No recipe today (again, I’m sorry, and none next week either), but I did want to write a little – it doesn’t do to fall out of the habit for too many weeks in a row.
It has been a busy few weeks, getting ready for this coming Saturday: at long last, it’s Wedding Week! My little sister, as I noted on my last post, is getting married, and tomorrow morning I fly out to Virginia to help with final prep and – mostly – to spend time with family right before the big day. This has meant, for me, working long days to get all of my work responsibilities – both teaching and departmental – set up and ready, clockwork-God style, for a week without me. Feverish grading, lesson planning, coordinating substitutes, ordering copies of handouts, all has led to a week of less-than-inspiring meals.
But now, with wheels and cogs and dog-sitters in motion, I can sit down for a few minutes, and let myself digest the importance of the week to come. Since about Thursday afternoon, I’ve been wildly excited (I mean, I’ve been excited since the engagement was announced, but it has ramped up in the last week). N. has said once or twice that I’m almost at Christmas-levels of elation. I’ve thought about that, and it makes sense. See, anymore, with geography and academic schedules paining wide swaths between us all, I now visit with my family only once or twice a year, usually at Christmas, and in the summer. This summer was taken up with teaching and with our annual pilgrimage to Oregon, which means aside from a week with my mother in the spring, I haven’t seen my family since Christmas. Here it is October, a few months early, but I’m about to see them again, and for a celebration. No wonder I feel like decking the halls.
As a result of all this, I’m ready to go. It’s time for sister time! I’ve been 80% packed since Saturday. I finished my toast last weekend. My meetings are over. The Welcome Dinner shopping list is almost complete – waiting on only a few RSVPs to confirm quantities. My mom made the trip to Virginia on Saturday, and is now happily ensconced with her younger daughter and her son-in-law-to-be, embroiled in planning, and I have to wait until tomorrow morning.
This hubbub followed by silence, coupled with the turmoil of what’s happening out there in the world, has made for an odd weekend. I’m not cooking a big, blog-worthy dinner, because another trio of overly warm days has waved its way through, and because I don’t want a fridge full of leftovers, left behind. I’m not grading, because I want that stack of papers to wing across the country with me so I have “company” on the plane. I’m not lesson-planning, because everything is prepped.
I’m someone who likes to be ready to go ten minutes early, to arrive five minutes early, so you’d think I’d be feeling relaxed and on top of it, needing only to take that last walk before packing my sneakers, and that last morning tooth brushing before stowing my toiletries away. Everything, I told my sister on Friday evening, feels like a countdown. I have lists and folders and announcements in place. I’m crossing off the days in my mind the way one of my colleagues is crossing off the days till her retirement at the end of the year. But I also like to have a puppeteer’s control over the timeline, and now I have to sit and wait, with my stomach jumping like I have a job interview in an hour, and let taxi drivers and pilots and flight plans be in charge.
All this, these roller-coaster-ing paragraphs, as a way of saying, R., I CAN’T WAIT! I’m so excited to see you, and to see Ch., and to see our family, and to watch you enact those beautiful and weighty promises that make your life exactly the same and also so different at the same time, and to laugh and to cry and to carve those wrinkles at the corners of my eyes even deeper, because those are the physical proof of my moments of joy. And to cook with you, and to giggle over the games we’re going to play, and to do your make-up on the day of your wedding, and to stand beside you. And to dance. And to raise my glass. And to hold an umbrella over your head while I juggle both our bouquets just in case it rains. And to wish you, my sister, the happiest of marriages, as happy as mine has been and more, and welcome you into this new stage of partnership.
Hurry up, Tuesday. I’m ready to see my family; I’m ready to see my Rachel.