I’ve been home about forty hours now, having arrived on my doorstep around noon on Tuesday, April 28th. Considering the fact that I’d been awake for forty-eight hours before that, I guess I’m doing pretty well, but am conscious of the fact that my brain feels slow to process things and motions are still a little bit on automatic pilot. Even so, I’m unpacked; the laundry is done (but not sorted); and the first re-stocking shopping trip has been accomplished.
And….in half an hour I’ll leave the house for a long, long exercise walk with my dear friend, Fawn Germer, (www.hardwonwisdom.com), who swears she hasn’t deeply processed her life’s activities and philosophies since I left four months ago. She’s just published her fifth book, “Finding The UP In The Downturn,” so I’d say she processes pretty well; but we both need the exercise, and we talk the whole time, so I love the fact that she seems to feel that those conversations are a necessary part of her life. She has given me an edict: I’m not allowed to die! Not till after she does… Given the fact that she’s more than twenty years younger than I, that could be a challenge, but I’ll do the best I can.
Fawn has just bought a pontoon boat and she’s talking camping out on an island in Clearwater Bay. That will feel just like Girl Scouts. She and my other best friend, Renee, 84, were at the airport to meet me and was it ever good to see them! Renee water-skied (on one foot) until she was my age, but has just had cataract surgery, so won’t be doing any camping with us….though she can see the little uninhabited island from her backyard, so maybe we can send flashlight signals.
Anyway, it’s really good to be home and, as always, there’s so much to do. Accumulated mail fills my coffee table, the yard needs raking up, the patio needs sweeping, blogs need writing…and so does my next book….eventually. I’ve never even peeked at the hundreds of photos I took and I must re-learn Power Point so I can organize them into speechable chunks. Much awaits my attention.
And there’s this mushy mind. The whole trip has squashed down into a puddle, impossible to evaluate at this moment. A few regrets that will probably grow over time: Not actually doing the Inca Trail…missing out entirely on Chile. Can’t remember any more but I’m already regretting those two. Well, I was lazy. That’s the long and the short of the Inca Trail situation. I don’t really know if I COULD have gotten in on a group because the trail had been closed for cleaning all of February, the month I arrived in Cusco, but I was also there in March after it re-opened and never tried to get in on a group.
It would have been expensive for my budget of the time and I kept hearing stories from hostelers who had done it, about spending four solid cold and wet days in the rain, sleeping on the hard ground soaking wet and then walking all the days in a downpour. I was having trouble sleeping in a bed in my hostel and hotel private rooms in chilly, damp Cusco and tent sleeping wasn’t all that attractive. Plus, every time I walked uphill, or climbed that volcano, or even took on a long stairway at that high elevation and wound up huffing and puffing, I was deciding against doing the Trail. “Uh uh, not me!” said my mind to myself, “This is my Inca Trail!”
But, when it’s all over and done and you are home in your easy chair, you wish that you had done it simply for bragging rights. Oh well….someday. Maybe.
The Chile thing is because a chunk of my spinal analogy purpose is now missing. I went down the Andean Cordillera as far as the waistline and then bounced over to Buenos Aires on the opposite coast because I couldn’t find housing right before Easter in the vacationland of Salta and the western coastline. Spring Break. So, it feels a little unfinished, though I did get down to the tip end in Ushuaia. Just not the way I had originally planned.
I lost a few items – prescription sunglasses, my calendar, a necklace; gave away a lot of things to lighten my load and make room for new stuff; broke my good glasses – so that now the stems don’t match but they do stay on my head.
But, I didn’t get Dengue Fever which became an outbreak in Bolivia and northern Argentina just after I left; and I didn’t get Swine Flu, which was already affecting the airport psychology in both Buenos Aires and Houston as I flew through, very glad I hadn’t ended my trip in Mexico this year. And I didn’t get Malaria though I took those darn pills daily for months. I have more mosquitoes in my living room than I saw in all of South America. The patio door has been open because the weather is so great. Gotta set off some foggers, in and out, sometime soon.
So, I did dodge all the bullets. And as soon as I stop waking up at 4 a.m. with a need to blog, I think my mind will unmush and I can feel intelligent again.
Now, I must get my shorts and shoes on to get ready for this dawn walk. Back to normal and it feels really good to be home!