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Friday, February 17, 2012

Road Trip

I don't exactly have anything urgent burning a hole in my blog-writing pocket, but I did want to mention a couple things, and also, since I haven't posted for a while, to let you know we're all still alive.


We're still having some weird back-and-forth with the daycare, but it's being handled, and we got a different attorney through the pre-paid legal service that is a benefit from my wife's office (because she complained that last person sucked legal ass, so they've been busting their butts on our behalf ever since).  So that's in the background, and not really what I wanted to talk about.


We're also doing a wine-tasting this weekend at our house.  It's something we do every year around Valentine's Day.  This year we're adding a (REDACTED) theme to it, so it won't be all hearts and flowers, cause Valentine's Day is already over anyway, but it'll still be fun (the theme is TOP SECRET according to my boss wife, so I removed it from the post).  Last year we did Australian wines and did a random drawing of the specific type for each couple/participant to bring.  They then are responsible for preparing a brief presentation (sometimes they are elaborate, sometimes just a little blurb, read prior to the first drink) and pairing the wine with something appropriate.  This year we're doing South American wines.  It's fun.  We actually considered doing them every six months, but for some reason we got busy last August or just forgot or both.  Maybe this year.  And that's also not what I wanted to talk about.


I left town for a couple days this week.  That's what I wanted to talk about.  I rarely travel.  Since I started here at Company X (no, that's not the actual name) I have had exactly two road trips in almost four years.  That suits me juuuuuuust fine.  1)  I'm a reluctant flyer, 2)  I sleep like shit in hotel rooms, and 3)  (and most importantly) I hate being away from my family. 


This trip was via land, but required I drive (and ride alternately, since I was going with the Engineering Department Manager) six hours to Syracuse the night before a meeting, spend the night away, then drive back the following afternoon when the meeting was over.


I hate leaving my family.  I don't know how people with busy travel schedules do it, but I'm glad I don't have to learn.  I think I could probably make more money if I took a job in sales, but the trade off is that I'd have to travel a lot more frequently, and I just don't want to be away.  


I don't want to imply that people who travel more somehow love their families less (because I don't believe that), but I do think that when you get used to being on the road a lot, you get used to being away from your family too.  Because I've never really had to get used to it, I don't want to have to get used to it.  The more I'm around my family the more I want to be around my family.  It's hard for me to leave.    Not only is there guilt associated with leaving Leslie to deal with whatever issues come up (dance class, OT, middle of the night potty accidents and their associated bed-changings) but there's also the knowledge that my kids (at least one of them) are genuinely are sad to see me go.  Maybe even Leslie. . . she claims she sleeps poorly when I'm not there.  And sleep is really important to her.


Everything was fine in my absence, of course, and Leslie was (and always is) very supportive and encouraging about my need to leave town when work requires, but it still kind of sucked, and I still was very anxious to get home on Thursday.


Before I left, I tried to do absolutely as much as I could to make Leslie's night and morning with the kids as easy as possible.  I dropped both kids off at their schools instead of daycare that morning, then I made lunches, I set the coffee pot to auto brew, put away laundry, double-made Lily's bed (so if there was an accident, she could just strip off everything and there was a mattress pad, fitted sheet, sheet and comforter underneath ready to go), I wrote a note giving Emma a list of chores so Leslie didn't have to bark at her all night, and I told them all I loved them and missed them and would be home the next day.  And then I drove away.  I felt a little better that I'd done as much as I felt I could to make my absence least felt.


Something that I loved while I was away. . . I was able to Facetime (for the few of you not up to apple-speed. . . it's apple's video camera chat feature on the iphone/itouch/ipad) with them from my hotel room.  When I got to the hotel I texted Leslie and asked if they were available for it, then I called them up and was able to chat face to face with all three of them.  It was my first time trying it while away and it was awesome.  I felt a lot less homesick after I disconnected and I think it cheered Emma too.   After dinner with the customer later that night I was able to do it again, saying goodnight to Emma and Leslie, since Lily was already asleep.  It somehow made me feel more like I was still at home and less like I was far far away.


Anyway, if you noticed a decrease in the frequency and volume of my blog commenting. . . that's why.  It's good to be home.

Random "it's great to be home" picture.



41 comments:

  1. Wow, looks like you were missed!

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  2. Sometimes it takes a trip away to really "get" how nice it is to be home. Its funny, when my husband went away one time we did the computer-connect thing and the kids freaked out. It was just awful--they were crying and wailing for daddy. I'm glad you had better results.

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    1. that does sound like it sorta backfired. I'm glad mine worked.

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  3. It's good that you returned home safe and sound. It's awesome how today's technology let's us stay in touch from almost anywhere. But I don't even have a cell phone.

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  4. Glad you're home safe! I don't even have a family and I hated when I had a job where I had to travel. I totally understand!

    The internet missed you much. Probably not as much as your family, but much. Tell your job you're not allowed to travel anymore, you have not only an amazing family, but a whole INTERNET that relies on you to be at their beck & call. I'm sure they'll understand.

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    1. I probably won't have to travel for another two years. . . so that's good!

