I’m back home but have mixed feelings. I wanted to title this post Stress and Fun or something similar, but realized stress wasn’t the right word. It was more of an inconvenience and indecision.
I left home Saturday to meet my bus which was supposed to arrive at 1:20 in the afternoon. When 2:30 went by I called the closest office and asked if the bus left on time. It hadn’t, the bus had broken down and would be delayed.
No problem, I could wait. It was raining steadily and chilly but I was prepared and had a small shelter of a bus stop. I also had a book and a new crochet project with me. By 3 I called again and found it would be close to 4:30 before the bus would get here. Not wanting to inconvenience anyone by asking them to pick me up and close family having gone out for the day I decided to wait it out. To make a long story short the bus arrived shortly after 7 pm. Six hours sitting outside in the chilly rain. My son arrived to pick me up at 9:30, rather than the 4:30 I had previously scheduled with him. But he was good natured about the whole thing even letting my granddaughter stay up past her bedtime to see me for a bit.
Of course things didn’t go much smoother on the ride home last night. We hit road construction which set us back delaying my arrival time by an hour and a half. Luckily, for me I don’t let inconveniences bother me. I got where I needed to be and that was all that mattered.
My visit was lovely. The baby shower was a blast and I had some quality time with my granddaughter — and her mom and dad ;-)
During the baby shower my daughter-in-law asked me to stay for another week, her best friend shrieked and asked her why she would want me there so long. My daughter-in-laws answer was she loved me. Her friend knows me well and knew I wouldn’t be offended and I wasn’t. If anything it reinforced to me how close the two of us are.
That didn’t stop my sweet daughter-in-law. Once most of the guests had left and it was just us and three of their closest friends she made a push to convince me to move down there. This isn’t the first time, maybe it’s pregnant mommy feelings but she has become pretty insistent. She began by telling their friends I lived in a studio without a separate bedroom and didn’t have a refrigerator or a stove. One friend was stunned, while I informed her it was by choice. We then delved into a conversation on how few foods actually need refrigeration. My daughter-in-law had to stress I didn’t have a stove either, the response was surprising. All three of their friends felt living without a stove is easily do-able, but a fridge, no way.
When I had to say good bye, my granddaughter told me no and began to cry, it broke my heart. On the ride to the bus stop my son and I had some alone time. He stressed he would love for me to move there as well and had plenty of reasons why it would be good for me. He even stopped and dragged me into a couple of apartment complexes which would be in my price range. I left telling him I would give it serious consideration but not to count on anything.
The pressure was on. His reasoning was:
- I could always move back when I wanted to spending a few years in each city to have the bonds with all the grandchildren.
- I’ve spent six years with the oldest grandchildren and now the youngest should have some quality time with me.
- There would be more to do in his community.
- Snow, there is considerably less so I wouldn’t be stuck indoors all winter like I am where I currently live.
My answers were:
- I need outdoor space where I can play in the dirt
- I need a farmers’ market
- I need accessibility and the greater metropolitan area where he lives isn’t known for being accessible.
- I had no answer to his remark about quality time with his children or a comeback about winter. This past winter is still fresh in my mind and the cabin fever was pretty bad when winter finally departed in April.
I did some research and found he was right, there are many more things in his community I would like to participate in that aren’t available to me where I currently live. There is a farmers’ market less than a block away from the apartments I liked the best, the library not only has a larger and better selection of books and resources available (including free movies which mine doesn’t offer) but has evening entertainment such as live music where people can bring their homemade beer to share once a week. There is even a farm that offers a CSA (community supported agriculture) where I could play in the dirt and get a weekly box of food. Basically, it’s a small town with amenities only a larger city usually has without the winters I have accepted as part of life.
On the extended ride home, I had time to think,maybe too much time.
Why was it as a teen fresh out of high school I was more than willing to live away from my home town? I had no compunction about leaving family behind and felt no homesickness. Now as an adult, with no dependents living with me, I have the hardest time making changes that would upset the relationships I have with family. Something fundamental changed in me when I became a parent.
I am so close to the oldest two grandchildren I know it would break their hearts if I were to move and see them on the irregular basis I now see their cousin. At the same time, it breaks my heart to leave the youngest after only a few days’ visit.
Then there is my apartment to consider. We are regularly thrown curve balls here. There was the listing of the property for sale, then it was taken off the market. Next we were told we could not use the field, then we won and regained use of the field. The day before I left on my trip we had a visit by the county inspector (our county inspects rental properties for hazards and to see no landlord is a slum landlord). This inspection surprised all of us. There are numerous problems with the building, most not visible or affecting the first floor apartment (where I live). My landlord has 90 days to make the necessary repairs, much of them electrical, or the apartments could be closed by the county leaving us without homes. I don’t see the owner letting the property go, but who knows in this economy if he can come up with the funds to make the improvements.
Do I keep on this roller coaster? Or do I move to another city and live in a green-built apartment where I can see the youngest grandchildren more frequently? I have no idea what I will decide to do. I ran the idea by my oldest son and asked if I decided to do this could his children visit me for extended stays, such as a week at a time. He agreed this would be possible but I could tell the idea of my moving didn’t please him.
So you can see my trip was lovely but has left me with much on my mind.