Sunday, June 5, 2011

Biding time

Today I'm filling time. The truck is packed, I have a small amount of paperwork to finish, and tomorrow morning we leave for Vermont. I took a nap, and in fact Will is still asleep in a square of light that is slowly crossing the bed, causing a restless contortion to avoid the hot spots. Denver is suddenly warm enough that the A/C is kicking on, despite my nightly cooling rituals of fans and windows.

Will and I travel well together. We are curious in the same way, and prowl the parts of touristy destinations that usually get little attention. While others are at the top of castle towers, we seek out kitchens and midden heaps. We'd rather find a locally-recommended restaurant than the one the guidebook suggests. We're almost always up for one more museum. The kids have upset the balance a little, shortening my attention span, but in general we enjoy travelling.

However, preparing for trips used to be awful. I'd make arrangements and Will wouldn't want to have any input until the last minute, at which point I'd feel criticized and managed. Until we actually hit the road, we growled and sniped at each other. I was baffled when Will didn't want to know flight schedules, and he was annoyed when I double-checked that he had his ID for the airline. Finally one day I realized: I am in charge of Macro arrangements, and Will is in charge of Micro arrangements. So, I choose destinations and make flight arrangements. I determine what sights we should see, and make lists of what the kids and I need to take. I cancel the milk order and stop the newspaper. And then, shortly before we go, Will gets involved. Not long before we leave he begins planning daily schedules and driving routes, double-checking that I have important documents, going over my lists.

It still seems odd to me, but I've relaxed into the unspoken arrangement. It works for us. Which is why I've been preparing for weeks -- renewing passports, getting phone service in Vermont, finding a house sitter, cleaning house. And it's why I have time today. Now it's Will's turn.

He was frustrated and impatient this morning, asking me repeatedly to get all our stuff piled up, until he finally truly heard me say that I was done. We're taking a lot less stuff this year. The kids are older and more self-sufficient. Vi has taught me where the tools I need are squirrelled away, so I don't need to bring as much. We use less clothing there, maybe because it's summer, maybe because we don't (Violet doesn't) change clothes six times a day. For whatever reasons, packing is simpler this year.

And tomorrow, right after breakfast, the Clampetts, er, Bakers, are headed far away for 10 weeks. I'll be updating Facebook along the way, and hopefully blogging a little more regularly from there. Happy trails!

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