I’m on an island and bells won’t stop ringing. 

It’s 12:20 and I can’t fall asleep. Again. Jet lag, still? Body is wrecked but I made it it Portugal (!) and aside from the uniquely, constantly challenging things about living with symptoms that persist and arise again and anew and startle you even when you think you have a handle on this whole chronic illness thing and you find yourself back on the island you love with your father and uncles but are unable to do things you’ve always done here before or articulate things you need to express to them but can’t, I’m still SO GLAD TO BE HERE BECAUSE I’M ON AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OCEAN and the Acores are insanely beautiful during this in-between-summer-and-fall time of year. And there’s something to be said about doing nothing on vacation. Even if it’s just because you can’t really do much.

Anyway. I was thinking about the window in my room here. Actually, of all the rooms in my grandparents’ house (newly remodeled by Tio). They’re the floor-to-ceiling kind that open in, and they’ re awesome and I have so many memories of them from growing up. And so I was making a mental note of them + the idea of bookshelves flanking them for my future perfect home and that led me to think of ALL THE BOOKS I COULD PUT ON THEM which led me to having just finished the memoir WILD tonight which led me to realizing I should pare down books instead of pondering bulking up which made me think of all the cookbooks I have back at home, and to come to the point I realized that I should do a thirty (or whatever) day period where I have to cook from every book on my shelf in that period or it goes! Another thing to put on this list of those I’ll study during this period of abstinence that I look forward to!

But then to come to the real point. I just remembered that I’m on a no shopping fast.  I haven’t bought anything non-essential – or anything at all, actually – on this trip yet. Vacation is often at time of touristy totchke shopping, I guess, but I’ve never really been good at that, as evident by the many times I come home lacking in charming physical remembrances from travels or gifts for loved ones. But, also, on this tiny island, there’s not much I need. I’ve bought a few hours at a hotel so that I can luxuriate in their hot-springs-fed waters (ahhhh), and for corn boiled in those same springs (yum), and for food to feed the stray dog that’s made a home in my family’s backyard (I’ve named him Shadow and my heart breaks at our impending goodbye). But, yeah. This whole not shopping thing has been fine. So I’ll see how it goes when I get home. But so far so good.

Now, to tackle those cookbooks upon my return….


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