Note: We’ve been preoccupied and haven’t taken any new photos in several days. Today’s images are from Florida, where we were one year ago.
It will feel very strange for Tom and me to be apart for ten days when he leaves for the airport in Nelspruit to start the long journey to the US. On his way there, the flight and layovers will have 31 hours of travel time. On his return on March 13, arriving on March 15, it will be much longer when he has to stay overnight in Joburg at the airport hotel to avoid driving the dangerous N4 highway in the dark.
This will be the first time we have embarked on an international flight without the other. Not only was it imperative for him to be with his family for brother Jerome’s wake and funeral service in Minneapolis, but also to spend precious time with his kids, grandkids, and siblings. I will feel a lot better when I hear that he has arrived safely and when he walks in the door a week from Wednesday, back with me once again.
As a blended family, we’re constantly juggling and allocating time between our families when we are together in the US. It has always worked out well, but this time, he won’t have to worry about carting me around, dropping me off, and picking me up after time with my son Greg and his family.
For a minute, we may have considered having me go with him, but the more we thought about it, this made the most sense. Plus, he can sleep at his daughter Tammy’s house, where I’ve never been able to stay since I am allergic to cats. The same is the case with staying at my son Greg’s house, where they have three cats.
When it’s the two of us, we prefer to stay in a hotel, especially when we consume so much WiFi and spend so much time online doing daily posts and other research. Also, as a couple, we prefer privacy and quiet when staying in a hotel when we travel.
The only exception to this has been when we stay with our dear friends Karen and Rich in their huge house in Florida. The four of us are so much alike, we don’t annoy one another, and it’s always been easy for a week or more. We all like the same kind of food, and our daily habits are oddly similar. This isn’t always the case with many friends who have generously offered us to stay with them.
Tom just finished packing, considering it’s still freezing in Minnesota. When our bags were lost on our last trip, we bought sweatshirts and flannel shirts to stay warm. He now has three flannel shirts, a few new zippered sweatshirts, and plenty of jeans to keep warm. He isn’t bringing a suit when few men at the service will be wearing suits. But he will wear a newer long-sleeved black shirt and pants to the services.
This morning, we headed to Komatipoort to grocery shop for whatever I’ll need in the next ten days. Mostly, I’ll prepare easy chicken and seafood meals while he’s away, along with a salad. When he returns, I’ll make a special dinner for us to celebrate our missed 28th wedding anniversary, which is on March 7.
These past ten years, we have always made a bigger fuss over our travel anniversary on October 31 each year. Still, we’ve always done something special on our wedding anniversary, often going out to dinner or making a fancy meal wherever we live.
This evening, we’ll return to Jabula, the second night in a row to be with our local friends at this entertaining establishment. Last night, we had an excellent time, reliving the fun we all had at my birthday party last Saturday. It’s hard to believe that it was almost a week ago.
That’s it for today. Next time I write, I will be alone for the first time in so long I can hardly remember; although we were apart at night when I was in hospital in 2019, Tom was with me every day, well into the evening. But this is different. I am not afraid of being alone. I’ll watch for lions when I am outdoors and those disgusting slimy black worms that are still falling on our heads. Yuck.
Photo from one year ago today, March 4, 2022: