Home. Sacramento

Yes. I know. I owe you some more blogs. When I get back and rest up. You’re first on the list, dear reader.”

OK, yes.  That is how I ended the Blog on April 29, the day before I flew back to the US.  And yes, I know it is now June 9.  Probably 10th by the time I actually finish and post this.  Much has occurred.

The flight was uneventful. Neither bumped up to first class nor engine trouble etc.  Border patrol and customs were snaps.  I have the Global Traveler so I can get through quickly using the computer kiosks.  (I have to renew this every 5 years and the time is upon me.  A cool thing with my United Visa card – if I use that card to renew the $100 fee, United reimburses me!  Yup.  The full $100!)   The layover in SF was over 3 hours but I was able to use the United Lounge – free food, friendly people to watch your bags, comfy chairs, all good.  And in Sac the bags came out relatively early.  Home via Uber.  My usual unpacking – opening everything on the kitchen floor and starting the washing immediately.  And unpacking the boxes from France.  My tea cups did not fare well.  Two had cracks.  My fault.  Shrug.   And I packed these boxes several weeks ago so some of the contents were a surprise.

Next to stock the larder.  That meant a car ride to Safeway.  And for the first time – well, I guess in January too – the car battery was healthy due to the drip charger I used.  Worth every penny to avoid a call to AAA.  I stayed up looking for things until 10:30 pm. At that point I had been up 26 hours.  And of course, I woke up at 4 am.  Started looking for things again and got a quick nap in before leaving.

What was I looking for?  General stuff – rediscovering my house and its contents.  And most specifically, my car keys.  I had a spare set which were where they were supposed to be.  But my regular set were invisible to me.  Finally, I had to give up because I was leaving town.

My business partner had tried to open a banking account for us but needed my signature.  So day one I was off to Nevada to do finances.  The second day there and my second day back in the US, I felt nauseous all day and my pulse was racing all day.  I researched before determining if I should go to ER and found that both can be symptoms of jet lag.  I hung tight.  And the next day I felt pretty good and on day 3 I was back to normal.  Even sleeping was back to normal.  So if I have a choice, I will take a day of nausea and racing pulse over 6 or more days of bad sleep.  I am hoping my body will remember this for future time zone jaunts.  Also, going away from my house directly on my return was a good idea.  Accidental.  But good.  Because there was nothing I could do but relax for a few days.  I couldn’t go driving about on errands.  Didn’t have things to put away.  People to call.  It was spa-like.

Then I came home rested and relaxed to make my transition.

People ask me, do you wish you were back in Paris?  How is the change going?  What do you miss?  And frankly, at this point when I go back to Paris or come back to Sac, it’s a fairly immediate transition.  I was there.  Now I am here.  And my daily HERE life becomes my focus.  Sure, I notice changes.  I see things in my house that I totally forgot about.  But I don’t pine – either for Paris or for Sac.  I guess it’s really living in the NOW.

But I do observe.

I was driving down Highway 50 the other day and suddenly thought about the taxi drivers, and the gilet jaunes, and other manifestation groups in Paris and imagined Californians standing on the freeway blocking traffic… and I started to laugh.

No need to use the 24 hour clock and have to think for a moment if I translated the time correctly when making a reservation.

Last week I dropped a book on the floor by the bed and I flinched.  Then I remembered no one lives below me – that’s my living room!  The joys of not living in an apartment.

I rediscovered Target and Macys and Raleys and Safeway and oh so many other shops.  So many options.  And I can easily return items!  I missed that in Paris.  Although, they are getting better about returns.  Before they gave you the stink eye.

Rediscovering my house…  it’s like an old friend I haven’t seen for a while.  I found I needed to nest.  The first call was to Marcos my sometime gardener to clean out the leaves and debris from my yard- without mudding up my pond.  I was delighted to finally catch a glimpse of a fish!  Don’t get too excited.  I do not have fancy koi.  I have the requisite mosquito fish, provided for free and delivered by the Sac County Mosquito Abatement Center.   The back yard once again became the calm, peaceful refuge to sit and relax.  Until the temps climb into the 100s like it will this week.

Dear Reader.  I am home.  But I have more to share about my transition with occasional ponderings about living abroad.  Tonight, however, it’s time to sleep.

Miscellaneous

The title is in honor of the French woman next to me on the bus who saw me reading English and asked if I was British or American and could I help her with a definition – the word was miscellaneous…

I walk down the sidewalk thinking and suddenly I have to push Andy Rooney back into a box in a recess of my mind.  My blog makes me think in Andy Rooney speak sometimes… did ya ever….

It’s a tense time right now.  Nope, not terrorists.  My last days in France.  I find I am consciously trying to avoid any catastrophes….  I have slipped and fallen twice and am being so careful to not a third time.  But other catastrophes rear up in my mind.  As I was leaving the apartment today and holding my keys in my hand, I had this image of the keys slipping out of my hand as I was pulling the door shut, falling inside the apartment while the momentum closed the door and thereby locking myself out of my apartment.  I must have a special little man in my brain (see previous blogs for explanations re the little men… and the French and American/English librarians…) whose only job is to be fearful.  With an active imagination!  Fortunately, he is usually back in a nice room with ice cream and he rarely comes out to worry me.

I am also discovering a relaxation of a tension that I wasn’t very aware of.  It’s the “get out of speaking French free card!”  And I thought I loved this experience.  I DO love this experience.  But my brain is apparently looking forward to a few months of just one language.  HA!  Little does it realize – I still have TV 5 – the French channel on Xfinity and I have 3 French novels I want to finish.  There will still be French spoken!  And I might join Alliance Francaise again too.

I have a birthday upon me.  The reality is that I am actually older than the day would suggest – meaning that when you reach your first birthday, you are actually starting your second year of life.  It’s funny because centuries are done the same way – we are now in the 21st century.  I don’t like this.  Makes me feel old.

It has been cold here still.  Yesterday in the Metro, I saw my breath.  Yikes.  That just isn’t right.  Well, not on the platform itself, but down the corridor to get there.  Brrrr

I was sick with a bad cold over NYE so my plans to spend it with a friend evaporated.  Instead I sat on the couch hacking and coughing but I did stay up for midnight.  This year Paris had a light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe followed by fireworks.  It was televised so I enjoyed.  Then I suddenly remembered how the airplanes flew over my apartment on the 14th of July for the Parade down the Champs Elysees.  And I rushed to my window and yup!  I could see the fireworks!  It was sooooo cool.

My cold is almost gone.  I am meeting all my friends for the final conversations for this visit.  And in the midst of that, I am trying to get to sites I have not seen and pack.

I hate packing.