Thursday, July 1, 2010


Had an unexpected 'little sleep" from 8 til midnight and now?
Now I'm ready to party.

No one else is awake.
So this is a very small, intimate, quiet party.
With no chocolate. Or beer.

Happy Canada Day.
*waves little paper flag and whoohoos softly.

Back, oh about fifty seven years ago, I went to Creationfest for the first time and brought 6 chillins with me, aged 5 to 12.) We borrowed my mom's Astro van and filled it with sleeping bags, lawn chairs, a cooler, 2 tents and not enough food. It was awesome.

When I got home, I knew I was going to return the following year, but would be more prepared (aka rent a Barbie Camper Van with WALLS and PRIVACY for when I pluck my chin hairs and take WAY MORE ICE. And cheese.) And for that entire next year, right up until I actually started driving it, I THOUGHT THE MOTOR HOME WAS GOING TO TIP INTO THE DITCH BESIDE THE ROAD on the highway whenever I stopped moving. Irrational much? Seriously. The whole year. Worrying about tipping over.

I'm not going to Creation this year, and don't think for one minute that I'm not grieving about that. Because oh I am. When will circumstances arrange themselves in such a way that I can camp with 100 incredible people and experience the community that comes with that? (Oh this is rich. If I could link to the pages in my journal so you could see how nervous and opposed I was to the whole 'group camping' experience PRIOR to that second Creation experience, you would see just how far I've come. I've grown, people. And I'm a better person for it.)

Anyways, when? When will 100 of us, or ever 30 of us, squeeze ourselves and our things and our children and our extra unexpected guests onto a plot of grass at 4 in the morning after driving all night? When will we ever sit around, waiting for the 1 am 'lights out curfew' signal with our kids chatting about life and comedians and sunburns while eating someone's delicious homemade cream cheese brownies and leftover spaghetti ? Or when will we carabiner ten air mattresses together and float and talk on the river for hours in our mom-bathing suits? Or when will we ever again dance and worship (and cry and laugh and think and be challenged and mostly be encouraged) with each other and our kids as the sun sets and the evening breeze picks up? I will miss this with all of my senses.

Last summer, after whirlwinding through New York for 5 days with my boyz (I was just getting home one year ago today) and then cruising with my folks and their friends back and forth to Alaska and then motorhoming it at Creation, I told my kids we wouldn't do a "big" vacation this year. Seconds after that declaration, the opportunity to do a house swap with an associate in England presented itself and I prayed about it at length for about 3 seconds and said "sure." And since that moment when it was decided I'd use up my entire 3 weeks of allowable vacation time in Great Britian this August I've worried about driving their vehicle. It has a standard transmission and I have an automatic brain. And I have schemed and plotted and fretted and prayed for a way to not have to drive it.

Last night at 1 am, whilst in the midst of dealing with Drama #2 in a week filled with angst and drama and hormones and brokenness and heartache, I got an email from James (houseswapper) advising me that all my options were narrowing down to:
1. ME DRIVING his van from Heathrow (after an all-night flight) to their home in Warwick  from the right front seat on the wrong side of the road with 3 potentially cranky boys as passengers in the busiest city in the world.

2. Or we can walk 89 miles with all our luggage.

And reminiscent of that year that I worried about my motor home falling over sideways on the I-5, I have convinced myself that I will stall the engine in the wrong lane while I frantically try to find 2nd gear with my left hand, and we will get smoked by an oncoming school bus filled with special needs kids and Elvis impersonators. And puppies. There will be dead puppies everywhere. Some kid with a Canon 7D will record the whole thing in high def, including an interview with Hugh Grant, who was in the car behind the bus, and is quoted saying, "terribly disappointed in her, she should have learned how to drive stick" and it will go viral on You tube before the tow trucks arrive.

THAT is what I've been thinking about all year.

And now?
Now I've had offers from 7 people to teach me how to drive standard.
And I don't know if I have it in me to be that vulnerable. Because I will cry. Mark my words and believe you me it's not pretty when I'm learning something in front of somebody and I'm frustrated and trying to act cool while worrying about dead puppies and hormonal sons and high blood pressure and decreased income and increased girth and diminishing brain capacity and aging parents and cupboards that need organizing BECAUSE STRANGERS ARE GOING TO LIVE IN MY HOUSE.

It is a source of amazement to me that I have managed to stay alive for 49 years. Seriously. My brain should have exploded years ago.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Four days off in a row.
2. I still have thirty days to figure out an alternative to me driving that car on that road in that county on that day.
3. I'm going to England.



Anonymous said...

This..."I don't know if I have it in me to be that vulnerable. Because I will cry." sounds like the lesser of 2 evils compared with listening to your sons' "comments" over there as you "experiment" with a stick :)

...just sayin'


Anonymous said...

7 people? Wow. You are loved Jane - it's not fun to teach someone to drive a standard in your own car! Accept all seven offers and do an hour of practice with each of them. That way they will all still be your friends at the end of it, none of their cars will be wrecked and the 7th person will be amazed at how quickly you are catching on.
If I lived closer I would HAPPILY come organize your cupboards with my labeller.
You are going to do great and it's going to be an awesome trip!
:) September

Diane said...

Once you get the driving of the standard down, driving in London is really no big deal. I lived there for several years and it is WAY easier than you think - seriously. It is very logical and makes sense while you're driving because when you're on the "wrong" side of the road, you're also on the "wrong" side of the car, and it works. You still drive the center line and it is next to impossible to turn the wrong direction. Round-abouts will scare you only the first time and then you will wish that North America would convert all intersections to round-abouts. You will be fine. And I will pray it to be so.