You forced me to do this, my love.

It's been about ten days since I've talked to Chinua. He's in a remote place in Israel, away from comforting devices such as PHONES or COMPUTERS.

I think I may die of missing him, right now. Do you think I'm being melodramatic? You haven't seen how melodramatic I can be. My brother's favorite story to tell about me is of the time that I worked for an elderly lady, weeding the tiny garden outside her trailer. Some of her bushes scratched me, all up and down my arms, and I had an allergic reaction.

What's the point of having an allergic reaction if you can't show people? I walked around, pointing out my rash to people for about a week. Matty likes to reminisce. "MY RAAAASSSSH, MY RAAAASSSSHHH..." he mimics mercilessly. (Matty mimics mercilessly. That's good alliteration.)

This is so much worse than the rash, but I've grown up a bit, so I'm trying not to walk around saying, "I miss Chiiiiinnnnnuaaaa." I'm writing about it instead, so that you can all know how much I miss him.

Okay, here, I'm embarrassed to write this, but here's more evidence. My mom and I were going a little stir crazy this morning, so we decided to go to the mall to let the kids play on the playground while we had some coffee. It's been raining like mad and it's flooding up here in the Fraser Valley, it's rained more than it has in a hundred years or something. I pick good times to visit. Anyways, there was no playground in the mall. We tried to walk around, but, quite frankly, it was boring. And the kids still needed to play.

And there was nowhere else to go, (you know where this is going, don't you?) So we went to hfdaioediosf. What, sorry? You didn't hear. We went to coughcoughMcDonaldscough. So what, like you've never taken your kids to the Grand Playplace before.

But what was noteworthy, other than the fact that my mom and I were sitting in McDonalds, was how incredibly posh the Canadian arches are. I mean, really, for real, we walked in and I could barely believe my eyes. It's like the Canadian Greyhound, with its friendly drivers and cute movie times and happy families with children and elderly ladies who give you treats, compared to the American Greyhound with NO movies and bus drivers who make you feel bad for kissing your fiance before you board and yell at you, and people who act like they're sleeping so you can't sit down, and always a few rows of guys who just got out of prison in the back.

It was that different. There was a granite top counter, and real tile floors, for goodness' sake, and halogen pot lights for excellent lighting, and an open fireplace in the center of the room, one of those ones that you can see from every side. I can't believe that my fellow countrymen are eating in this kind of luxury, while Americans are schlepping around in dirty bathroom conditions.

The kids had fun, and I watched other moms reading their books, having a bit of a breather, and my mom and I sat and adored the Leaf baby. Sigh. Only 48 hours to go.