Archive for May, 2022


May 23, 2022
Close to landing, about 20 days ago

This was a working vacation. That meant I continued to go to meetings and even gave a presentation or two. These were done in one of the two rooms on the 11th floor with wifi and places to sit. Only on a few days did work work come close to 8 hours.

Apartment view. Queensboro bridge and Manhattan

Then there was the I am here to help work. A few feedings of the small child, diapers here and there, but mostly I was providing support so the new parents could provide those baby-centric tasks. That meant washing bottles and pumping equipment, into the sterilizer, out again, and repeat. Trash duty, dishwasher duty, bathroom duty, sweeping, make coffee and help with shopping.

Dishes being done in the background

And don’t forget the cat. Feeding and trying to keep him quiet and out of their bedroom in the morning. This cat opens doors readily and complains when it is blocked. He managed to defeat most of our attempts, except the weight blocking the door. Of course he could still jiggle the handle, which is where my duties came to bear.

Master of all he surveys
Theo starting his duties as the older brother, demonstrating how to open doors

Walked to the waterfront twice, the grocery store more often and a few trips to the post office. There were a few days I don’t think I strayed from the apartment.

A boy and his toys
But I don’t need to burp

Carl arrived on day 16 to lend a hand and to meet grandson number 3.

And then Allen’s mother Germaine arrived as well for a few days. It was great to catch up and share Elijah.

Manhatten and the Empire State Building as a backdrop
Germaine and Elijah bonding

Today we will get an Uber back to JFK and wing our way west. This will be the first visit to NYC that did not include a subway ride!

JFK time for the return
I’m number 1, although Theo may disagree


May 2, 2022

I have been packing little by little for the past few days. My cousin was talking about packing over the years, and it got me thinking. Our family used to have a fairly stressful start to vacations because there was a lot to do, and we were all doing bits,but maybe not coordinated. Eventually we got into a rhythm of who would be doing what.

I was lead packer.

How many days/underwears do I need?

X number …

They would gather and I would fit. Others were in charge of food, toys, books, whatever. Being the west coast family we were usually limited by suitcase size. The car trips seemed luxurious in terms of space available.

When the kids moved out, so did most of our suitcases and duffel bags. Most we don’t miss because they did not have wheels. I do have 1 suitcase that may not get used again, at least on public transportation, but I can’t bear to part with. My Mother’s suitcase that she used, including her trip to Europe after college with three friends. One of the friends, an artist, did a drawing of the four – and the suitcase is included, showing the sticker for the boat crossing. The sticker is still in place. I did used to use the suitcase, it has traveled many miles.

Back to the present. I am traveling solo for this leg of the trip. But will be followed after a bit by Carlos.

I found myself starting to do his packing as well. Not too much. Just gathering the few bits and pieces into the staging area.

Some habits are hard to break.

The build up to the trip has been the usual. Working voluminous hours to get as much done as possible in the normal environment. Even though there will still be work done on this “vacation”. I have at least two meetings on Wednesday. And I realized too late today that I don’t have any headphones… I have the luxury of not needing them at home….

I made lists starting last week and got through most of the important or time sensitive items. Like staking the raspberries, but not dismantling the 30+ year old exercise bike.

And of course, the reason for the trip

And to see Ashlan and Allen again.