So after a weekend of pack and schlep, The house looks to be about 70 or 80% emptier. I'm taking today off, since it was a brutal two days, and that included chemo on Friday morning. Yesterday I was a staggering zombie. Luckily we had three other friends show up, and they helped wertperch while I slept in a lawn chair and drooled on the towel I was using as a pillow. Now I'm feeling slightly more human again. Turns out I can still totally redline past my fatigue, but it has gnarly side effects.

We had a great group of friends show up on Saturday morning. They were all fabulous packers and helpers. Several said they might be able to come early Thursday, because of early release, but homework obviously takes precedence. We have all week, so if anyone wants to earn an hours' worth of extra $$$, they can drop by any afternoon, Tuesday-Thursday, to load up the second POD. The PODs are a brilliant moving and storage idea, and if we continue to be this mobile a society, I'm going to buy two. One as my permanent closet, and the other as my permanent art studio. Then we never have to pack or box the $%#^%$#^%& again.

Friday morning we shift gears, and I have to fast and head down for a PET scan. It's feeling pretty loaded - If I have to, I will roll with it, and get three more rounds of chemo. I just REALLY don't want the scan to find anything new. That would bum me out. If that happens, I take a break, and start a new type of chemo when I get back from my trip, yuck-o.

Still, the packing has gone amazingly smoothly, and we expect to be out on time, with a relatively clean house. Yesterday's volunteers repaired a couple of small dings where doors had banged on walls, and one towel rack that had been badly installed. And having a lot of stuff out of the house has given us more breathing room. It's sort of AIRY. Huge blessings on Sumati, without whose stellar organizing skills we would still be buried under frightening mounds of STUFF.

Love to all,

War was never real to me until my little sister was deployed. Yesterday I went to an air show with her husband, his daughter and my own two children. Stunt planes crossed the sky as we drove, my almost three year old niece clapped excitedly while my girls spoke of all the things they wanted to do and see. On the bus a stranger gave us an extra ticket. That saved me some admission money but since my children had not been able to find their hats at home I ended up paying a premium for sun protection at the air show.

I'm not sure what I expected to get out of the air show as military matters have never particularly interested me. The entire time my sister was over in Iraq I couldn't watch the news or follow current events because the idea that she was being shot at, bombed and living with a gas mask handy was too much for me to handle. If I'm honest with myself I know I couldn't have handled an experience like that. I don't know how she got through it and I'm kind of glad that she has a medical discharge and the U.S. Army paid for her back surgery although she probably wouldn't have needed the operation had she not been called to serve.

Walking through the air show with my sister's husband made me wish that my sister could have come with us. As various types of aircrafts took to the skies the girls complained because it was so loud. The mock battle was interesting to watch but the girls couldn't really see what was happening so they remained unimpressed. The sun was so hot I took the kids to the side of trailer so they could stay in the shade for a while. My brother-in-law said he wanted to see The Thunderbirds and we could leave after that. Privately I wondered how the girls were going to hold up for that long but I figured I could always take them back by myself if I had to.

Watching The Thunderbirds seemed like an epic moment in my life and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it was because I went with someone who has been a soldier for almost twenty years. He told me the sound of liftoff was one he heard almost hourly when he was over in Iraq and Afghanistan. For as long as I've known my brother-in-law I've never talked to him about what political party he supports or how he feels about the party that is currently in power. Standing beneath the burning sun I found myself in awe of the stunts performed around me even as I thought about the environmental impact of hosting an event such as an air show.

Probably the thing that stuck with me is the level of trust these people have to have in each other. My job isn't nearly as important as theirs is obviously, still I can't imagine someone else flying within feet of another aircraft especially at supersonic speeds. Clearly trust, communication and an absolute commitment to teamwork must come together before crowds can witness what this marriage of man and machine can accomplish. Flying isn't really my thing so I was unprepared for how hard the air show hit me on a personal level. Crying in public is nothing new for me but normally I'm not digging tissues out of my purse because a crackly version of God Bless America is playing so loudly I can hardly hear myself think.

Throughout the day I thought about a lot of things that normally don't trouble me. I spent a lot of time thinking about patriotism and what being a good citizen of my country meant to me. Around me I found myself almost in contempt of people who I saw as representative of the great unwashed; after that I started thinking about what it meant to be a good soldier and traveling across the world to fight for something you may or may not agree with personally. I'm not sure I arrived at any conclusions but it did make me see how important discipline, training, communication and trust were if you are in the military. Maybe one of the things that frustrates me is seeing people with so much potential who are unwilling to exercise a little self-restraint to do things that they know will make them better people.

Introspection (which I associate with daylogs) is always difficult for me. Inevitably I find myself avoiding what I start out intending to write about mainly because I'm uncomfortable with the person I see when I look at myself. Driving home I made some plans to change the way I live my life yet today it's Monday and I don't have a concrete plan to change anything. Yesterday I spent way more money than I should have, my brother-in-law did too but he didn't seem affected by it like I did. I believe that people are in my life for a reason. Today on Memorial Day I am thankful that my sister and brother-in-law are still in my life because there was a time when I feared they wouldn't be. Going forward I'm going to start doing things for other people that are out of my comfort zone. I went over budget at the air show, we all came home hot, sweaty and tired but we have some new memories and for me, that makes it all worth it.

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