December 4, 2019
Actually, we got back a few days ago. I spent the first couple of days in a fog, fighting jet lag and a weird sense of disorientation.
We returned to a fair amount of chaos. One car with a dead battery, the other with a lapsed inspection sticker and $700 worth of repairs to get it passed. A dead garden, victim of what was apparently the hottest and driest September in history here. French sim cards in our phones, and the US sim cards lost somewhere. Massive tech problems in terms of linking up with the client. Blood pressure still elevated.
All these things take time and effort to sort out. Three months is a long time to be gone. We got back on Saturday night. Now it’s Wednesday and “normalcy” (a word invented, I believe, by Warren G. Harding) has more or less returned.
A couple of Christmases ago, I asked for (and received) a little device that can jump-start your car. You keep it plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter (yes, your car still has a cigarette lighter somewhere). When your battery goes dead, you put the clamps on the negative and positive posts, turn over the engine and you are up and running. I’ve used it twice and it has already paid for itself many times over.
That’s my theme for 2020: Be prepared. I think it is going to be an eventful year, with a lot of strange things happening. Stock up on bottled water, canned tuna, and powdered soups. Put together a “go bag” in case something bad takes place. Stick ten hundred dollar bills and a few gold coins somewhere in your house where you can find it but nobody else can.
I’m not a doomsday prepper or anything of the sort. But I think we could all be a bit more self-reliant. As the saying goes, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.