Waiting Game

It's as if I'm suspended in time waiting for Sunday to arrive.  What happens Sunday, you ask?  That's the day I board an airplane in Portland for my trip to Ireland.  I'll fly first to Seattle where I'll meet up with the rest of my group, and then on to Chicago, and then on to Dublin.

When I signed up for the trip, a kit to make this quilt was supposed to be included.  As time wore on, I realized that the image had been removed from the website, and there was no mention of it.  When I inquired about it, I was informed that it had become too expensive to provide gratis to all the participants, and that they had removed all references from their promotional materials.  Apparently not, since I posted about it and included the image back in August.  Oh well.  They did offer to obtain a kit for me at a cost of something on the order of $65, but I declined.  I think I can probably figure this out for myself.  I just need more green fabric . . . which I can probably find in Ireland, don't you think?

So that brings me back to the waiting game part of my trip.  This is the week when I make a mad dash around trying to clean things up, cook things up to freeze for Mike (so the poor dear won't starve while I'm gone), make sure there's plenty of cat food, charge a zillion batteries for my electronic devices (I'll be able to charge them in Ireland too, but I always start out with a full charge).  I need to make sure I have all the medications I need, and I need to make my list and check it thrice to be sure I don't leave anything behind.  It's all rather tedious and anxiety provoking.

It's exciting to be going on a trip like this, and I've been waiting a long time for the day to arrive.  Still I'm somewhat apprehensive as well.  To begin with, I'm a fearful flyer, although I'm usually okay once I get on the plane.  It doesn't help that we have only 35 minutes between flights in Chicago.  Having run from one concourse to another in the Chicago airport on a different European adventure, I'm none too happy about such a short connection.  I'm somewhat less worried about it since I'll be traveling with a large group.  If I miss the flight, we will all miss it. . . and someone else will be responsible for fixing things.

Also, I'm a little apprehensive because the last time I traveled abroad alone, I had a difficult period of time when I came home.  I had worked myself too hard before leaving, and then the trip (while wonderful in most respects) had its share of challenges.  I was a screaming meemie by the time I got home, and got terribly sick for a long time afterward.  This is a completely different kind of trip since I'm traveling with a group and not responsible for my travel arrangements, as I was on the previous trip.  Things should go much more smoothly with someone else telling me where to be at any given time.  While this might seem constraining to some, I'm sort of looking forward to this kindergartner treatment.  Heck.  I even have a name tag in case I get lost.

Another thing I'm apprehensive about is having a stranger for a roommate.  We corresponded once by email.  Her name is Carla and she lives in Alaska.  She's my age, never married, and no children.  She is a computer programmer, and she has two cats.  It's tempting to say that anyone who has two cats must be an okay person, and that's what I've been telling myself and everyone else.  I'm taking her a little bag of hazelnuts from Oregon as a gesture of friendliness.  The other thing I'm assuming about her is that she is a quilter . . . otherwise, why would she be going on the trip?  She told me this is her third trip with this group, and that seems like a positive sign.  Still, people have their little foibles, and I'm no exception.  Hopefully, we won't get on one another's nerves.  It would be wonderful to return from Ireland with a new friend in Alaska.  That's what I'm hoping for, but I worry about it nonetheless.

So those are the things I'm thinking about, and I haven't started packing yet.  I probably won't start packing until the end of the week.  It's all going to be fine, right?  Mike has a good philosophy about traveling, which is that things will go wrong, and to just expect it.  If things go wrong, I won't be surprise.  If they don't, I'll be thrilled.  On the bright side, they speak English in Ireland, and so the language barrier should be minimal.  If I get lost, I'll be able to ask directions.  And if I'm too wigged out to ask for directions, then I'll just wail and moan and show my name tag to some passerby.  They'll get the idea, don't you think?  Crying is very powerful, I've discovered.

So to while away the hours, I did a little sewing this afternoon.  I finished the latest block for the Blogger's BOM.  This block was created by Cathy at Cabbage Quilts.  Can you believe we're on the ninth block already?  Here's my block:

This is going to be a fun and colorful quilt when it's all put together.  I'm still finishing up the embroidery on the Promises & Borders quilt block and I still need to put the borders on my the latest Vintage Miniature Sewing Machine block.  I'm sewing on my old Janome while my Bernina is in the shop.  It's the first time I've used it since I got the Bernina.  What a difference!  The Janome is working fine, but it wants to pull the fabric  crooked under the needle, and so I find myself struggling to sew in a straight line.  Also, I'm used to the Bernina knee lift, and I keep banging my knee against the side of the table trying to raise the presser foot.  (What?  I have to use my hand???)  My Bernina has spoiled me.  I guess I'll forgive it for acting up while I was free motion quilting the other day . . . IF it comes back with its attitude adjusted.  I don't expect I'll see it again until I'm back from my trip.

So, I'll say this again in several posts, but I want you to know that I'll be blogging along the way, assuming I have internet access.  (My experience with internet access in Europe has taught me to expect nothing and to be glad if it works.)  I'll also be able to text and use my mobile Blogger iPhone app to post pictures.  I may not post a lot of text because I don't like tippy-typing on that tiny iPhone keyboard, but I will send you some images, so continue to check back.  Hopefully, I'll do more than that since I like to keep a running journal of what I'm doing when I travel.  

For now, I'll just keep biting my nails for a few days.  When the day comes to start packing, I'll probably relax a little bit.

