I've gone quiet here on my corner of Blogville. Turned the lights out, shut the curtains and turned out the cat, literally. The newspapers have begun to pile up on the front porch, and the weeds are as high as an elephant's eye. But I'm thinking about cleaning the place up and moving back in.
In a previous post, I mentioned my family had endured some crises. We had a death in the family (my brother-in-law) that had Husband spending time between Florida and Illinois taking care of his mother and of her house that needed to be sold. And we had an illness in the family that had me moving to a suburb of Cleveland for a couple of months to act as caregiver. These two things happened simultaneously so we each had to deal with our designated situations on our own.
I remember during that first week up north, when the in-laws were having a memorial service for my brother-in-law in Illinois. I had just begun staying in Beachwood, Ohio and couldn't attend. It was live-streamed, though, so I took my iPad to the mall where there was wireless, I bought a cup of coffee and I parked myself in a chair and watched. It was so sad, and I experienced the private sorrow in public, with people walking by with their shopping bags and making so much noise, unaware of my experience. I think that was the first moment I realized I'd be keeping my troubles to myself, as most people do. Sometimes the trouble you experience isn't your story to tell because you're just a witness to the trouble.
But troubles have residual effects, and I absorbed quite a bit of the residue on this one. Maybe someday I can tell you about it, but today, let me just say that I am just now processing some of it. And I am just now beginning to reclaim my life pre-crisis.
I am back home, as is Husband. I walk the dog, make the bed, typeset a little, sweep the floor a little, play the horn, go to band practice, have lunch with friends, go for an afternoon swim, have dinner with husband—all things I didn't do while I was away. I'm not complaining really, because what I was doing up north was important and worth the small sacrifices. But I'm happy to be easing back into pre-trouble life as much as is possible.
I cannot say that I, or we, are easing back into normality, though, because we've decided to sell the house and move out of Small Town. Can you believe it? We've lived here for nearly 25 years, but we've got our eyes on Canton, north of Small Town but not so far north that I'll give up friends or the orchestra or even the big fat summer band. And Canton is within commuting distance of Husband's job. It's also where we usually go for dinner, too, and it's got great grocery stores and a movie theater and a book store, none of which Small Town has.
I don't know where we'll land or when, exactly, but wherever it is, I'll move in there, just as I'll move in here, and use both places to find Normal again, to recover from what might be some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, to turn on the lights and to clear the porch of debris.