Contrary to you may be thinking, I have not fallen off the grid. I’ve just gotten back to Shanghai from a much longer trip to the US than I expected.
I would first like to thank TSA for only partially screwing the lids back on to the liquids they inspected in my luggage. It was so meditative to sponge maple syrup, vanilla and glass cleaner off the 200 some items and papers in my bag the morning after my arrival.
My summer was a mixed bag, to say the least. I first came back alone in order to see an Orthopedic surgeon in NYC about my left shoulder which was still bothering me. While I was there I asked him to look at my right shoulder too which had been bothering me. Imagine my surprise when it turned out my right shoulder had a large tear and needed to be fixed first! We set that up for the beginning of August, after Mark’s and my trip out West on our “retirement city tour” and Meredith’s trip to LA for an acting camp.
Got to see the Golden Gate fogged in
My surgery was the second Tuesday of August.
In general this has been a breeze compared to the manipulation I had in January. Of course, I haven’t started the major physical therapy that is required yet, so perhaps I’m speaking too soon. However, the biggest side effect is an inability to sleep because of the pain. Hence the rented lazy boy:
There were also new beginnings to celebrate this summer.
The buyers got their commitment letter about the same that I was feeling a bit better from my surgery, so I started packing up the house in earnest. I absolutely couldn’t have done it without the help of my friends, Debbie and Heidi and Kelly and Andy (son and friend). They’re the best! My efforts to sell some of our stuff on Craig’s list was a total bust. Our biggest nibble came from a scammer! Thanks to Heidi’s suggestion, we donated everything else to Habitat’s Re-store–3 truckloads worth! They, as well as me, were a bit stunned that it turned out to be so much.
For my last few days in the US before the closing and after the movers came, Andy and I camped out in the home theater, made possible because the buyers bought the contents. It was a strange experience to be in a totally empty house with all the memories bouncing off the walls. The irony of this last summer was that I had finally, after all these years, achieved a house that was beautiful and without clutter, or mess. Of course there weren’t any people in it either and while beautiful to look at, it’s really only a building when the family isn’t there to live in it and create memories and, unfortunately, mess.
I was surprised by how sad I felt the last I drove down that long driveway.
My first few days back in China have been a bit surreal. Everybody here still has a different word for everything and over the summer I’ve forgotten a lot of the ones I know. In my first text with Chen shi fu, I told him to come today, in the morning at 6am; except it was already 11am when I texted him. I’d mixed up the words for morning and evening. Clever guy, he figured it out anyway.
Next I’ll write about Shanghai. For the moment I’ll leave you with everyone’s favorite part of the blog: