Back in the People’s Republic

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.

So many buildings!

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.

Sending my baby off to LA–the daughter seems less upset.

We first visited Ben in San Francisco and did some sight seeing.

Ben did some swing dancing in the park–reminiscent of the dancing in the parks in Shanghai

We toured Ben’s offices–makes a mom proud.

Got to see the Golden Gate fogged in

Mark and I immortalizing the fog-in                                         Mark and I immortalizing the fog-in.

We’d forgotten how many choices are available in the US–9 types of Cheerios! About 4 more since we left for China.

We saw some beautiful scenery on our way through Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

We saw some beautiful scenery on our way through Nevada, Utah and Colorado.

And found a cheap gas station. Unfortunately the gas was all gone.

We thought these doggie shoes were hysterical and such an American phenomenon until…..we saw them on a Chinese dog this weekend.

My surgery was the second Tuesday of August.

Still feeling happy from the drugs

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:

This happened an hour after we accepted an offer on the house. It was with much trepidation that I drove down the driveway

This was one of the trees that came down. Although the wind seemed to have come right by the side of our house, no trees fell on it. Whew!

Our “last supper”  of our favorite meal of hamburgers and corn on the cob in the house before Mark and Meredith left for China. I stayed on to empty the house.

There were also new beginnings to celebrate this summer.

Our nephew Sean was married to Marie in the Berkshires in a lovely outdoor wedding

Kellly’s daughter Kerry is modeling the hooded sweater I made for her new baby who is coming soon

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:

Elevator flowers

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About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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One Response to Back in the People’s Republic

  1. Xin says:

    Good luck and a speedy recovery! I was trying to get rid of things on Craigslist, didn’t work well either.Now I
    am going to do what you did, only if I could put all the stuff into a pile! Thinking of you.

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