Remember my Spanish class? The one I where I was sure I was going to fail the test? I got an A. I can't believe it. Ridiculous! I have no idea how she determined our grades. I even missed a couple of classes, which is a lot when it's only a ten-week, one-class-per-week session. Damn.
The last day in NJ was nuts. We drove to the Bronx Zoo. A one hour trip took two hours and it was mostly not our fault, though getting on the freeway for the first stage of the trip proved a challenge. I showed my temper a little when we were making wrong turns, but I pulled it together quickly since B2 and SIL2 just ignored my fussiness. I'm not sure what it is with me and driving directions, but if I'm close to the edge (and there's no use pretending I wasn't), this will certainly push me over. I know it's a control issue--but really it's a being taken seriously issue--are those the same thing? And why would I worry for even one second about being taken seriously? Anyway, we got there, we walked, we ate lunch, we saw animals. There were tons of other religious families there: NY, Passover week, the zoo: add it up.
A few of the party (Dad, Israeli nieces 2, 3 and 4, Israeli nephew, both NJ nieces and me) decided to take a tram ride that gives an aerial view of the zoo. We were having a good time waiting in line and horsing around. All of a sudden, NJ niece #2 (the four year old) burst into tears. I picked her up and held her (all 40 pounds). After I set her down, I got to her eye level and asked what was wrong. She'd caught sight of the tram and was scared. She said she didn't want to go on it. I told her she didn't have to. She asked who would take care of her if she didn't go. Aww. Enough to break your heart. I told her I would take care of her. Every one was asking what was wrong. I told them she was scared and might not go on the tram. I told her we would stay in the line with everyone else and she could still change her mind. We got to the entry and she couldn't decide, so I just carried her away. We visited the world of darkness and generally had a good time. She was on ultra-cute good behavior.
I said goodbye to the NJ nieces and baby nephew, Dad and stepmom at the zoo exit. They were in one car. I drove with the Israelis in the mini-van and had to go back to it to reclaim my luggage. When I gave stepmom a kiss goodbye she thanked me for coming and being such a big help coordinating things. I said I hadn't done anything much except figure out how to count (something Dad didn't always manage). I explained how I did it: we are 15 total, then just subtract whoever is not there
shut up Jamy! But stepmom insisted that I'd been really helpful by finding things on the internet and generally being able to figure things out. I guess it's true: I found out about ice skating, I got us to the zoo, I found Israeli internet radio for oldest nephew (being able to figure things out is not always a good thing). It's nice that she appreciated this stuff, since I didn't even realize what I'd done.
I said goodbye to my Israeli relatives when we got back to the car. I said, "See you later alligator" to the youngest and I got "in a while crocodile" in return. My nephew, the nineteen-year-old, asked, "You have matzo at home?" I said, "No, I've been here so I didn't have time to buy any." There was talking in Hebrew and SIL2 said, "She gets the hint." I said, "What?" I didn't get it. "You mean he's asking if he can come and visit?" Right! I said of course he could. I told them they could come and visit any time they wanted, but they should give me a few days notice so I could clean the house. The oldest niece said, "That's good, you're so flexible!" I laughed. I'm so not. I hugged and kissed all the girls and B2 helped me with my bags.
Dad had given me $40 to catch a cab from the Bronx to Penn Station, but as I looked around on our walk back to the car, I saw not a single cab. Not one. But, I did see the elevated train tracks (the subway becomes an "El" north of Harlem). I even saw a 2 train go by--an express train to Manhattan. I tell B2 that I'll just take the subway. Even if I miss my train, I can get on the next one. He helps me lug my heavy bag up the steps to the platform and thanks me for coming. I wish I could hug him goodbye, but it's against the rules.
I get to Penn Station just as my train is leaving. I get the next train after standing in line for 30 minutes to change my ticket. It's ok because I still have time to buy dinner for the train. I just get a salad, but it comes with a free banana and a bottle of water. Nice.
Hello DC. It's good to be home.
I've spent the whole day lazing on the couch next to the cat. I meant to go to work if only for a few hours, but it didn't happen. Maybe spending the whole day writing, watching tv and NOT TALKING is a good thing. And I've got a big empty weekend ahead of me. Big sigh of happiness. Maybe I'll clean the house or do some yard word. Buy mulch. I need to buy mulch.
Princess called on her way home from work and I told her I spent the day at home. She said, "You've been home all day and you didn't post anything on the blog?" I said I'd been working on it. Geez, Princess, give a girl a chance! My head is so fuzzy and blurred I'm not even sure I'm making sense, but in a few days I'll be back to normal. This family stuff takes a lot out of me.
Grateful for: being home.