I knew she’d be trouble.  My week away had wound her up, but it was her persistent hunger pangs that drove her mad.  12 hours between meals for a teenager is too long.  And as much as I wanted to finish reading the history of the sacking of Berwick in 1296, my office was being sacked while I ignored her.  First she got up under my book, pushing it back up to my chest.  I conceded a moment to pet her.  Next came the knocking about of small nuisance items, easy to ignore.  Finally, she got up on the end table, flicked her tail at me and knocked the lamp to the floor, shattering the bulb as it landed upside down.  Point made.  I cleaned up the shards of glass, righted the lamp and fed the cats.  It wasn’t yet dawn, but the fast was broken.

I’ve been reading up on Scottish and English history in preparation for my trip.  I’ll call it a refresher course, as I’ve read much of it before, but with the immediacy of a pending trip I realize what I don’t know.  A personal goal is to never visit a place ignorant of its significance.  As with this trip, there’s so much to digest and so little time.  But we make do with the time we have, don’t we?

Over the summer I smiled at my daughter as she packed and repacked bags for her semester abroad.  Now, just back from a week away and leaving in a few days for my own trip abroad, the joke’s on me.  There’s a lot to do before the trip, not least of which is taking care of matters on the home front before we leave.  Security cameras?  Check.  Alert neighbors to keep an eye on things?  To be checked.  Arrangements to have the cats fed so there’s a house left to come home to?  Definitely checked.

I’ve mentally circled this weekend as the in-between time.  I had a business trip that wrapped up last night, a couple of days to get loose ends tied, and then off to the airport for the next trip.  The preparation is largely done.  The lists are made and ready for checking.  Last minute purchases of toiletries, laundry to do, decisions to be made on what to leave out when the bags grow inevitably overstuffed.  I feel like I just got home (I did), but I’m eager to get going once again.  The travel bug has got ahold of me once again.  My apologies to the cat.