I've been pushing myself so hard these last few weeks, trying to get everything ready for winter, for our trip, trying to keep up at work and with the garden, as well as dealing with a few big issues (more about those later). Talking with your husband long-distance about the Big Things in life, even if they might seem relatively small to others (after all, there's nothing too life-changing about these particular things), is tough. How to bring them up? Sending an email or chatting over Skype seems a bit impersonal. But at the same time, I don't want to ambush him when he gets home. The Big Things deserve a lot of time and attention, but many of them do have a bit of urgency as well. So what to do? I ended up writing him a long letter the other day about one thing that's been on my mind lately, so that he can mull it over and we can discuss it when he gets home. Hopefully. If other things don't get in the way first. :)
Which they have a tendency of doing. One of the things we've been dealing with is a (relatively minor, and not exactly bad) family issue. My younger brother is coming up here for school again, but doesn't have a dorm room. Apparently, Res Life changed their policy for this year. He bought a ticket to PAX quite a long time ago, not realizing that this year school would be starting before the convention. (PAX is this weekend, but school started today.) When he applied for a dorm room he was told that since he won't be here on the first day, they won't hold one for him. He's been wait-listed. So he was looking at arriving Monday night and having nowhere to stay. Except that we are here and could he live with us? He dropped this bomb on us about two weeks ago and we haven't had a private moment to discuss it. (The whole trip, including the drives down and back, had other people. The few moments we had alone together, we were discussing other personal things.) We finally talked last night and agreed that it will be best all around for him to stay with us this semester. For one thing, the pets I will be less lonely. I will feel less guilty when I'm busy, having someone else around, because I won't feel like the animals are being neglected. And we'll get to save up a bit more money since we'll be sharing rent.
However, there are reasons we kicked him out last time he lived with us. Valid reasons. We had to discuss those, come up with solutions, and work out what the ground rules will be. Like, I will help him get a job, but he has to get a job this semester. And he has to go to every class unless he's genuinely sick. Reminding your sibling that they are coming into your household and need to play by your rules isn't easy. But I think it's for the best in this case. (There are existential issues the Boy is going through right now, too--"Why am I going to school? Am I wasting my time?"--so the ground rules are also set up to help him as much as we can.)
We're also looking into buying a car. We've agreed on the make and model, but that's about it. Well, we both love manual transmissions too. But other than that it's up in the air. I love the idea of getting a newer used car, and Shane has agreed if we can find what we want. But these cars are highly in demand in our area so it's doubtful. However, I feel less bad about that because this car is an investment. Not because of resale value or anything, but because this will hopefully be the car we own for the next 20+ years. We're trying for the perfect vehicle so that we don't have to worry about whether or not it will suit our needs two or ten years down the line, we know it will.
So we went onto the company's website the other night while we were on Skype to each design what we wanted, then sent the link to each other. No surprise, he wanted the bigger engine and I wanted more fuel efficiency. I pointed out, too, that mine is cheaper by several thousand dollars. But we weren't going to come to an agreement over Skype (though we spent almost 2 hours discussing it--ah, that's where all my time goes!) so we'll test drive both next time Shane is home.
As if these things weren't big enough, we also have our anniversary coming up. Shane's gone on the actual day, but we had set aside another night to celebrate it. Then I got the rehearsal schedule for "The Wizard of Oz" and--surprise!--I have rehearsal that night. So we had to pick a different night. And I had to figure out something else fun to do for Shane's homecoming when I won't be home. (Thai food. Always a good choice!)
It doesn't seem like a lot, but when you add it all up it is. In the first week Shane's home we'll have to adjust to our roommate, I start rehearsals (which are fun, but very time consuming), and we'll try to pick out the vehicle we'll want for the next couple of decades. No big deal. All of this and we're still pushing off some big decisions. Like our vacation at Christmas, which my boss has been almost nagging me about figuring out for three weeks now. (Shane has to figure out his vacation time stuff.)
As if all of the Big Things in life being piled onto now wasn't bad enough, there's still the regular grind of daily life (I haven't seen my sink for more than ten minutes in about a month) and my self-imposed daily ritual of preparing for winter. Monday it was putting up everything that had grown (or overgrown) in the garden, Tuesday was canning rhubarb (8 quarts!) and Wednesday was...nothing. Not a damn thing. I so needed that. Instead of putting up produce or re-doing my (syrupy and not-set) fireweed jelly, I played softball with friends, exercised while re-watching an episode of a clever TV show, and took the dog for a short walk. I read. I called my dad to say, "Happy birthday!" It was beautiful to give myself that time off. I didn't even cook dinner, just ate something I'd made for breakfasts this week. (I suggest this, btw, it's lovely--I made it with strawberries and peaches instead of raspberries and bananas--and didn't take long at all; thanks, Pinterest!) About the only thing I did, chore-wise, was to quickly set up a Crockpot meal for today and the no-knead bread. Dinner tonight will be ridiculously simple but still healthy and, most importantly, incredibly delicious. The next couple of days will be even easier, since there will be plenty of food that I won't have to cook.