Monday, August 2, 2010

goodbye, California - hello, Ohio...

How is it that already we're gone from California? Paul arrived at the folks' with Marty by car last week. Muriel and Hazel and I got here the end of July. Then Marty and Muriel left a couple days ago. So -- the Bay area and friends, family, good coffee, pizza, Thai food, burritos and nachos, the park, the lake, the beach, the fair -- all of it a summer blur now, and over. The week here in Ohio with Aunt Muriel and Uncle Marty was great for Hazel (us too) -- a point of continuity in a rush of faces and places since June 17. (Do you know that Elizabeth Bishop poem called One Art? She writes, "The art of losing isn't hard to master.")

I'm down at the Hudson Public Library with the blog to launch me into some school prep. This shift from "Paul's working" to "Heather's working" is real. It precipitates turmoil in me. I wonder how Hazel sees it, feels it. She asks last night, as she's falling asleep, "Where's Leilani?... Where's Sara?" Her two mates from Marrakech. This state, the state of moving -- to a home we have yet to establish and feather -- makes me feel weepy, even as I know, know, she is a good strong girl, with all the developing arsenal of self-preserving instinct and impulse that are hers.

So, some photos that bring us only from Amsterdam to SFO! Evidence that it's a slow trip back.

The green, blue and windy trip down from northern Germany to Holland.
Beachball and buns at Zandfoort, Atlantic coast, Holland
Riding and napping in the wonder of designated bike lanes that is Holland:

Even with a fever and hive-y splotches all over, Hazel seems OK our last full day in Amsterdam, and so we head into the city to sight-see. Ambitious! Or fool-hardy.
Amsterdam is bedecked and bedazzling in World Cup splendor:
We meet a couple equally taken with the juxtaposition of "no bikes" and the rusted-out cob-webby bike, so we exchange cameras and feel no tourist shame in the photo-taking:
As much as is possible, Paul and I relax -- Hazel with her fever, all of us with the final leg home the next morning. Paul is better than I at relaxing:
Into the drink!
Here we've flown out of Amsterdam, gone through customs at London Heathrow, and we're plying Hazel with plush toys and little orange-tasting pills -- to keep her happy, to keep her fever down. And did I mention the night before we left? Hazel still covered in hives, still fighting a fever of 101 or higher. Most difficult night of the year -- our last night before heading back to the States. Hazel, as you can see, is happy as a clam. We, on the other hand, were dogging it.
Ice of Newfoundland
Welcoming embrace of Point Reyes and the California coast
Even though they confiscated our tulip bulbs and my laptop fell off our luggage cart, we're all happy to be home.