21 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

You sound like me, I over think things, prepare too much and then I am exhausted before I even leave and come home sick, lol. It is a shame that they don't have the supplies that they mentioned though, does't seem fair.


make.share.give said...

It's all gonna be great! Your flight and 35 minute run through the airport will be easy. Your Alaska roomie is gonna love you and the hazelnuts.
My travel tip- make sure and pack some m&ms, too.

quiltzyx said...

Yep, definitely some M&Ms to go too!
I would guess that your cat-loving roomie is a quilter as well. And unless she turns out to be a member of the(GASP!!!) QUILT POLICE, there will be no problems there either. If she does carry a badge, you can just stick your fingers in your ears & hum "la la la la la la la". :^)

I KNOW you are going to have a FABulous time in Ireland & I can barely wait to see the photos you'll be posting!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Have a great time in Ireland. I'm sure you will enjoy your trip and have lots to share when you come back.

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Oh, I'm getting so excited for you, but I certainly understand your apprehensions. Take your vitamins and don't skimp on your sleep! (said with a smile,in my best Mama voice)Do you have a hand sewing project to take along for the flight? I'll be eagerly looking forward to your updates!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Just enjoy!!

sunny said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip, and that everything goes smoothly!! Can't wait to see pictures.

PJ said...

you will have a great trip. It's OK to worry about things, then go and have fun. We'll miss you and your great stories and pictures.

BTW, I'm bad, I forgot to write you about something to try with your BSR. When working on batik fabrics, because they are so densely woven, try a Stretch Needle, size 90/14. It will push the fibers apart instead of piercing them and the needle will slide through the fabric easier because of the coating on the outside of the Stretch needle to form the stitch.

Dana Gaffney said...

You're going to have so much fun! Hopefully at the end of the day, you and your roommate will be exhausted and sleeping, no worries. When you get back you need to revisit this post so you can laugh at yourself and these worries. Thanks for the definition of the Screaming Memes, that's what I call those wake at 3 A.M. worries.

Margaret said...

I know what you mean about traveling along. I went on a bus trip to Paducka (sp?) last year. I didn't know anyone that was going and I was rooming with someone I had never met. I panic when I can't stop when I want or be able to just do whatever. It was a fun trip and I made some new friends and had a good time. None of the bad things that I expected to happen occurred so all was good. I would like to go again sometime. I would really like to go on the trip you are taking but I would have to fly and I have never done that. Not sure I want to.

Diane Wild said...

I am so jealous of your upcoming adventure. My grandparents emigrated from Ireland and I've often fantasized about traveling there one day. You will have a wonderful time with many tales to tell. Imagine all the blogging fodder.

Anonymous said...

Try not to worry so much, and enjoy the trip of a life time.

sew.darn.quilt said...

What an adventure you're about to embark on! So many of us will be "green" with envy but we will also be wishing you nothing but good times and making some fantastic memories. Try not to stress, I'm sure your potential roomy is a little anxious too ;0).
Main thing is to enjoy yourself and please take a ton of pictures!

c. Joy said...

Have fun. Don't try to do too much for your husband - let him miss you and your cooking for a bit. It will give him a chance to eat food you don't like. Also, if you see something and think you want it, maybe you'll get it later, BUY IT. You won't pass that way again, and if you get home and think "I really don't want this." You have a gift for someone. Enjoy -before, during and after. Don't be so hard on yourself. Have fun.

Snoodles said...

Take a deep breath. Pull your fingers away from your mouth, so you will not bite your nails. Now relax....you are going to have a ball, and all of us will be green with envy! Praying for safe travels and wonderful memories for you! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to seeing all the great pictures when you come home. I think a group is a terrific idea! If one wants to go alone, that can happen another time, but I'd rather go the first time with someone who knows what's going on. =) Fabulous plans!

Your block looks terrific. Love those bright fabrics and the modern look to it.

Kate Brown said...

You are going to have a fabulous time! Just relax and go with the flow, like you said it is a big group, just let them sweep you along so you dont get lost.
I always get sick when I fly. My cousin that travels constantly for work use to also. He said that he drinks alot of water on the flight and was told that stuff you take to build up immune system during cold and flu season helps. Might be woth a try.
I hope you have a great time!

LethargicLass said...

Your roomate would be crazy not to adore you lol... I know what you mean though, traveler's anxiety can get the best of us, and I am a pretty well-seasonsed traveller myself. $65 for what was supposed to be a free kit? Talk about bad planning LOL!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Too bad you don't have a layover in Chicago. I'd love to get to see you. Have fun in Ireland.

Janet said...

Hope you have a ton of fun! Ireland is at the top of my "I want to visit" list.

Linda Coleman said...

Dia duit Barbara (hello in Irish)
I hope you enjoy your trip to our little island. We have been having brilliant weather for the past two weeks (very unusual for us to get such good weather) so I hope you get good weather for your trip. We do speak English as our first language but you will be going to Galway which is the Gaeltacht area where they speak Irish as their first language (not so much in the cities but certainly out in the countryside). Here are a few helpful phrases to get you through

Dia duit (hello)
Slan (goodbye)
Taim go maith (I am good)
Ca bhfuil an leithreas (where is the toilet)
Ta ocras orm (I am hungry)
Ba mhaith liom cupan tae (I would like a cup of tea)

Slat leat anois (goodbye for now ) agus bfheider go feiceimid tu fein sa Gailimh (and maybe I will see you in Galway)