The adventure is about to begin ...

OMG .. I am about to leave for Japan ... not just for a few weeks to visit and travel, but for nearly three months, ... yes THREE months. I'll be teaching two courses at TUJ (Temple University Japan) this summer and have a few weeks tacked on before and after the summer semester.

"Wow," I thought when this opportunity came up. "Wouldn't that be fabulous!" ​

Yes. It will be. When I get there. But getting ready ... that's another story. It's a whole different ballgame getting ready to be away from home for three months than it is for three weeks. My friend Carol was here. She tried to help me adopt a minimalist approach to packing clothes. I kept saying, "Yes, I take that approach but this is for THREE months, not a few weeks!" I have to pack things appropriate for teaching, and things for traveling, and things for relaxing. I can't just buy things in Japan ... not only are they expensive but I'm a 2XL (at least) in Japanese sizing. But I'm mostly packed already, except for all the electronic gadgets and cables that I need to take.

And then there is leaving the house and garden for that length of time. Fortunately I found a lovely young woman to house and cat sit for me. I had a soiree for her to meet the neighbors a few weeks ago and put together a list of names, house numbers, and contact information. Also the name of my vet, and emergency vets (you can tell where my priorities are), my electrician/plumber, handyman, cleaning service, and my brother just for good measure. She moved in April 30. Millie and Lizzie (the female cats) have already bonded with her. Who knows what Maxx will do. At least he has his boots to keep him company.

It's hard leaving the garden right now. The azaleas are in full bloom. One of my clematis has a flower on it. The iris are starting to bloom. The ants are working hard to open the peonies but I'm afraid I am going to miss them in bloom this summer. My helper came in today and we cleaned up the vegetable patch today. I couldn't help myself ... I had some seeds, I had to plant them. We fenced in the garden as an attempt to stop Gus, the groundhog, from eating everything before I get home. If only he'd leave a winning lottery ticket in exchange for eating my plants.

On Sunday, I head to a hotel at Newark Airport for the night and fly out Monday morning. Will arrive in Japan 14+ hours later, sometime Tuesday afternoon. And a few hours after that I will be asleep in my bed at my friend Shoko's house. And I'll be home again. My other home.

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