It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
I don’t have the heart to look ahead at tomorrow’s weather. We’ve just, er, weathered our fourth period of meteorological mayhem and have survived without incident (but at great emotional cost) a much larger number of risky trips over the distance to and from work.
I say WE, though it has been Ann alone, because I think it is as stressful for the one who can do nothing but wait as it is is for the one behind the wheel uncertain what might happen around each dark, black-icy curve out of sight of human habitation and a cell phone signal.
Following the curve of recent posts regarding this transitional period in my life, I’d just say that I have mixed feelings about being off the professional roller-coaster (never a ladder-climb, always more like paddling through a cypress swamp with occasional waterfalls.)
On the one hand, I would never be able to participate and contribute to the projects going on in and around Floyd if I was as full of work toxins as one becomes with full time work of any type.
But on the other hand, I feel a certain pain every time I send her off to be the sole breadwinner (now, and almost always the alpha income earner) while I stand in the doorway in my bathrobe and slippers.
I would have liked (I think) to have had an old-fashioned career (he says, not showing the tolerance for the same old thing more than 2-3 years before seeking if not greener than at least other pastures–if not an entirely different personal ecosystem.) You know, the once-upon-a-time career where you become part of the company store, growing up with the same co-workers and their families, building credibility and professional authority and stature, certain of an early, certain and more than adequate retirement nest egg.
But, as you might have read, my life didn’t go that way. Most of our lives, I think, found us making plans for A and ending up with B or C. I don’t personally know many people who set out on a career path in high school and got there and stayed there and were totally personally pleased with their choice or their fate. None of us have a crystal ball to gaze into for the clear and certain path. We put in our dime, and if the Gum Ball Machine of life sometimes gives us licorice, and we learn to like it–or at least chew-and-swallow and go on.
But at (almost) 62 it seems a bit pathetic to be wondering what I’m going to do when I grow up. And it is also a gift; a gift of great cost I take the measure of every time she’s out there–somewhere, alone, praying to make it around the next bend, make it one more mile, to see the floodlights on this old farmhouse we have grown to know and love; to make it home to this odd household ecosystem that somehow, more or less, works. And is going in fits and starts, in summer storms and winter snows–somewhere.