The long trip to my old New England home was uneventful. It was also, in fact, a bit of challenging fun: Figuring out how to sleep in the car at rest stops; how to get the little dog to eat something other than it's fresher variety of food; how to manage stopping for human food and exercise and still get in 700 miles a day and so on. It rained almost the entire trip which helped take a bit out of the hot, humid days. It was I-80 most of the way, then I-90 and finally the Mass Pike into Boston and my old neighborhood. I left in 2001. Since that eventful moment in the early fall of that year until today, I've lived in Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Washington and Nevada since that year. It is a sweet moment in life to return to the people and places that one holds dear and loves deeply. Has the neighborhood changed? Huge changes. But somehow fundamentally the same. The people I knew are almost the same but perhaps older and wiser. Babies have been born and elders have died, and the folks my age move more slowly and struggle with the physical problems of aging, the challenge of trying to stay fit and somehow keeping ahead of bill collectors while somehow living on Social Security.
I'm staying with a young couple raising a son and both are working. They are two women. One Mom is the birth parent and works in the trades ~ a plumber. The other spouse is the stay at home parent during the day and leaves for part-time work in the evenings when the other Mother gets home. Eventually she wants to go to law school. She will make a great lawyer as she is a fierce advocate for what is right. My contribution to the family is to cook. So far so good. One Mother and the son are omnivores and one Mom is a vegetarian. Sometimes I cook only veggie and sometimes do both meat and veggie. How I love dinner time here. Happy newsy chatter about life, news, the progress of toilet training and other "stuff". I've missed that connection more than other.
But my favorite part of each and every day is spending time with this wonderful 2 1/2 year old. To him I am "Nana Mini" ... I love hearing that in his sweet baby voice. The innocence of the very young is intoxicating!
Wish there were a way to slow down time just this once. To make the time between now and my departure date drag out even a little bit. My fantasy is to move back but I know that is not likely to happen. It is too expensive for me here. The desert can be demanding to but too expensive is not one of the "demanding problems". Just paying a little attention to old friends for a short time will have to do.
"Going home and spending time with you family and your real friends keeps you grounded."
~ Jennifer Ellison