a day for unhappenings…

So, did anything happen today? Have you ever been asked that question, and wondered exactly what that means? Well, of course, things happened. I woke up this morning. I ate breakfast. I brushed my teeth. These things all happened. Of course, the questioner really wants to know if anything exciting or interesting occurred. Ah, then you wonder if what I consider exciting will be of interest to you. The fact is that what I consider interesting… it generally isn’t interesting to anybody but myself and my loved ones.

Now, please note that I’m actually referring to the real definition of ‘interesting’. It means something that is exciting or holds the INTEREST of a person. This does not refer to those times when someone asks your opinion and you tell them it’s “interesting”, because you don’t want to incriminate yourself. Like the words “good” (How was your day?) and “nice” (What did you think of them?), it’s become a word that means next to nothing.

You see, then, that life is interesting if it holds your interest. Captures your attention. Makes you want to know more about it. And by this definition, I find the most dull and commonplace (according to others) occurrences to be of great interest.

Enough with the rambling, I’m sure you get my drift. It was a day for everyday happenings that I happened to enjoy tremendously or found fascinating or frustrating at different points.

My older brother asked me yesterday if I wanted to DO anything before I left on Sunday. Like what? Well, go out to eat at a certain place or go to the range and go shooting or anything. I thought about that, and decided between the fact that I have a lot to do, I’ve packed away my pistol & ammo, and that my last few trips to the range resulted in a colossal headache by the end of the day. I’ll save that for an outing when I return from Australia. Sissy? Missish, you say? Phhbbttp. You can pack and repack my suitcase while I go shooting, if you’d rather.

For some reason, the other day, I started thinking about Olive Garden and their chicken & gnocchi soup. I don’t know why this sounded particularly delicious, but it did, so I asked my brothers if they could do lunch this week. Between two engineering students’ schedules, we managed to figure out that we could have lunch today. Dan would return home from school in time to run out to Anderson, and we’d have to be back on the road by 1 pm, so he could get to his next class.

I think I introduced two of my three brothers present (one’s out of state right now) to Olive Garden for thefirst time. Not a very substantial accomplishment, but it was fun being the “in-the-know” person, for once, considering my older brother is familiar with all the other restaurants in the area. We were able to fill up on soup, salad and bread sticks, to our hearts’ content, while waiting for the entrees.

Gnocchi has a funny place in our family “lore”, as we all have recollections of my dad joking about making some, but I never had any idea what “nyucky” was. I had this vague idea that it was some Japanese dish that was very unfortunately named. Who would want to eat something that had “yucky” as part of its name? What were the creators thinking? I was unaware that my dad was suggesting he could make small potato dumplings for soup or some other dish. Since he’s made homemade ravioli, spaghetti noodles, tortellini (I think) and other pasta before, this was well within his ability. We just assumed it was a threat of something disgusting.

But if you’ve ever eaten the soup at Olive Garden, then you know they serve a delicious soup with chicken and little gnocchi dumplings. They also have some other lovely soups, but as I’ve often thought, why swerve away from a favorite? The hot, soft bread sticks with their garlic butter coating are pretty yummy, too. My friends and some of my family usually enjoy the salad, but since I don’t like most of the ingredients that go into their salad, I leave it alone.

We managed to stuff ourselves and leave at a reasonable time, and I asked someone to take our picture, outside. I don’t think it’s all that great, but if I can edit it ok, I’ll post it. All I wanted was a recent picture of us to take with me. We were only missing Joe, our fifth sibling.

After I got back, I began to comb over my suitcases again, moving things around and taking items out. Then, close it up and pull it over to the scale. Remove something else and try again. At present, I have both suitcases at slightly over 50lbs apiece, my carry-on is filling up, and so is my laptop bag.

The latter, by the way, is a BumBakPak that arrived in the mail last night at 10:40pm. Who knew that FedEx worked so late? But if you’ve never seen any of the BBP bags, they’re awesome for carrying your laptop and all sorts of stuff in them. It’s a hybrid that can change from a messenger bag to a backpack, and the weight is carried above your backside, rather than high on your back, like most backpacks. Two or three of my brothers have them, and now I have my own to stuff to the brim before my plane trip. I really love the idea of the low-riding backpack, because not only do my brothers think its comfortable, my shoulder gets tired just from carrying my purse sometimes. So, imagine carrying a full laptop case around that’s stuff with other items, as well? It also has zippered slits that allow it to be put over the metal pull-handle on my carry-on case. So, when my shoulders get tired, I can stack them and pull with just the one handle. Handy!

I am considering (and not happy about it) the idea of emptying each of my suitcases completely, and starting over, trying to find a handful of items to leave out. Of course, if I left the shampoo and conditioner behind, that would help, but I want to bring them, so I don’t have to buy some right away when I arrive. Because, for sure and certain, I’m going to need a shower when I arrive at my destination. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. When you take your next 15hr plane trip with untold numbers of people, you will, too.

But I’ve cut back on so many items, I really don’t want to cut back on more. But since I shouldn’t be paying the cost of my first two suitcases (because I’m flying international), I’d really like to avoid fees for them being overweight, as well. Hopefully I can decide on something that isn’t too painful to leave behind. And before anybody who knows me makes any snide comments, with the exception of my Bible, there isn’t a single book in my luggage. And most of my stationery/writing stuff is in my carry-on. Sigh. Such is life and travel.

So, that’s what happened today. Was any of it exciting? Enthralling? Well, maybe not to you. But to me…it was fun… and it was very interesting!

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