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  5. I totally get this - I never leave Joseph and Norrin. And Joseph doesn't leave us. Once last year, I did go to a writers conference in DC and that was tough. But like Lizbeth said - it was nice to miss them. In April I'm supposed to go to Miami for a blog/media conference. And THAT will be the real test.

    But YAY for wine tasting party! Enjoy :)

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    1. thanks!

      and. . . we will. . . believe me.

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  6. I have hated having my husband being away for two nights a week. He has just quit his job because he couldn't handle missing us and we couldn't handle missing him. We've been doing it for five years and it didn't get any better. I can completely understand you and your family hating it. However, you were a rock-star doing all that preperation. I bet it made all the difference to Leslie. Gorgeous picture by the way.

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    1. she'll probably read this and tell me I have it backwards. . . that SHE did all that work. But it's MY story, damnit!

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    2. Well. . . no. I was just being self-deprecating.

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  7. I thought my husband was the only one who thought ahead and tried to make his wife's life easier. Kudos to you, Jim!

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  8. SYRACUSE?!?!?!? Wait! What? Syracuse, NY? I'd have rolled out the red carpet!!! And my husband was 6 hours away for three days this week...maybe he went to your village!

    Have fun at your shin-dig!!!

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    1. Pittsburgh? maybe, but I didn't see him. I didn't know you were in syracuse!

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  9. ya, facetime and video skype have been really nice. my wife travels for business every few months, so they come in handy. also lets us stay in touch with grandparents back in Tennessee.

    btw, the kids *really* dig playing with apple's photobooth thingy.

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  10. Yes, you were missed. Your absence was noted. As well as your return.

    You are an amazing daddy and hubs. Really? Doubling on the sheets thing?! Who taught you such genius? Cuz that's a good one. Hope Leslie did not need to use it. (or that I'm actually praising you for something she did...)

    The wine tasting sounds amazing! Who drives everyone home? (Lawyer question of course) That would be fun but we live so far away from everyone I can't imagine getting enough designated drivers to work it all out. Pretty smart to do it at YOUR house!

    Gratuitous cuteness is just that. Glad you're home. :)

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  11. Shit. . . someone DID tell me about it. And no, she didn't have to use it. We haven't had a nighttime accident since I did it. I need to give credit for that idea. . . she called it something else. . . enveloping? double wrapping? I mean, COMPLETELY making the bed under the completely made bed was all me. . . but she had the idea (at least this is my recollection) of putting mattress pad, fitted sheet, mattress pad fitted sheet. . . I just "improved it".

    It must be in comments somewhere. . . although if it's in someone ELSE's comments I'll NEVER find it.

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  12. Awwww.. nice pic.
    And next time, send me. I can't wait to get away from these people.

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  13. Jim, you did get it right this time...you were a good husband and tried to think of everything!!! I am glad to have you home!!!

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    1. Thank you for commenting, love, even if I did have to sort of do it for you.

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  14. I hate when my husband travels... he goes about once a month and the only thing that keeps use sane is a little Facetime with daddy. So glad you got to take advantage of that wonderful little gadget!

    Also, if I give you my husband's email address, will you tell him how to be TOTALLY awesome and helpful before traveling? Because you seriously ROCKED my world with all the help you gave the family before you left!

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    1. Boys don't give other boys tips on how to be better at husbanding. . . it. . . causes fights.

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  15. I have just like this at home. He hates to travel for work, preps tons before leaving and has a *serious* talk with the kids prior to take off. It's all about family isn't it?
    And wine.

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  16. Good job, Mr. Jim! And lovely picture...

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  17. That picture is too cute.

    I hate when Tom is gone. Sadly, the military takes him away from me quite often. I guess it's helpful that I was an only child but still. It sucks.

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  18. Can I please please please come to your wine party? It sounds like so much fun. Please?

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    1. funny you should mention it. . . it was a Mardi Gras theme. . . the ladies wore feather masks. Sound familiar?

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  19. Short trips are the best trips, unless you're going to Fiji with the family. I hate traveling alone too.

    Syracuse is just down the road from us, sort of (by about four hours land travel). I've passed through it on our way to Philidelphia on a few occasions. Doesn't sound like it was too exciting, considering you didn't describe the trip itself at all. Glad you got some Facetime. We're starting to use that too.

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    1. With family is different. Without family, shorter is better.

      Not that the trip wasn't exciting (it wasn't) but it was just a lot of dull driving followed by a work meeting. . . so really not much (of interest) to tell.

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  20. My husband travels maybe once/yr, and I don't believe him at all when he says he doesn't like it. He gets to sit on an airplane...alone. Sleep in a hotel room with cable..alone. Go out to eat every meal. Doesn't have to clean. Whatever, sounds like heaven to me. He claims it's "work", I call shenanigans. I don't doubt he maybe misses us, as I would probably miss my family too if I ever went anywhere without them, but I am still kinda sorta jealous. Whatever. I have tons of bad qualities like that, probably.

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    1. I think there are times when I could definitely use the break, don't get me wrong. But invariably my job requires that I travel only on days when I DON'T need the break. It's in my contract I think.

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  21. Being away must suck. I haven't had to do it yet, but M has had to be away a few times already. It drives him batty. And yes, Facetime is a lifesaver!! ;-)

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