Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22nd

I have a busy weekend coming up.

On Friday night, a family of seven people will arrive from points north and will stay until Sunday morning.

In fact, the time of their departure for the Florida shores will coincide perfectly with Keith's, for the airport.

He will drive there, but I must drive back and the dread of this has been like a long, cold shadow lying over my entire week.

I don't like driving; I am not a good driver and airports are the enemy.

Of course, my dozens of flights to and from the Orient did take the edges off my initial and paralyzing terror, but I still don't like driving a car anywhere in their vicinity.

A couple nights ago, another military wife assured me that the airport is on this side of Atlanta and that there are not that many exits and connections- it's pretty much a straight shot.

Keith confirmed this, so my anxiety has decreased considerably.

That military wife had stopped by with her husband, at Keith's eager invitation, to see the progress he's made on his very own electric motor boat, which he made out of two pieces of packing Styrofoam, two helicopter engines (the helicopters themselves having long since been ruined), duct tape and hot gun glue.

It actually works.

I chatted with the wife for a while, leaning against the kitchen counter, while the soldiers dissected their electronic toys in the garage.

This wife has a sleepy, laid back personality and sloe eyes, with tawny, wavy bangs that fall into her face. She wore bicycle shorts with a long tunic over them and a short cardigan over that and a mauve, middle Eastern scarf wound round her neck.

Two minutes after entering the house, she'd kicked her moccasins off and was going comfortably bare foot. I always am, myself. It was our second visit, so we were pretty familiar with each other and our various interests.

Her husband is a thin, wiry chap from the back woods of New England and an avid hunter of any animal, by any sanctioned weapon.

Eventually, we wandered outside and watched the men as they leaned over the apparent wreck of their RC cars- tiny, glittering parts strewn across the open tailgate, plastic bodies removed, to reveal the tangle of wire and rubber tubing that make up the minuscule engines.

We waved away moths, lazily, and talked about keeping our men on a reasonable spending plan, when it came to their vehicular hobbies, and the men grinned and pretended not to listen. They are managed men and they know it and they must pretend not to love it.

When they left, she insisted on giving me a hug, though I am not by nature a hug-able person. She seems to like me. This sort of thing always takes me by surprise.

Now I must prepare for another visit, one of an entirely different sort. I'll think of it like a water slide; I just have to take a deep breath, tuck my elbows in and go with the flow. It might even be fun, who knows.