Women NEED stuff

I ran into a bizspouse couple today, moving out of the hotel. I commented to them that I hated to see them vacate because they were quiet and courteous with that door slamming issue. That’s my pet peeve you know.

They told me that they were traveling the country doing an employment adventure too. This would be great if “she didn’t have all this stuff!” declared the husband. He was huffing and sighing loudly as he struggled to put the last load onto the hotel luggage cart. Well, women need “stuff”! We need stuff to cook with, look pretty with and dress with of course. I could see why their dilemma was particularly annoying to him as I later observed  them piling all these items, plus their dog into a very small sedan. They were setting off from Illinois to Pennsylvania where he had secured a new position.

This scenario is not an uncommon one. Think about the epic film, The Titanic. At the beginning of the movie there is quite a lot of loading of ladies’ trunks and portable armoires of gowns and trinkets and all that other “stuff” that women needed then to look remarkable.  The typical western often showed the lovely damsel fanning herself while the stagecoach hand was wiping his brow with his grimy handkerchief, overcome with perspiration while struggling to get one more satchel atop the stagecoach.

I believe that women, since our cave woman days have probably always had more items to drag along on those across the desert or the ocean, mountain, you name it, expeditions. Men need to remember this important tidbit however.  What is it that men say when THEY need something? “Honey, where is the __________”.  Uh huh they expect us to have it of course, because then men need THEIR stuff!

There’s gain AND there’s pain!

I’m a pretty positive person by nature. I like to see the glass as half full rather than mostly empty and I tend to lose patience with whiners. But sometimes I can feel a bit whiney myself. Sometimes this bizspouse stuff is just tough going. Someone reminded me recently that I don’t always have to post as the chipper, happy adventurer but with some truthful disclosure about the down side of living in a transitional state.

So if I haven’t lost you after THAT intro here is the rest of the story…..

The most challenging part of this journey is the uncertainty, the inability to plan ahead, thinking, “where will I be”? There is a scripture in Proverbs that says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. I think of that applicable Bible verse when I wonder about next month when my niece’s first baby is due. (the baby that the doctors said would never be) I think about it when I wonder where we will be for Christmas and if I will be living in snow another winter. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort to continue to build  relationships with women that I may never see again. Why would I want to add one more “goodbye” to my list of too many now? I tend to bond quickly and love hard and loss hurts and goodbyes are sad. Is it worth the effort?

The dilemma also often remains with the housing situation. Hotel vs. Apartment. There is a saying that goes like this, “if I had known that I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself”. That same thinking applies to this quandary. If I had known that I was going to be in this city for 9 months or a year, I would have gotten an apartment with a six month lease and had more space and better amenities. Since I did not know that, it remains a question of whether or not to move NOW into a more permanent living situation. We would have had more space, a patio to relax on at the end of the day and a garage to protect us and our vehicle from the ice and snow.

Sometimes the room is too small and the family is too far and the obstacles appear to outweigh the benefits. It isn’t always rosy. I am thankful, however, for a spouse who will roll with the punches. He is always willing to think outside the box and consider my perspective. He is a good bizspouse too.

How much longer will it be?????

Then I turn the page on the view at hand, make an intentional decision to be thankful and look for the encounter that the Lord has in store for me today. I once again CHOOSE to see this adventure as a pretty full bread basket in this heartland of America.

A Stocked Market

A hotel bizspouse introduced me to a new market today. Wow–it has colorful and unusual fruits and vegetables, seafood that includes lots of fins and eyes and a wine selection that goes on for days.

I was surprised by the large deli and several attentive men offering to provide samples of the wide variety of choice meats and cheeses. There were breads galore and many grains and dried nuts and fruits in homespun cellophane packaging.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to try fruits and veggies that I have not been accustomed to eating and eggplant would be one of them. Ruining a great pasta dish with a poor pasta substitute like eggplant just seems wrong to me. This one looked more user friendly and indeed it was. After a few days of enjoying the flying penguin look, I sliced it thin and roasted it with olive oil and garlic and mmmmm crunchy little fried like morsels appeared on the cookie sheet. This market has peppers of every color, size and description! They were plentiful and they were CHEAP!

So thank you Mrs.Bizspouse from Alabama for showing me yet another interesting local find. Adventures come in large AND small packages.  There are so many reasons to embrace being on the road and a penguin eggplant is just another one of them!

Is it just me or does this little eggplant resemble a flying penguin?

I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night

But I DO feel smarter anyway. I always thought those commercials were great. I haven’t seen any lately but the idea is that if you are smart enough to stay in one of their hotels, you feel smart enough to be a brain surgeon or lion tamer.

We have learned many things while doing this traveling and working routine.  How to choose the hotel for a long term stay is one of them. Extended Stay hotels offer a full kitchen and that is a real benefit so that you can prepare your own food if you desire. Even if you like eating out, it gets tiresome and expensive. If you like quiet, as in, no kids or dogs jumping on your ceiling at all hours of the day and night, you will want to be on the top floor of the hotel. There is less traffic on the top floor because some people have fire phobias and don’t want to think about jumping out the window and some people want to be close to the ground floor for the convenience of access and less stairs. We have found this to be to our advantage because we LIKE taking the several flights of  stairs for extra exercise. The elevator is always an option but if you have a room near the stairwell, you can park near that door and just plan on using the stairs and eliminate waiting for an elevator.

If you don’t like dogs or don’t want to hear them barking, choose a hotel that does not allow pets and that problem is solved. We have not found this to be an issue unless the owner leaves the dog. They are usually happy as long as the owner is with them.  If you are not a smoker, keep in mind that many hotels now are completely non smoking so if YOUR hotel permits some smoking, that draws extra smokers to your particular location.

The obvious point of proximity to the workplace and shopping is a must. It’s important to balance out the two needs. If you get a hotel very close to the office to keep driving to a minimum but your bizspouse must drive 10 miles to buy groceries, then that is not a wise choice for your hotel. Often the recruiting company has negotiated better pricing for the accommodations for their hires. If that has not been mentioned, be sure to ask. Since hotels typically have to add the “tourist tax” onto your bill, if you stay for 30 consecutive days or more then the tax is removed from your bill. You are considered to be a permanent resident and not required to pay the Hotel Occupancy Tax.  This really adds up at 12-18% depending on the state.

So you may not be a brain surgeon or a lion tamer but you too, can be smart about your hotel choice even if it isn’t a Holiday Inn Express. A little research can go a long way toward providing a comfortable stay while on the road. Happy Traveling!

Bizspouse on the road!