100 Happy Days: Week 5

Another crazy week down.  Dallas is in Jerusalem until tomorrow, then he’s headed back to Tel Aviv to fly to Berlin.  I think he’s had a good time meeting and getting to know his fellow, uh, fellows.  We’ve gotten to talk to him a lot on Facebook, Skype, and FaceTime, so we know he’s safe and happy (things one just has to worry about when a loved one is in Israel–things are stable where he is, but there’s enough going on in the rest of the region that his mom and I have been a little nervous).  He has taken some beautiful pictures of Jerusalem for us, and he’s gotten to photograph and feed some birds, which of course makes him happy.

One year ago today, we were on our way up to Atlanta, our first trip to the airport.  (We’ve been back up there twice since then, when he came home in February and when we had to send him back in March.)  If he hadn’t been able to come home a few months ago, I don’t know what kind of shape I’d be in right now.  Mentally, I was not in a good place at all when he left that first time, because we didn’t know if he would be able to come home on his school break.  And at that point, we didn’t know when he would be done at Jena–now we know that if he hadn’t been able to come home in February, we would have spent 382 days apart.

17 days until he comes home.  I’m not terribly excited about that drive up to Atlanta to meet a flight that’s coming in through the domestic terminal at 5 on a Saturday, but I think we’ll leave here early enough to (hopefully) avoid the parking lot that magically appears at the 75/675 split south of Atlanta every…single…time his parents and I have driven up there.  We’ll see.  At any rate, knowing this is the last time we’ll have to collect him from the airport this year, and knowing we won’t have to go back to see him off again in the near future…that should make any traffic aggravation worth it.

Right.  So.  On Day 29 we went to the grocery store.  I remembered that now I have a physical Starbucks card so I don’t have to ask the barista’s forgiveness when I hand my phone over and they squint at the tiny gift card numbers because the Starbucks inside the Kroger we shop at doesn’t have a way to scan the barcodes on the phone app.  I got this and it was delicious.

I grew up absolutely hating the chocolate and mint combination.  Sometimes I wanted a peppermint patty, but not very often.  I guess it was one of those tastes I had to grow up to appreciate, in much the same way that I hated spinach when I was a kid but now I can’t get enough of it.  Something about these cookies called to me from the shelf at the store and they’ve been a sweet little pick-me-up at work this last week, starting on Day 30, which was a pretty crazy Thursday.

Day 31 was hot, like almost every other day in the past couple of months. It cooled down a little bit in the evening, so I was outside with some of our animal friends, including Mr. Orange Cat.  We’re not sure how old he is, exactly, because he was an owner surrender when Dallas’ dad was working with Animal Control.  The people who had him weren’t allowed to have a cat in their apartment so they had to get rid of him or move out.  Dallas’ dad knew that a full-grown cat like that (and he’s not the most handsome cat, either) would most likely not find a new home because most people want cute little kittens, and he really didn’t want to have to put him to sleep, so he ended up bringing him home.  OC’s got to be pretty old (he’s been here since Dallas was in middle school) but you wouldn’t know it from watching him stalk across the backyard.

I spent a lot of Day 32 doing genealogy research.  It’s simultaneously rewarding and frustrating.  I was specifically trying to figure out why Dallas’ grandfather had a picture of a little girl standing next to a headstone; the names on the stone weren’t familiar and the man’s death date was 1930.  Anyway, brain food.  Always a necessity.  And I ended up finding out that the couple named on the stone were the previous tenants of the house Dallas’ grandfather spent his teenage and young adult years in, so I assume his great-grandfather bought the house from the man’s widow and it could be Dallas’ great-aunt standing next to the stone.

Day 33: hot, sunny, fluffy white clouds.  Perfect.  I can’t say much else about it.  We did get some spectacular thunderstorms that night, and Dallas’ mom had a fit because I was outside trying to photograph the lightning.  I’m still alive, obviously.

We had more storms on Day 34.  We even had a severe thunderstorm warning!  We honestly didn’t get much of anything where I was (at work), but areas further to the northeast and east of where I was had downed trees and power lines.  I liked how the clouds looked before the wind and rain started.  And yes, it was actually that dark outside.

Another day (Day 35), another high heat index (103).  There’s a very tiny magnolia tree at work and I thought it’d make a good foreground for this picture.  I’ve gotten pretty well acclimated to Georgia weather.  It was down in the upper 70s one day last week after it rained and I thought “man, it’s so nice and cool out here”.  Crazy!  At home I would have been like “seriously, I hope it doesn’t get any hotter, this is awful”.  Amazing what fourteen months in the South did to change my perspective.

Crazy to think that I have two more of these weekly round-ups before Dallas will be home, meaning probably half of my Week 8 Happy Day pictures will have Dallas in them. 🙂

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