China, Denise, Chicago

My parents with Vince and our exchange student Irving in the library of my mother’s high school on Chong Ming island near Shanghai.

Miss a few blogging days and life just keeps tumbling forward. I’m going to try out this new blogging platform ( and see how it works. I’m paying for hosting and I’m going to start having the photos directly imported into the website. So much trouble. I was in such a despair over this (and other things) yesterday that I actually went to the gym and started my workout and then I gave up on it and went to McDonald’s. I think it’s been years since I’ve done that.

Vince giving the class speech at Chongming High School.

Vince’s trip to China was amazing and fun. Unlike his summer trip to language camp a few years ago, this trip was pure American tourism. At summer camp, he was expected to explore the city and talk to the residents and manage more things on his own. This school-arranged trip was run in the standard tour group way – a lot of things to do, regimented to the half-hour and relatively isolated from the non-tourist population. He did not need to access from the dusty recesses of his brain various Chinese phrases, he did not need to tone down his American-ness. He emphasised to me when he got home, I did all the proper tourist behaviors and it was so much fun!

Dancing on the Great Wall.
Freaking out at the Oriental Pearl Tower – Shanghai.
Group photo at the Great Wall.

After we came home from LA and Vince came home from China, we welcomed Denise for a few days. Denise was our au pair from 2011. It was really wonderful to see her. I forget how much has changed since she’s left. Of course, Ruby is gone and the kids are grown. She said she would not have recognized Vince if he was walking past her in a store.

Denise and Edda at the Woodley Gardens park.

I worked at the hospital on Tues and Wed – a tough shift on Tues, a better one on Wed. Often – so often – at 4pm on a tough shift day, I’m like what the hell am I actually doing? I am stupid, stupid, stupid. I could be home eating a bag of Doritos and watching some excellent Netflix. I can not possibly keep doing this. But I inexplicably keep going. Last week, I had a shift where none of my patients spoke English. It was Spanish, Vietnamese and French Creole. Chinese is surprisingly unhelpful at my job. Almost all the other Asian languages seem to be ahead.

On Thursday, Jeremy and I had a date night. A date night meaning a day that we would have dinner together at home. Actually, for our date night, we had the kids and Edda’s caregiver, Kitachi, and then I invited Brian and Ning and baby Noah over for dinner as well – so I’m not sure how much of a date night it was. But actually, after dinner, Jeremy and I cleaned the kitchen together and talked for an hour! A whole hour! By ourselves. That was so nice – hardly happens that much these days. I need to change that.

And then on Friday, Jeremy flew to Chicago. He was suppose to fly home tonight. Until I got this text from him this morning:

All flights home tonight are cancelled, I hope to see him Sunday.

One thought on “China, Denise, Chicago”

  1. Looks good. At least you are smart enough to figure how how to move it. I can’t even figure out to delete your old bookmark that you put on my computer!

    Thought of you a bunch. I spent time at hospital last week for an out of town friend whose has implants and breast cancer. She was getting all three removed plus lymph nodes, etc. I thought of you so much and what it is like for you as a nurse dealing with so many people/personalities. My stepmom #3 was a nurse and she was pretty amazing. I love nurses. Anyway, as a different friend says about this girl and her sister, “these gals are his favorite racists”. I don’t share that sentiment and point it out each time but sometimes I think they say things in front of me just to bug me. And, this time was no different and it was directed at the nurse. I’m uncomfortable and always surprised when people our age are bigoted. Makes me so sad that intelligent people, one of which just had a blood transfusion six times says such ignorant things. To her nurse. Who saved her life. She recognized the symptoms of a blood clot. Twice. This nurse did her job so beautifully and professionally. I spoke with her in the hall and apologized and she was so gracious. She hugged me and said thank you and “don’t worry about it. I deal with all kinds of people”. I don’t know if I could have been that composed.

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