Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Amber (Well, Greenish) Waves of Grain

In the end, it was the most painfree trip we'd taken during our year abroad. No Heathrow Terminal 5 luggage roulette, like with Rome. No cattle-call RyanAir boarding hell, like with Dublin. No last-minute snag with the dog's crate, like when we'd moved to England in the first place. To paraphrase Shakespeare, nothing became Oxford like our leaving of it.

We'd been fretting over our luggage--two checked cases each, stuffed to bursting, weighed with a borrowed scale--but each was under the limit. If you were standing near the British Air baggage check-in yesterday morning and saw a family of four high-fiving each other after each suit case was hefted onto the scale, that was us. The flight was a bit bumpy but BA provides a nice U.S. re-entry service: just watch "Semi-Pro" and "The Simpsons" on the little video screen and you're re-acclimated to the States.

Our driver was waiting for us at Dulles. I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill of seeing my name in Magic-Marker on a clipboard. "Why yes, I'm John Kelly." Then to BA cargo where, after 14 hours in his crate, Charlie the dog was set free, no worse for wear. He seemed to take special pleasure in that first long pee on American soil.

We climbed back into the van and proceeded to...wait in a traffic jam. That's when I truly knew we were back in Washington, a place where any trip can take anywhere from 20 minutes to four hours. But I wasn't in any hurry. It was costing me the same no matter how long the ride. And I felt no sympathy for the driver, who said he had to pick up another customer in Gaithersburg at 4 p.m. Let's see, our plane was scheduled to land at 1:30, we had to clear Customs and pick up a dog, then drive around the Beltway to Silver Spring? And he thought he could get to Gaithersburg by 4? The fool!

In the end, we arrived home at 3:59 and I wished the driver luck with his ion propulsion-drive system.

After 10 months on Osberton Road our Amurican house seemed huge. Huge but welcoming. Our tenants, Gordon and Leslie, had left it in just as good shape as we'd left our Oxford house. The only glitch was that the lawn service we'd contacted hadn't mowed since Gordon and Leslie moved out a month ago. The front yard was a wonderful ocean of grass, like something from the prairie.


I don't even know where to start with cutting it. I think I may need a scythe. Or some sheep.

9 comments:

Josh said...

Welcome back! Our landlord sends a gardener periodically to fertilize our weeds. It's wonderful. We have dandelions that couldn't be felled with an axe and a team of oxen.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the Forest.

You missed some some of the usual treefalls, which, thankfully, also missed the houses (this year), so far as I know.

Ken said...

Going to stick with the blog name? The good burghers of DC might be a little peeved...

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to DC! You returned just in time for the oppressive heat and, as of late, amazing storms! That said, I hope you agree that there's no place like home...

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Welcome back!

Boutros said...

at least it's nice and green from all the rain. I bet Charlie will enjoy peeing there too.

Henry said...

John,

The sun that bids us rest is waking our brethren 'neath the Western sky. That would be you! Glad you got back safely. Ignore Ken, stick with the blogname. What else can you call it?
We'll raise an Old Hooky for you all soon

Sarah Laurence said...

Uh, John, is Voxford not dead yet? A new blog is in order. Good to hear you all made it back without too much hardship. Henry guest blogged about your Reuters’ talk on citizen journalism in Oxford Rituals.

Daniela said...

Interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting. I’ll likely be coming back to your blog. Keep up great writing. Find your great Travel News and sing the songs at Free Song Lyric or you can watch the drama at Korea Drama Online one of great korea drama is A Love to Kill if you go to travel to Indonesia learn Learn Indonesia Language first! And find your home cari rumah or make a blog Belajar membuat Blog find your home again rumah dijual and again at jual rumah, download youtube and find blog widget and then if you want buy a new laptop see the Laptop Price List or you can buy a New Blackberry and then take care your Health & Jewerly.