I am awake bright and early. We will see if I can write fast enough to tell all that there is to tell before the instructor knocks on my door an hour from now to do my building tour... I remember most of the details about getting around the building, but a tour will be good since things do tend to shift and change over time.
For future reference, it is a good practice to pack early. I didn't because I thought that it would be too "obsessive." I ended up scrambling around on Friday night, trying to fit in things that wouldn't fit, deciding what wasn't going to go, etc. I didn't get much more than a cat nap. I thought it would be no big deal--I could sleep on the plane.
It was a big deal. Either sleeping on planes is becoming more difficult as I get older, or planes are more uncomfortable, or both. I am inclined in this case to lean toward the plane being uncomfortable. It isn't that I expected a bed on the plane! However, I think that in a few years the planes may work like people compacters: fold us all up, warp to wherever they're going in a moment's notice, and then expand us back to normal size. I rode on an express flight, and I wondered how in the world a dog--even a small dog like my Meghan--would fit under those seats. The bags that meet the size allowances barely fit.
The flight attendant did not take my under-seat bag. i probably should have asked her to; but I crazily thought that I might slip a notebook out of it and dash off a journal entry if I could not sleep. As soon as I crammed it under the seat (which barely had room for a man's large feet), I knew that this would not be happening. My seatmate came with an armload of stuff and said huffily that my bag was in her space, asking if I could turn it. I apologized and tried; but I could not slide it over because the wheel of the plane protruded into my space. She launched into a diatribe about how my bag was too big and she was surprised they hadn't taken it away from me. I felt like she was reprimanding me for having dared to bring such a thing on board, and after about the fifth time she said it, I wondered if I was going to cry or ask her how many more times she was going to repeat this to me since she could put her own belongings in the overheads just as easily. By the time she moved to another seat, I was ready to hold her down and say, "I am sorry that I need xxx to arrive safely with me. I am not your little child." To quote my church history professor, what I was feeling was really "not very Church of God." Unfortunately, i didn't care. All I cared about was the fact that she was going on and on and that I thought someone should point out to her that she wasn't the judge of which bags made it through the size checker.
Once she moved, I began trying to come up with a way to stop thinking about her. With any luck, I'd never see her again. I didn't need the rest of my trip to be ruined by my un-Church-of-God feelings about her. However, lack of sleep tencs to amplify my emotional responses to things and my obsessive nature. I began to truly get on my own nerves.
I finally fell asleep. When I awoke, I hoped that I had managed to sleep through the flight and we would be on our way down. I hadn't. We were only twenty minutes out, and drinks were being passed out. I returned to my attempts to entertain myself. There was another student on my flight. I began to wonder about meeting her... Would we get along well, perhaps become friends? or would I still be obsessing about the rude lady with the armload of stuff and make the other student think that I am a nutcase who can't handle anything? After all, she has kids--Mom saw them. She's probably more mature than I am and has much more life experience... Oh, the silly tricks the sleep-deprived mind plays!
My tortured mind finally did allow me some peace, and we eventually landed. The other student and I stood in the jetway and introduced ourselves. Her name was Melanie, and she used to live in Texas. "I think I know you," she said. I began to put pieces together. "Was your maiden name Smith?" We were childhood friends at summer camp! In fact, we were inseparable. The experience with lady with the armload of stuff became a funny story. Melanie could certainly handle my quirks!
As Melanie and I shared our stories of the past 20 years, we discovered that our lives paralleled in many ways. I later learned that she is in the room next door to me. And miffis is across the hall. What better arrangements could I hope for to get my sleep-deprived brain back on track?
Dinner was roast beef with mashed potatoes, green beans, and garlic rolls. Dessert was chocolate mousse. Oh, I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I could have eaten six plates if Pete Jackson had not been sitting around waiting for me to go on my first "Juno walk."
We didn't do anything with dog commands last night. We just checked pace and pull. At some point, he slowed way down, and I said, "I don't like that dog at all." What I'd really like is a dog that works at a good rate that doesn't yank my arm off. I can slow down on bad pain days, but I want to be able to walk up when I can.
i don't know whether the home and away students get dogs today or tomorrow. I had heard that it would be today; but the instructors neer said anything about it. I will ask this morning. There are four home and away students; but it seems that some may be staying the whole time.
There are several young students in the class but also several older students. I love to be in classes where there is a good age range. I think it's very enriching. This evening's activity is a wine and cheese party. The young students are noticeably uncomfortable--the drinking age here is 21. It probably makes them feel their age, and I can certainly understand this. I am hoping there is some kind of food that I can eat...
I'm trying to do a bit of audio journaling at times. Mom saw me talking into the recorder at the airport yesterday and said that I looked like a spy. The next thing I knew, she was saying that she thought she had identified the other student on the flight. Who's spying now? (She was wrong, for the record.)
I think I may have beat the knock on the door. Today promises to be long and hectic. I will post more as I can. I do also have Hebrew to entertain me.