Every now and then I stop and feel a little sad, not about leaving home or friends or family necessarily. Of course I will miss all of these things, but I won't be gone that long after all. I feel sad mostly because I am leaving Gramma behind, to be all alone again. She has lived alone for years and she was just fine without me - she's a strong, independent woman, but I think we've both grown a bit attached to one another, more so than ever before. I will miss eating oatmeal with her every morning. I will miss her sweet voice on the other end of the line when she calls to check on me when I've stepped out, wondering where I am, what I am doing, when I will be home. I will miss watching the same Downton Abbey episodes over and over again (she and I saw season two long before the rest of the United States did - thanks Valerie!), and her questions and comments on every scandal. I will miss my bedroom, tastefully covered in florals, lace and crystal. She is so sweet and lovely in every way. These past few months spent with her have been so special. I am so grateful for this time we've had together as roommates. It has deepened our relationship and made us even better friends.
I'm sure you can imagine the state of mind I've been in lately. Half of my brain is constantly going a little bit crazy, and the other half is trying to remain calm, take each day at a time and soak up the moments I have left at home before I go. I have been absent here partially for that reason, but I first disappeared last week because I became very ill with a nasty virus, one which I will spare you the gruesome details of. I was in bed for four days and didn't leave home for five. After that spell, I have been struggling to tie up loose ends, pack away all of the belongings I brought with me to Gramma's, and get everything in order for my trip.
The next seven days will be full of errand running, packing, seeing those I love and will miss while I'm away and probably several moments of excitement/panic. It seems that every day I am running through an endless list in my mind; I still need socks, toothpaste, and travelers insurance (any suggestions on this would be very helpful!), etc. These are all things (except for insurance) that I can easily find once I arrive in Europe - but I am organized, and maybe I am a little bit controlling at times. So what? I simply like to have everything settled before I enter into the unknown. So, please bear with me over this next week. I may be far away in thought and very distracted, but I will try to make sure I check in here to document this last week at home.
1. Gramma's rhodies - Papa Cal had a very green thumb and photographed his garden when he felt particularly proud.
2. Gramma posing with the poppies and pansies.
3. Gramma with her brother.
4. Gramma hanging out with her pup in the yard.
5. Gramma with her mother, and pregnant with my mother. She was and still is always dressed so darling! She has such great taste.