I have now been here in Ohio for almost exactly three months. In that three months I have really made some progress at settling in: I bought a car, a while van I call Jaws because it ate one of my favorite CD’s from Cousin Dave, I have moved into a cute little bungalow with a back yard for DaBoys, a garage for Jaws and a sun room for me. I have even found my home parish, St Gerard’s, that makes me feel like I have come home again. I have a great banker I met at my branch not two blocks away from my house–actually two great bankers there. I found the Auto Club, Wal-Mart (of course), a super grocery store, have met some people in my neighborhood who all like DaBoys. I have a young man who comes and mows my lawn for me with aplomb and style.
So, with all those great things, why in the heck do I get so danged depressed??? I can list here all the things I miss, some I knew I would, others sort of sneak up on me sometimes. I miss the ocean, I miss walking on the beach at Montage with my friend Pat, I miss sitting on the beach watching my grand kids immerse themselves in it. I miss my grand kids, my son and his wife. I miss my friends at St.Nicks, I miss my priests there. I miss familiar commercials even, the ones we can recite without even engaging the mind. I miss the knowing so much about where I live. I miss the feeling of being so totally connected to the pulse of where I live. I miss the traffic at Traders Joe’s parking lot, full of Village stickers on the windshield. I miss the freeway over the two walls pulsing with frenetic life as the cars whiz past. I miss my patio, I miss my neighbors in the Village and the characters that dwell there.
I do like the way you can drive across town, even at six o’clock on a weekday and get there and back in under a half hour. I like the friendly warmth of the people I met here. I like my little pocket neighborhood with its quiet and peaceful aura. I like taking DaBoys out for walk at dusk and not worrying about coyotes. I like letting them out in the back yard in the morning and watching them patrol their yard for squirrels.
They so love it too. They are very happy puppies here. Pepper is sitting next to me on the couch as I write this with one paw stretched out to just touch me. Happy and content is what they are. Yuri is sleeping on the doggie bed surrounded by the puppy toys. He cuddles with me, sometimes coming right up on my lap to get as close to me as possible,turning his head to snuggle in my neck. Nothing like a happy, content dog to make a house into a real home. And I have two. Blessed am I.
I have discovered I have seasonal affective disorder. Not a complete surprise after spending fifty-four plus years in the sun belt. I was just surprised at how it reared its ugly darkness in August. I expected it after the time change, it has always been a part of that time of year for me. But in August! That was a surprise. But, we did have weeks and weeks of rain, thunder storms and heavy overcast clouds for a very long time.
Maybe that is why I feel so tired tonight, that and the course I am taking’s last question that is an enigma to me right now. It is part of the battle of life I guess. Fighting some windmills every once in a while. Darkness and questions and aloneness and a feeling of being a bit of stranger in a place I don’t know well.
So I am climbing aboard my sway-backed battle horse, putting on my slightly rusted armor, grasping my wobbly-crocked lance and dull sword and slowly charging out against the windmills of today.