Noticeably different in my life as you read this, I will be two thirds of the way to the airport to drop off my wife and daughter for a one month visit to the Philippines before Mrs. Abbey begins residency for the third time in her life. I'm not worried about them getting along over there but I am worried about the getting over there part. My wife is strong and will get the job done but I know I would be worried if I knew that I was going to be cooped up in a tin tube for nearly 24 hours with a two and a half year old that I need to keep entertained. My normal routine for long distance flying is taking lots of sedative type drugs so I sleep the time away. This option isn't available with a kid.
We made the decision for me to stay home last fall when we bought the plane tickets at perhaps the apex of their price. The same ticket is now $700 cheaper. We didn't want to spend the money for a third ticket (you know the whole economy thing) and I just didn't have the time off. Because this is my third job in a dozen years, I have restarted at the bottom of the scale three times. If I still have a job at the end of this year, I will have three weeks vacation for the first time in my adult life but for now I only have two. Because I hope Mrs. Abbey will be starting residency later this summer, I am going to have to be Mr. Mom which means when Little Abbey gets sick or the daycare lady needs a vacation, I have to spend days of vacation at home. So that left perhaps only a week to use on a trip to the Philippines and with essentially four of those days spent traveling there and back, it just didn't seem worth it. Plus, I think it will allow for a less stressed out mother-in-law when she doesn't have to entertain me or speak English.
This will be the first time in over five years that I have been alone. Thankfully I have tales of R. Sherman doing similar stints alone at home while the wife and kids are overseas so I know if is survivable. I know it will be easier to live alone for a month than keeping a kid entertained on a plane for 24 hours but I'm not looking forward to it. I will have to actually do the laundry instead of just help fold it and I'm going to have to cook all my meals instead of just the evening meals during the weekdays. Perhaps the biggest concerns will be going from having a noisy house full of the voice of a chattering two and a half year old to nothing at all.
I have thought this out and think the best solution is to stay busy and to do projects that would be hard to do while entertaining a chatty two and a half year old. Have I mentioned that my daughter likes to talk? So this narrowed things down to a home remodeling project and I only had three currently on my list. Two of them were to remodel the two bathrooms but getting close and personal with a toilet or shower just didn't seem like what I had in mind. So I am going with option three, remodeling the last part of the house that I can still call as my territory, the garage.
It serves its purpose of keeping two cars out of the snows of winter and rains of summer as well as housing other essentials of daily life such as bicycles, boats, strollers, tools, etc. It even had a small work bench that I made once upon a time when I lived in an apartment. But it is dark, dingy and getting kind of cluttered. So I am taking a $100 gift certificate that I got for Christmas and putting that into sprucing things up a bit and perhaps getting things better organized. My hope is that I will actually have some space to do some more projects without having to work around my wife's potting area, juggle power tools from storage to workspace and back again just to keep some space free. I'm sure I will have several posts with pictures as I progress with the project for the next month.