I rolled over and glanced at the clock, moaning pitifully when I realized I had to get up. I organized a conference call beginning at 6:30AM and it was nearly 6:15. Deciding to start brushing my teeth while I got coffee, I picked up my laptop and brushed the hair from my eyes before heading downstairs.
I blinked a moment later, looking around blankly and offering an elegant "oof" when I slid down another step on my bottom. I'd fallen down the last 2 or 3 stairs but had been too sleepy to tense up and hurt myself. So I sat for a moment, decided I was mostly unharmed and gathered my energy to focus on mobility before standing up and moving across the living room to grab my toothbrush and wander on to my kitchen.
Dumping coffee in a cup and adding cream, I flopped on the loveseat and dialed the familiar number on the phone perched on my end table. I keyed in my code and pressed # while tensing muscles and deciding I might have a small bruise but would emerge mostly unscathed. From falling down steps. In a house I've owned for nearly 3 years.
"Oh," I greeted the stinging insect perched on the driver's door of my Jeep. "Good morning. Could you fly away, please?" When he ignored me, I mustered my courage and oh-so-gently opened the door, climbed slowly inside and oh-so-gently closed it behind me. Then I took a moment to stare through the window at the bee on the of that rubber lining that keeps water from getting in.
I started the car, reversed from the garage and stopped while depressing the garage door opener that clings to my visor. I tapped the window with a fingernail and told him we were going about 10 miles away - a rather lengthy trip for a bug - and that if he wanted to go back to his nest, now was a good time to depart.
"Fly away," I warned as we left my subdivision, the 25mph speed shifting to twice that.
"Fly away," I said more firmly when we stopped at a light. "Now's the time! Look - you can move all your feet. You're not stuck. Use those wings!"
Instead he held said instruments of flight tightly against his stripey body as we wound around the back road and stopped in a modest line of traffic at the stop sign. "Look," I told him as we inched forward, "a lilac! Who doesn't like lilacs?"
"Dude," I said, exasperated and worried about him despite myself, "fly away!" But he didn't listen and we merged on the interstate, barely making it to 70mph before it was my turn to exit about a mile later.
"Well," I concluded, "we're here. This is work. I hope you find friends and a home and something to eat. And if you want to go back, I generally leave here after 5. I'd tell you where the sun was at that time, but I don't know." I shook my head, tucked my keys and bottle of water into my bag and opened the door.
"Don't sting me," I requested and gently pushed the door closed with my fingertips, standing to watch him crawl along the bottom of the window on my door. "Good luck to you then," I said, earning myself an odd look from a colleague I don't know well and smiling at myself before walking to the office.
"We packed everything we own," Dad offered after kissing my cheek. The girls were chasing after the friendly cat who lives across the street and Mom greeted Chienne before said dog could run away.
"Well, you are staying for a few days," I noted. "So..." I trailed off when he opened the trunk, stuffed to the brim with bags and blankets and toys. "Wow." But I took as much as I could carry and helped transfer masses of stuff from the car to my formerly-organized home. Even as the 3 adults fetched and carried, the two girls conspired to open the ottoman and retrieve the items I keep for them. So in addition to toys and puzzles, games and art supplies, papers and books and more toys that came from home, there was a complementary collection emerging from my personal stash.
"Wow," I said again after kissing Mom and glancing around before the girls began asking for lunch and a trip to the park. "Welcome!" I grinned. "I leave tomorrow at 6AM."
After spending last weekend blissfully at home, I leave for Point East early tomorrow, staying for about 20 hours. I return home (yay for direct flights!) for 24 hours, then am on a plane for Point West early Saturday. I'll stay in Seattle for 3 days and, since it's my second trip, am open to suggestions of interesting things to do with what spare time I can find.