglow from having danced with a pretty girl, and asked me if he could stay another half hour. "Mom. I'm REALLY having fun now!"  Who was I to say no? Such joy! He ran back into the gym, into the thumping music and sweaty bodies. Finally the gym disgorged its overexcited and amped-up contents into the chilly October night.

We made our way homeward as midnight approached. He told me (mostly) all about it. 

What fun it is to see him starting his great big wonderful life! You can tell your kids they're beautiful, but they think you're just saying that because they're your child. They really never believe it inside until a member of the opposite sex shows real interest. Validation, as always, has to come from without.


So glad you had a safe return to us. Lots of things to write about now. Looking forward to them.

"Ready or not, pucker up!"
I'd love to steal that line from Chet, but don't think I can copy his expression.

Urgh, I am doing that trip in 3 weeks. What really hurts is 2 vacation days spent sitting on planes. Looking forward to the pics!

I am certain there are more posts on S. Africa coming soon... Can't wait.

This was absolutely delightful to read. Chet had been missing you so much. I'm glad you captured the long awaited reunion. Liam is so dang cute, in pictures and in person!

Posted by Lucy from MN October 12, 2015 at 12:38 PM

He looks radiant!

Liam, you ARE beautiful! And I'm not your mom, but an impartial observer, so there!

And Chet Baker's smile! Gawd, what a HUGE grin!

This entry really made me smile!

Posted by mimimanderly October 12, 2015 at 2:05 PM

Maybe the sweetest ever...

Posted by Anonymous October 13, 2015 at 4:19 AM
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