My cyberpal Peggy wrote in a comment here that she should send a picture of her family moving with stuff hanging all over their vehicles. I wish she would. That may be us tomorrow. I keep hoping that moving van will magcally expand like something from Harry Potter. You know, inside there will really be three extra rooms to stash stuff. And once that fantasy fades, I keep telling myself it's O-kay to move to O-hi-O looking like O-kies.
Plus, I thought it was a truth universally acknowledged --at least in Maryland:) --that Maryland was the best possible place to live. But just about everytime I tell somebody--and these people happen to actually live in Maryland--we're moviing to Ohio, they tell me how much better I'll like it there. How much nicer the people are. How much more relaxed the pace will be. Is Maryland that bad? Or are they trying to make me feel better, pumping me up out of pity? I'm thinking about all the things I'm going to miss here, perhaps mostly the "being at home" feeling. I don't even know who the senators are on planet Ohio whereas here old Barbara Mikulski is like an eccentric aunt. Part of the family. I understand that east Baltimore broad. And Ben Cardin was my representative for years, so it's natural he's a senator. And we have the Chesapeake Bay a half hour away, not a great lake three hours from home! Ohmigosh, it's going to be strange. But I'll adjust, I'll adjust.
We had a nice overnight in Orange, Virginia, where we stayed with the Danos at an actually very lovely Holiday Inn Express on a hill surrounded by open fields. We picked up the boys and Ashwin, and all were chipper. The trip home went faster than usual, with fewer traffic snarls as we hit the D.C. area. The silver lining to the gas prices? Last night, Jean hosted a going-away dinner for us. Of course, just about everybody IS away, so it was our family, Jean, Bill and Lisa, but what a delightful crowd. It's always good to see Bill and a pleasure to see Lisa, whom we don't see that often. Food was great and Jean did her usual lovely job with hospitality.
We had a chance to watch the Olympics in the hotel room and at Jean's. Last night, we watched the U.S. women's gymnastic team in the qualifying rounds. I can't get over how good these women (girls?) are. My head is still caught in a 1970s time warp with Olga Korbet and Nadia Komenichi. Does that happen to you?
Anyway, lots on China. They seem to have all the money these days. I imagine we shipped all our money over there in exchange for a lot of consumer goods. I'm uneasily reminded of my old grade school stories of the silly Indians trading Manhattan for a few trinkets and clocks worth $24. (Our school system in the 1960s wasn't precisely enlightened or empathic in it's portrayal of Native Americans!) But is that us now, trading our birthright for a few gazilllion low-cost microwaves and Dora the Explorer dolls and designer label tennis shoes? In any case, I can't get over Beijing. What's happened to all those people in Mao jackets riding bicycles? I'd heard people tell of all the Starbucks there etc, but ... ohmigosh!
However, I have question. Is China ever called communist anymore? All I keep hearing, in the few hours of television I've watched lately, as we don't have tv at home, is that it's an "authoritarian regime." But isn't it still, at core, a communist country? Or is that if we called it that we'd have to treat it as an enemy? Or would calling China communist wreck the storyline that communism is a failed ideology that fell with the Soviet Union? Anyway, it's curious to me.
Have to go pack! Please wish us well as we move over the next 72 hours! I can't believe it!