Tuesday, November 8, 2011

6 Weeks

A glance at the calendar jolted me awake this afternoon. Yes, the calendar. Who needs a shot of espresso when you've got a year-long journey halfway around the world with your husband and three children looming? We've got a mere six(!) weekends left, and one of those will be spent with my extended family in Kerrville, TX over the Thanksgiving holiday.

You may be wondering how The Preparations are coming along (my mom is, at the very least). We fixed our front door lock that suddenly appeared to have crapped out after only 105 years of keeping families safe. When Sam opened it up for some exploratory surgery, it turned out that it only needed a little oiling and it's good as new; man, things were built to last in 1906. We also did some major fall yard cleanup and art teacher hoarding scrap lumber removal.  Winters in Colorado don't allow for showy blooms; I wish that the yard would look prettier when the Aussies arrive, but at least they'll be pleasantly surprised when spring hits.

I'm going to do a dry run of packing up just my stuff this weekend to get an idea of how many bags we're looking at--I was hoping to have one bag per person, with one extra 'stuff' bag (5 sleeping bags will account for most of that one, even with those handy suction bags to reduce their size).  Our Australian counterparts, with one less child than our family, are bringing 8 bags, so I could be terribly underestimating our needs.  We shall see.

Thanks to our awesome Aussie family facilitating the communication/mechanic's inspection/negotiation, we are thisclose to being the proud owners of a used Australian minivan.
You see, we have nearly a month down there before school begins, and I would much rather spend that time camping amongst kangaroos and goannas than dealing with Terribly Boring Logistics (especially because let's face it, Terribly Boring Logistics always fall on my lap, not my husband's).  This car purchase is one huge check off the Terribly Boring Logistics list.  Cars, like everything down there it seems, are more expensive than here, but the 1995 Toyota Tarago (known as a Previa in the United States) should work just fine.

I've been keeping an eye on the Wollongong local newspaper to get an idea of life down there, and this article from yesterday's news (Driver Dies As Car Bursts Into Flames After Hitting Kangaroo) didn't do much to assuage my driving-on-the-left-hand-side-of-the-road fears.  So, not only do we have to make sure we're keeping on the left side, but we also have to dodge kangaroos?  It makes me wish Sam has spent more of his time playing video games; that surely would have prepared him a bit more for this experience.

I have not named a car since my first, the beloved 1974 blue Volkswagen Super Beetle that my parents, in some momentary lapse of judgment, purchased for me the summer before I turned 16 so I could learn how to drive a stick shift.  I sat in the driveway the day I got it, listening to the turn-dial radio, listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Beastie Boys cassette tapes, and thinking that I was the luckiest girl in the world.  He didn't have a name until Tyler Evans (who looked like a game show host even back then, in a good way) in my college Spanish class gave him one, but 'Dexter' fit him perfectly.

I think it's time to name another car, considering the bond we'll have with this one as it will carries us on our travels.  I'm thinking we should call him Ferdinand, after the famous explorer Ferdinand Magellan.  I'll let you know once I see him in person if the name fits. 

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