It’s Time To Check In!

by

The e-mail cheerily declared when I opened it this afternoon at work while on my lunch break.

Already?

Wait, a minute.

I’m not ready.

But I am.

I am ready.

I am ready to see my family and declare myself a part of.

It is scary, what are they going to think of my hot pink hair and glitter?

And it is exhilarating.

Maybe I will get a straight answer as to how my last name is with an “s” rather than a “z.”

I know the story of it, but I realized, my parents are unreliable narrators.

So too, am I.

I was reflecting on what I write here and what I say, and don’t say, and how this is my voice, but it is also a “voice” I am actually, if you can believe it, quite shy and retiring.

“I knew it was you as soon as I saw you and you hid in your hair, just like I do when I am nervous,” said my cousin, oldest daughter of my favorite uncle when I first met her.

I met her about eleven and a half, perhaps 12 years ago.

I have met a couple of my cousins on my father’s side, and I know my favorite Uncle, who was ridiculous and cute on the phone with me earlier today when I called to check in regarding my flight itinerary.

“You know what we’re doing Friday morning?” He asked me.

“Ah, nope,” I smiled, but I could hear adventure in his voice.

“We’re going to watch that movie, you know the one,” my uncle said with no question in his voice what he was talking about at all.

Mad Max.

“We’re going to see Mad Max!” I almost jumped up and down like a little kid, “yay!  I haven’t seen it yet.”

“It’s totally Burning Man from what I hear,” I said.

“Completely!” My uncle agreed, “I was going to go to that theater that all the Gate and Perimeter people rented in Oakland to see the movie, but well, it was in Oakland.”

My uncle goes to Burning Man.

And right there.

I assuage my feelings.

My little girl, I’m not enough feelings.

My uncle will be there and we will talk about Burning Man and I am ok and this is family.

And we will know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.

I realized, I will know how to handle myself when I show up.

It’s not that I am some sort of heathen, I have manners, I know how to be a good guest, and I am really interested in finding out more about my family history.

I want to know all about Hawaii and my ancestry there, which I know little to nothing about.

Odd fragments that my mom told me, a memory of a book of poems and essays that my father once sent me that had a picture of the first truck on the islands, supposedly my great, great, grandfather’s vehicle?

I don’t know.

But I want to know.

I am also grateful that I am getting to go but not make a big fuss over it.

I am not trying to pack being a tourist into it.

Oh, there’s some touristy things happening, my cousin is going to take me to the Balboa Park area and we’re going to go wander around the museums.

I am just a whore for museums.

Art really.

And museum gift shops.

I told the boys today that I would miss them, and I will, despite today being a trying day with them, I swear someone slipped them sugar when I wasn’t looking.

They were off the wall with energy.

I also told them I would send them a postcard.

And I will.

I will also send myself a postcard, a small, happy reminder that usually ends up getting back to me a week or so after I have returned from a trip.

I have postcards from Paris, London, San Francisco, Venice Beach, Rome, New York, Black Rock City, Anchorage, and they are scattered all over my fridge along with magnets from the various museums I have visited while in the city.

It’s a really sweet way to remind myself of the journey.

“Are you all packed?” My ride to the airport tomorrow checked in with me as we were walking up the hill toward the Sunset Youth Services this evening.

“Close,” I said, stretching the truth mightily.

However.

I pack fast and I am getting up at my regular time tomorrow morning so that I can write and get right with God before going on my little sojourn.

I’m gone for three and a half days, I won’t need much.

I pulled my suitcase out of the closet before I left and threw some laundry in the wash so that I will have all the clothing options I want.

I marveled, I still am, actually.

At the size of my roll on suitcase.

It is the same one I took with me to Paris and lived out of for six months.

Six months.

Out of that one small bag.

And what I could fit in my messenger bag.

I am not going to bring that however, just my purse and my laptop and a notebook.

And sandals.

Fingers crossed the weather will be sunnier than it’s been here.

I was looking at my phone’s weather app earlier and wondered what in the world the forecast icon was, it looked like rain, but it was not rain.

It was an icon for fog.

I realized as I was rolling home though the Pan Handle, the forecast was for fog.

I was drenched when I got home.

It might as well have been rain.

And the forecast is looking like that for the next few days.

It’s not super warm in San Diego, but it sure looks sunnier and I will happily take low 70s versus mid to high 50s for temperatures.

I may even pack a pair of sandals.

I’ll be ready.

The dryer is almost done.

The blog is almost writ.

The feelings are still there, a pinch of anxiety, a bit of excited nervousness.

And a lot of joy.

I get to go do this.

I get to amend my ways and show up and be the grand-daughter my grandmother deserves to have in her life.

I get to be a grand-daughter, a niece, a cousin, a part of.

I get to go be with family.

I’m pretty sure they will accept me.

Pink hair and all.

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