Thursday, November 12, 2009


The other day when I was looking through old image files to find pics of Max, I came across my Europe trip photos. So, totally unrelated to today's events (or non-events, as it were) are some of my favorite images of my first 24 hours in Europe. (Amsterdam, Brussels and France)
These first 3 are of Muiderlot Castle in Holland.

Today I had a luncheon appointment in downtown Vancouver at the Marriot to learn about new software for event planning.
So, last night, in preparation for my big trip into the big city, I filled my truck up with gas, googled the best route to drive, washed my hair and set out my clothes.
Why would I do this? Because I don't want to have a stroke on the freeway, panicking about getting to my appointment on time.

I left my house at 10:45 am, expecting to arrive at the hotel at 11:45 am.
What I didn't expect was the traffic.

(The next pics are from Amsterdam.)

I got onto the freeway at 200th street at 11:00 am.
No one was moving forward. This was alarming to me.
So I went to that happy place in my mind in hopes that I wouldn't overheat internally.

Remembering that Clint had loaded 4 gigs of my favorite music onto my cellphone, I shoved those annoying ear-bud thingys into my head (as an aside, do those buds stay in anyone's ear canals? Or do I have incredibly feminine, unnaturally petite ears. That would be nice. But still annoying.)
(See that pic above? That reddish building in between the brick ones, used to be an alley. Someone bought the space (10 feet wide, I think) and built the narrowest home in Amsterdam.)
(Maybe it's only 8 feet. Is that more impressive?) (I'm trying to wow you, people.)

Anyway, back to today.
I challenged myself not to look at the clock, not to obsess about traffic, not to think about being late.
I just listened to my favorite tunes.
It crossed my mind, as I sang along to Suspicous Minds by Dwight Yoakum (do not judge me) that this was likely one of the last songs I danced to with Mark. The irony took my mind off the traffic conditions for a few minutes.

I hummed along to John Travolta and Olivia Newton John doing Grease songs. And then I crooned with Donny Osmond telling Joseph to go-go-go...

And at 12:00 noon, when the luncheon presentation was just beginning, I was sitting on the freeway at 160th Street (Trish, for you in Florida? This means I moved about 5 miles in one hour.)

The next few pics are from Brugge. Which is in Brussels. And when I was there in 2005, I wrote in my journal that this was a magical city - " A Disneyland for Adults".
Do you see the ground level door and window? Know what was on that floor? The most popular nightclub in Brugge.
Do you see that room on the second floor - the one directly over the door? That's where I slept. Or, rather, that's where I lay all night listening to the live music that being created right beneath me and that I heard very clearly because there were holes in the floor (where the wiring and water pipes came through) allowing me a ringside seat to an amazingly awful performance.

So it's noon and I'm not where I should be.
Happy place, happy place.

Warm sun, cool breeze, feet on log, waves rolling onto shore...

I called in to work, and let them know that I wasn't going to make it to the presentation.
Then I got off the freeway and dropped in on my dad and mom.

We had lunch together and dad remembered the names of my kids so it was good.

I got to work just in time to pass our president and the chairman of the board in the hallway.

And then they laughingly referenced that hot-flash-inducing-mistake that happened at 9 pm on Tuesday night.
And if I don't have a heart attack one of these days it's because I have such a strong will to live. I need to see my children have their own children so I can laugh at the way the circle of life better bite them in the ass.
Bite them in the bum.

And I guess that's the end of today's story.
I tried to stretch it out so that it would end with the last photo, but alas, we live in a fallen world.

Do you see the swans in the above pic? How perfect, eh? They were real - not plastic props. I died when I saw them. But like my dad, I popped back to life after a few seconds; I was in Europe and had pictures to take.

Things I'm thankful for:

1. Unexpected gorgeous sunshiny skies today. I had my windows open whilst I sat there on the freeway listening to show tunes.

2. I love the way The Office makes me smile.

(You can get a closer look at these pics by clicking on them. Jus sayin')
3. I'm glad that I've made it through 2 whole days without eating chocolate. I love that the advice I've received regarding chocolate is "just eat the expensive stuff. It shouldn't affect you." And "just eat chocolate during the day, you should be fine."

4. I'm thankful that today is Thursday. And that tomorrow is Friday.

5. I love not being in pain.
You have no idea.

(These next pics are from France.)

6. I love books that make me think and feel.

7. I am glad that I believe.

8. I am thankful that He loves me.

9. I am thankful for friends.

(Doesn't that pic above look dark and gothic? It wasn't part of the plan that we tour it, but the front doors were open, so we went in.)
10. I am thankful for carrot sticks.
Not really.
But I'm going to try and love them.

(See that blonde french-braided pony tail on the black jacket? It is mine. I LOVED having Kylie french braid my hair every morning.)

And that's a wrap.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again Jane, the pics are gorgeous,and The Office makes me laugh too...we watch it after Survivor at DJ and Sheri's and it's almost more fun watching them watch it. Then they quote it for the next half hour rolling laughing.
Hope your day is a good one. Stress free would be nice.

valerie said...

The pictures bring back great memories. Oh yeah, I can help you out on the expensive chocolate part.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jane You'realways invited to come back to europe again....well at least germany (o;

love, persis

Anonymous said...

I have been stuck in that traffic more times than I would like to count. But this past 3 or so months has been extremely frustrating. Maybe it is a political ploy so we won't mind paying the new toll?! rose

Christine Lindsay said...

You've got ooodles of talent, Sister. The Lord will use you in lots of ways. Have no fear.