A week ago, we flew home from Germany. I think my body is officially back in the Eastern Time Zone in the United States. No more waking up in the wee hours of the morning ready to rise and shine.
The transition between time zones as we flew across continents wasn’t too bad this year. As it turned out, on the return, we really didn’t have much time to sit around and complain about our jilted body clocks. In less than 48 hours after we returned I had us unpacked and repacked for the next adventure — a family wedding in my hometown.
Now we are back from our vacation, back from the wedding, and I for one, have no idea what to do next. Being away for month and then a trip on top of a trip will do that to a person. That, and the craziness of international airports is enough to send anyone off-balance.
I uploaded and started editing some of the 952 pictures I took while I was in Germany. As I sit here and blog this morning, I could definitely share some pictures, but where to begin? I’m a big believer of, Why take pictures if you aren’t going to share them? But I am also big believer in not over sharing. I need to continue reviewing the photos and consider sharing a modest selection, though it’s hard because all of them are special to me in some way.
For today, I picked one to share – a picture of Vivian with an empty water bottle on her toe, taken sometime in the last few hours of our return trip home. It could have been 3 p.m. U.S time, or it could have been 9 p.m. Germany time. Pick your preference.
The point is: We were all very loopy from being gone a month, driving to Berlin the night before, waking up early to take a cab to the airport, flying somewhere in the realm of 4,000 miles to Newark, New Jersey, en route on a three and a half hour car ride home, and in this moment we laughed.
I was tired. I was grumpy. I was out of snacks. I wanted to sleep. But then the kids started giggling from the back seat, and I turned around to see Vivian smiling. With an empty water bottle on her toe.
Something about the kids laughing and something about her putting an empty water bottle on her toe for no good reason gave me some perspective. Lighten up. Laugh. We’re almost home.
So I laughed. Then Jan laughed. Then all four of us were laughing simultaneously. All because of an empty water bottle on the toe.
We had so many laughs on our trip, and made so many good memories with family to carry with us – 952 pictures worth to be exact – yet this photo represents so much of what our time in Germany was all about. Acknowledging the funny in life and laughing together.
One of my new favorite German phrases is: Du bist lustig.
It means: You are funny.
I like it.
No matter what life throws at you or what you or someone else might be going through, keep the funny in your life. It really does give you a proper perspective in this crazy life. Plus, laughing is contagious.
In that instant, when Vivian put the empty water bottle on her toe, it brought a funny and fitting end to a happy trip. It could have easily been the delirium of not sleeping properly over a 20-hour trip with two kids or the lingering disbelief that I got flagged to have our suitcases examined as we were clearing immigration in the U.S. because I admitted I still had a sandwich from the plane in my purse.
Oh yes, security personnel made us stand behind some ladies who were bringing fish into the United States from somewhere in the Middle East. Yes, fish. Two huge suitcases full of fish. Repulsed, I immediately offered to surrender my squished sandwich, but it was too late. We had to wait behind the fish ladies.
On the way, home Jan and I shared that damn ham sandwich. For posterity’s sake, of course. I mean we kind of had to eat it after all we went through juggling our luggage and two kids as we hoisted heavy suitcases through the security scanners.
Still somewhat irritated after I finished my half of the damn ham sandwich, I slugged down some water and handed Vivian the rest due to her urgent need for water as soon as she saw me drinking some. Kids.
After that, the rest is history.
Now here I sit today with a clean slate ahead of me for the next six weeks before pre-school starts and we get back into a routine. Leading up to the trip I never considered what the kids and I would do for the rest of the summer when we came home, other than go to a wedding. The only thing I could think about was the month in Germany that lied ahead.
The trip has come and gone.
Now here I sit.
A clean slate.
What to do next?
What to do next?
Of course, I do have more riveting photos to share than this one and stories better than a damn ham sandwich to tell, but first I think I’ll go put an empty water bottle on my toe and see what happens.