Monday, March 5, 2012

Where's Waldo, Ummm...Sandy?

My big plans this week focused on one thing: I got to co-present a session at the National Art Education Association in NYC on Friday!  So of course I spent last weekend (the one prior to 3/3 and 3/4) planning, buying my outfit, arranging an outing with a friend, etc.  Exciting!  YAY!  Something positive!

On the home front, Peter, ever the procrastinator, hadn't packed for his trip to Michigan, and had several small projects on the burner, so I essentially fed him and stayed out of his way.  Unfortunately, on Wednesday morning after I left for school, he had a sudden health issue that he left unexamined until I came home and INSISTED that he go to the ER.  I'd rather not discuss it (if you know him or me personally, just pick up a phone or email), but the result was a 3 day stay in the hospital while they ran tests.  After the first few hours, they knew he wasn't in danger, so it was a matter of figuring out the "whys"; still, I was uncomfortable leaving him.  I took off a half day of work on Thursday morning to hear what his doctor had to say, then worked the afternoon.  The next day was my NYC trip, and since he wasn't in any further danger (and the rest of my research group was counting on me) I decided to go. 

It was awesome.  Everything went smoothly and my friend and I ate a brief Thai meal (my favorite!) before we headed find Peter in the living room, packing!  He still wanted to go!  We "debated" the idea, finally settling on a compromise: he felt well enough to follow through on his plans, but I was too worried to say goodbye just I went along.  That's right.  I drove to Michigan this weekend.  And I flew home alone last evening. And I taught today.  And tonight, I'm clearing everything out of my living room so the contractor can fix the ceiling.  Whew!

A Restful Weekend.
Am I happy about leaving him there? No. There's a point at which you have to admit another person's right to their autonomy and put aside your fears, and that's what I was faced with this weekend.  And you move on the best you can.  These long distance jobs do take their toll.  Peter enjoys the variety though, and I can understand why: the people he meets on his journeys are amazing!  He's been having the most awesome multi-cultural experience of his already interesting life.  I actually envy him that. 

So, back to my trip; from home to NYC, then home again for a night; then across the state to Youngstown Ohio, where we had dinner at a truck stop and met some of the nicest truckers you've ever known.  The stories they have to tell!  It was a very interesting supper.  One trucker named Steve told me he'd been driving since he was 20 years old, and was just about to turn 60.  Imagine the places he's seen!  He was a well-worn character who couldn't have weighed much more than 120 pounds, and had a face lined with stories.  He was a truck-driving pirate, the Captain Edward Teague of the Hubbard Truck Stop.

Just Squint.  It'll Come Into Focus.

After a night's rest, we squeezed our generous selves into our little car and drove the last four hours of our trip into Ann Arbor, MI.  We encountered a few flurries on the way, but nothing more, luckily, as we were working with a tight time budget.  We met Peter's new roommates (he'll be eating food from India and Africa during this job, I think.  The house smelled wonderful!), and were left alone to unpack the little he had with him.  I'll ship the rest to him tomorrow.  Then we cried for a few minutes and in no time at all the shuttle driver was there to take me to the Detroit airport.

Detroit to Philly, Philly to Allentown...with all of the required waiting between flights and a taxi ride at the end, and I slept in my bed last night.  Alone. 

So, we put the tears behind us, and each of us embraces our separate reality, with hope and joy.  We savor our lives.  We both do.  It's just so much nicer when we're together.  And of course, I want to mother him...but I can't, so I consciously disengage my mind from those thoughts, and live in the present.  With faith in the divine wisdom of the universe, and all that she holds.

What happened here at home while we were away? Well, we have two angry kitty-cats, though they had ample grub for the two days we were gone.  Grandpa just slept through it, but he was happy to have his head scratched.  And on the farm, this is what happened:

Corrine's Picture of Dawn: Born Yesterday.
My "Words With Friends" buddy said it well: "Things change quickly".  For both the better and worse.  It's up to us to enjoy the ride.

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