Though I do not ride horses, I’m back in the saddle again. Sayings such as this just seem to be appropriate for Tucson dwellers. This time of year re-emphasizes my sense of place on the globe. I’m quite conscious of living in the South Western United States. As I raked the decadently well-watered grassy patch in our backyard yesterday, I wore shorts and a sleeveless top. Sunny and mild late fall here in Southern Arizona is strikingly different from the cold, snowy lead up to Christmas that was usual in my childhood in Northern Indiana.
My fall fog has lifted and though I’ve received disappointing news about the Holidays, my outlook is better than it has been in quite a few weeks. My s-daughter and son-in-law and their twin girls will not be coming to Arizona for Christmas. Living 2500 miles from grandchildren is difficult. My b-daughter cannot come from just this side of the great white north for Christmas because she is the most recent hire where she works and cannot take additional time off at Christmas. I’m hoping to see her in January for her birthday, but this is not a sure thing by any means.
As a Later Born Baby Boomer who is done nesting this year has been an extended rite of passage for me. It has been wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Moving my daughter to her first home across the country with her significant other after her college graduation was a fun adventure. And I reconnected with old friends that I decided to look up as I was passing through Chicago. That was wonderful. A quick trip through Northern Indiana, where I grew up, to visit family was not so fun. The declining health of my two remaining siblings, who are 9 and 18 years older than me was apparent. A 40 year old nephew of mine passed away. Our dogs who were like family were swarmed by Africanized bees. One survived.
Hubby and I began the next, not at all well planned, phase of our lives that included a road trip to his old family farm in Tennessee. That stop was followed by a horrible experience with old friends and a previous spouse’s current spouse who threatened me with violence and later became violent with Hubby while we were visiting Hubby’s old home town (not in TN.) That experience limited out ability to visit our grandchildren which was heart-breaking, and for me that sad shock it was also coupled with my finding out, when attempting to track down my brother who is closest in age to me, that he had been in a VA hospital for the last 6 months. A visit with my eldest brother who recognized me but was not really able to carry on a conversation capped off my understanding the family of my birth no longer existed.
Thank heavens our visit with our daughter in Minnesota was wonderful as was the trip to and from NY that I took by myself to attend a blogging conference when Hubby and I parted vacation ways in MN. He continued the last leg of road trip solo and I traveled by train to a blogging conference on the East Coast with a quick trip back through Indiana to follow up with my brother in the V.A. hospital.
A new puppy and a trip to “Mexican Riviera” filled the fall with activity that kept me from falling too far into the depression that decided to visit me this auturm after several years without it showing up rounded out a year filled with travel and learning. This has not been the year I had planned it to be. My book isn’t finished and my sites are not where I had planned for them to be.
There is a lesson to be learned in all of this. I just haven’t distilled it all down into a single bit of truth I can carry forward with me as yet unless it is: Transition happens.