Brain Spin

23 days.

23 days.

Writing that makes me nervous. Just when I think I have most things covered, I come up with something that suddenly seems critical. Or 100 things that are, of course, beyond critical.

Do the kids have light jackets? She does, but his isn’t going to work. Next thing I know I’m doing a mad search on L.L. Bean and Land’s End and throwing things into the cart as long as they will arrive on time.

Those pants I bought…when are the alterations supposed to be done? And where did I even take them to be altered?

Did I put a hold on all the magazines? Did I stop the newspaper? Did I forward the mail? When am I supposed to call to take off the liability insurance on the cars since we won’t be driving them? Driving…did my international driver’s license, which I probably don’t even need, arrive? Don’t forget to take our US driver’s licenses with us. And the AAA card. Can’t get the discount at the first hotel unless the card is with us. Can’t get to the hotel unless we have the printed copy of the bus confirmation. Did we pay for those first hotels? And when is the remainder of the payment for the house in Burgundy due? Payment. Don’t forget to take some Euros and Pounds.

To say it’s overwhelming is an understatement.

I feel like my days are full of checklists that never end. And everything takes longer than I expect.

It doesn’t help that JJ has daily swimming lessons. And that both kids have baseball/softball anywhere between two and four times a week. Sometimes in places 45 minutes away. Sports. Lessons. Must remember to call the piano teacher so JJ is on her schedule to take lessons when we get back.

But I keep plugging along. Trying to focus and not panic when I suddenly remember that I haven’t unlocked the old cell phone yet. I requested the unlock code in December. Where is the unlock code? Actually, where is the stupid phone?!

On the flip side, there are things that are getting done:

  • JJ has a passport. It only took 2 rejections and 3 1/2 months, but we have it. In the safe. Where it will stay. Until we take it with us. Must remember to take it with us.
  • Lodging is booked. 8 hotels, 3 hostels, 6 homestays, 13 B&B’s and 5 apartments later, we have lodging. No idea what we’ve paid for and what we owe, but unless we miss a payment, we have lodging.
  • Cars are almost done. After 4 months of searching (, I finally picked a car to lease only to be told after I made the reservation: “That model is no longer available, but we can offer you a FREE UPGRADE…” A FREE UPGRADE to a car with a smaller trunk and much worse gas mileage that I could have leased for $200 LESS on their site. Back to the drawing board.

Oh…there is one other major thing happening. We found a wonderful family to rent our house while we’re gone. Which is awesome. But it also means we I have to pack up a lot of the house so they can stay here.

So, in the midst of all of this, I am packing up the house. So far, I’ve taken 3 huge bags to Goodwill. Which is awesome. But packing up the house wasn’t on my pre-trip checklist.

My checklists seem to go in the wrong direction.

23 days…let the countdown begin.

At least something is decreasing.


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