Yesterday we shipped the Mazda car. A big tractor trailer truck came, and the man drove little Blueberry Car on board and away. It makes this whole thing feel very Real. We shipped it now so it will be there waiting for us upon arrival, and we’ll have a way to get around. The plan is to drive it there for the year, all six of us scrunching and not growing or breathing too much. Before we come back, we’ll sell it used over there and hopefully get enough for it to come back and buy a used vehicle here to replace our aging van. Kind friends are loaning us a car when they go on vacation in a few weeks, but until then we are a one car family and Zeus is going to get all buff biking to work. By paying a bit extra to ship the car, we were able to send it packed. “The essentials,” Zeus said when we discussed this months ago, “you know: snow tires, skis, ski boots, ski jackets.” Hmmm…that’s the essentials??? I thought. What about clothing? A pot or pan or two? Happily, there was space for some of those as well. In the end, I decided not to send my nice pots and pans and figured I can get some IKEA ones for a year, if we don’t find what we need in the parental attic. I did, however, send one new cast iron pan, as they are hard to find over there (they are standard American cowboy equipment, don’tcha know) and I couldn’t live without one for a year. Actually I couldn’t even live two months without one, and I had to get a new one on sale at Fred Meyer’s to send. There are just so many nummy and eeeeeasy dinners that cook up nicely in that one pan: Frittatas, ratatouille, Dutch babies… We also put in winter clothes for all of us and summer clothes for Hermes to grow into next year. A couple books and hymnals, a spare guitar. Now that it’s gone, bound for Los Angeles, the Panama Canal, Le Havre and other exotic sounding places, I am having some regrets – why didn’t I get a big bag of Baking Soda at Costco to send? I recall once long ago trying to find the right translation and then having to visit a special drogerie to find it. When I told the druggist that I wanted to bake with it, his eyes nearly popped out of his head as if I’d said I wanted to put motor oil in my muffins. Vile Americans! he seemed to me to be thinking, as I purchased my tiny package of baking soda in a much mortified state. Now I am less insecure and would say, “That’s right, Baby, I’ll use it to cook and clean and brush my teeth!” Well, anyway, I guess that’s what I’ll have to do, seeing as I didn’t go to Costco and send a mega bag in the car. I didn’t get the huge roll of Stretch-Tite plastic wrap either, which aggravates the marrow of my soul, but I ran out of time. Now I will have to make do with small rolls of plastic wrap that doesn’t cling properly. Unless, of course Swiss plastic wrap has improved in the past twelve years, which is quite possible. And as far as hardships go, these are pretty lame, so I will cease my whining and be grateful that when we arrive in July, our ski boots will be waiting. Little Blueberry Car, off to see the World.