As my dear friend reminded me, it wouldn’t be a family vacation without some kind of natural disaster or Terrorists Behaving Badly drama.  They’re some of the favorite tricks of the Travel Gods.   This time, however, the Gods got creative.  They ignited  a volcano with bad manners that is now threatening our badly-needed vacation.

Eyjafjallajokull, that tongue-twisting name for a force of nature that would usually have me watching in fascination, has me checking the internet every day in more of a state of panic. Here it is Sunday afternoon, and with a dinner party coming up tonight, I have to resist running to the computer for one more look. What’s going to change? Nothing. I just have to sit and wait and pray. Those who know me will know just how difficult that is. Waiting is not my game. If there’s a gene for impatience, I have it. Thanks, Dad, for passing that one on. Why couldn’t I have gotten the gene that would have enabled me to pass linear algebra instead? Fate – that’s why.

OK – so it’s all fate, karma, what’s meant to be… whatever. That doesn’t make it any easier. I made bolognese sauce today, with a nice Barbera, hoping to set a precedence and nudge fate in the right direction. My late grandmother told me once to pray to Saint Jude when things look bad. Thanks, Gram, for the advice.

As of today, The Unpronounceable Volcano was still belching smoke like someone who just ate too much spicy food, but not as badly as yesterday. A bit of hope gleams from afar. Poor manners, but as another friend said, a volcano’s gotta do what a volcano’s gotta do.

I just wish it could have done this at another time. I’m going to light a candle this afternoon. It couldn’t hurt.