Leaving life behind

Every Thanksgiving the Wall St Journal runs an editorial (The Desolate Wilderness) that tells in part the story of the Pilgrims voyage to America. They leave behind all their friends and all that they know, and go forth into a life unknown with few resources and little help besides each other. In our small journey we’ve gained some appreciation of how the Pilgrims must have felt, though we have a great deal more in resources and assistance. Still leaving the Pacific Northwest and all of our friends, detaching from the world of work, and making arrangements to care for, store, or dispose of almost all of our worldly goods was a daunting task. I can’t help but recognize that any immigrant coming to America these days is making these same sacrifices-in most cases many more. The Pilgrims must have been really motivated to do all that it takes to leave life behind. The same can probably be said of any immigrant to our country.

Note from 30-42 Avenue de Paris in Vincennes/Jet Lag

IMG_0005So it’s 3 AM in Vincennes. I am quietly reading “Paris Paris, Journey Into The City of Light” on my Kindle, being careful not to wake Hugh. He is sleeping so peacefully. Right in a good part, Kindle shuts down. There is no warning. Just “Kindle Is Shutting Down,” blip, black screen, nothing. I am wide awake in the dark-Kindle is back lighted so I had no room lighting on. I find the switch by the bed. No luck. It switches but no light comes on. I ease out of the Murphy bed. Across the room only 6 steps away is my iPad plugged into my new Western European adaptor. I left it charging because it is downloading a must see movie, “The Sessions,” at glacial pace over the free Hotel Wi Fi. In three more days I should be able to watch it. By the light of the screen I figure out that I don’t have the Kindle App on the iPad. Will downloading that also take 3 days? I remember that my iPhone is siting on the desk  3 steps from the kitchen counter. It is also plugged into a Western European adaptor. Feeling my way in the dark I find the chain for the desk lamp. This won’t shed much light. Hugh won’t be disturbed. The iPhone has email that I know how to use. I have learned to reconnect to the free hotel Wi Fi only because repeating  the process 15 or so times has burned it into my memory. One step back to the bed. I read 9 emails from friends. I laugh only to myself while tapping out witty responses. Hugh does not wake up. There is no more I can figure out how to do with the iPhone. It does not have the Kindle App either. I must find the cord for the Kindle.

IMG_0004Hugh wakes up as I am rummaging through cupboards. He joins the search. 20 minutes of suitcase scrounging, opening the mini safe, unzipping bathroom cosmetic cases, feeling floors under the bed, moving carefully piled clothes. He finds the Fannie pack. It contains a black cord. That must be it! He keeps searching in case there is another better looking cord. He is now fully awake and enjoying the process. There isn’t another better cord. We plug in the Kindle. We decide to risk interruption of the epic movie download to use the iPad to write notes in Evernote. We should take a photo! How does that work? Now we are hungry. We had gone out to eat our first meal, and though we visited the Monoprix afterwards we didn’t buy, only looked and gasped at the prices of the food. We are laughing because we have figured out that French people are thin because they cannot afford to eat. We remember that there is chocolate in the hotel welcome box. We are saved! But will this Evernote entry auto save??????