My husband, the new global sports editor for The Associated Press, is currently in Sochi, Russia, helping lead his company’s coverage of the Winter Olympics. (He led Super Bowl coverage on Sunday night and then jetted to Russia on Monday night.)
He is working with a tremendous team of reporters, editors, photographers and videographers covering every angle of the Games.
We’ve texted with him on Textfree but only talked to him once via FaceTime since he landed. He showed us his hotel room (not ghastly at all – in fact quite nice) and the area outside his balcony. I know he is 11 hours from Arizona (9 from the East Coast) but I haven’t quite figured out his work schedule yet – if he’s working a 9 to 9-type shift or more 11 to 11. So I’m never quite sure when he’ll try to call on Face Time or when he’s asleep. Sometimes I can tell by social media when he’s awake – if he’s Tweeting or posting on Facebook.
The kids are excited about him being in Russia. The 6-year-old doesn’t quite get the time difference. She couldn’t understand why he was just waking up when it was her bedtime the other night. The 10-year-old has impressed some friends with his location and the 12-year-old is concerned about him being blown up by terrorists.
The last time he covered a winter Olympics, Rose was 10 months old. He only went to Salt Lake City but it was the year after 9-11 so I made him carry a satellite-based texting device so he could get in touch with me if the cell towers were knocked out. I’m far more relaxed this time but I did ask for his secretary’s number just in case.
Meanwhile back at home, my winter Olympics is far less exciting. I am only organizing a team of one — me. My global coverage is through Facebook and it consists of me taking photos of things in my garage asking should I get rid of them or save them, such as an old Tivo, VHS player, and the Sega Dreamcast? (Michael actually texted from Russia on the Dreamcast. He says keep it so he can sell it.)
My job this month is to clean out the rest of the house and pack up about half of our possessions to stage the house to sell and pretend like three children don’t live here. I am trying to sell a Pottery Barn train table, an adorable backyard playhouse, a metal picnic table and a printer online. I also need to hire someone to replace the pool deck, hire someone to add more rocks to the yard (a Phoenix thing – they rake rocks, it’s crazy), hire someone to trim the trees, hire someone to replace my carpet and fix some drywall. We’re trying to make the house perfect to sell. My shift runs from 6 to 10:30.
So while I am excited for him that he has a fabulous new job that loves, I am bored to tears for myself cleaning out a house. On the upside I did run across four love letters he wrote to me in college when I studied abroad in Italy. They were all about his first few months working for the AP and the first sports stories he got to cover. (A Braves player profile and he interviewed Tommy Lasorda.) Not much has changed.
How do you communicate with your spouse when he or she is traveling? Do you use FaceTime? Would you be worried if your spouse was in Sochi? Would you keep the Sony Dreamcast to sell? How much can I get for it? Along those same lines, how much can I get for the Star Wars walking guy in the photo? (The prices vary online from $36 to $300 — what’s it worth?)