I'm starting to pack for my trip. Tomorrow, I get on a train to go to the
I am taking the train and for some reason, known only to the higher-powers at good ole Amtrak, I have to go from New Orleans, to Chicago, then back to Kentucky. Yes, I kind of boggled over it for a while but decided to Carpe Shar-Pei (seize the wrinkled dog) and make the best of it. I wrote to a lady who works at the Lighthouse for the blind in Chicago who is, herself, Deafblind. She teaches a class about working the deafblind people. Two of her students will be my SSP for my 8-ish hours in Chicago. This is so fantastic and generous, and makes the entire experience so much easier.
I am also meeting friends in Chicagoland for pizza, some walking around and perhaps (if it doesn't rain), the beach!
I arrive in Kentucky on Sunday morning and stay there until Friday. On my return trip, I have a layover in Charlottesville Virginia where I will get to meet the krew from
<"The Manor of Mixed Blessings">
I have known them online for a few years now and I can't wait to meet the entire gang! I want to pet all of the dogs and see if Laveau or Sid can get to the ball first. We shall, most likely, go to dinner at a restaurant, and terrorize people with our big, scary black hounds.
But before I can get to all of the pizza-eating, beach-going, symposium-attending, and dog-groping I must pack. This is a chore which will test my patience to its limit. Because you see, dearest reader, my dogs brains fall out the moment I remove the suitcase from hiding. They know that the suitcase means travel, and all of the dogs are just sure I will come to a bad end if I do not take them to travel with me.
Usually it goes something like this:
*take out suitcase*
Laveau: "Ohhhh! We go! I will lay in the suitcase so she will have to take me with her!"
Gracy: "I will take the suitcase and hide it because I don't want to go anywhere, and I do not want her to go anywhere, and why can't we all just go out into the yard and kill small rodents!"
Mill'E-Max: "Oh! we're going! Do you need to pack? I'll help you pack! Here, do you need this shirt? What do you mean no, that it's dirty and put it back in the hamper. You are wrong and I will pack it in the suitcase for you. What are your slippers doing in the suitcase? You don't need them in there. Here, I will take them out for you once Laveau gets up from on top of them. Oh look, you are packing treats! Can I have treats? No? Will you give me treats if I bring you my water dish and put it in the suitcase? You will need the water dish if we are going to go on vacation. If you can't take the other dogs, you can just take me because I'm the smartest and most helpful and you will regret it and be sad if you do not take me, and I don't want you to be sad, so take me!"
Bristol: "I love you! I really, really love you. See how closely I'm sticking to your leg? This is so you can't leave me behind. Think of how lonely you will be if you leave me behind. And guilty... you will feel guilty because I was a Jewish mother in my past life and know how to lay on the guilt. You should take me, because if you don't, you will break my heart and that will be on your conscience forever. We wouldn't want that, would we?"
See? It's kind of a mad house once the suitcase comes out.
So I've been putting it off for as long as possible. Today, I found out that I won a new suitcase at an employee appreciation lunch at work. I wasn't actually at the lunch because they were serving shrimp and seeing as how shrimp makes my throat close; I thought it most advisable to stay away. But I won a new suitcase, and my boss is bringing it over shortly, and then it will start, and I don't know if I'll make it to the train without extra weight from a stowaway, or three, in my luggage!