Last week I wrote about “Settling In” as I continue to adapt to my new life in a log home in rural Central Florida. It’s been a “challenging” time. Over the course of less than 4 months, I purchased a new home intended for a rental property, decided I’d like to stay in it for a while and found a tenant to “step in” to my home in Georgia; a win-win situation.
This turn of events prompted me to clean out my home and address issues I’d “ignored” for two years. From the period of early September to present, my time has been filled with hours upon hours of heavy duty cleaning out and heavy lifting, making so many “small” heart-wrenching decisions on what to save and what to “leave out” while remaining focused on moving on within a fixed time-period.
Late last week I leaned that my mother had experienced a medical episode. Although I’d intended to visit at this time anyway, things have taken on a new perspective. It’s good to see family and as I haven’t experienced late fall in the north, I’m glad I packed in anticipation of temperatures I have not experienced in four years.
Although I’ve spent a lot of time in a hospital setting, the rural beauty of Upstate New York has not been lost on me.
Despite all these changes, I’ve been trying to get back to writing. As some know, I’ve been writing about the dog-human bound for over 13 years. I currently serve on the board of the Dog Writers Association of America and blogged for ten years on the relevance of an observance known as National Dog Week launched in 1928. I wrote the biography of its founder, Captain Wm. Lewis Judy who also co-founded the DWAA.
Due to all the events that have occurred in my life over the past two years, however, I’ve found it difficult to focus on my Works-in-Pertpetual-Progress, so the writing of this column has served to keep me “showing up on the page” each week – no excuses. Recently, I entered seven dog-themed Widow’s Voice posts in the DWAA’s annual writing competition. I’m glad to support this important event for dog writers and wish all my colleagues the best of luck. Finalists will be announced in December and winners announced early in the new year. These are small steps in “getting back” for which I’m thankful.
Today I fly south and complete my visit up north where I’ve spent a lot of time with my mom who is in a large rehab facility recovering from a stroke. It will be touch and go and week to week in her potential recovery I’m told. I’m thankful for her dedicated nurses and and caregivers or their handwork and genuine effort to help.
A bit of exhaustion has somehow made me forget that next week is Thanksgiving. It will be a holiday with no guidelines. As my life continues to zig and zag, the long-held traditions and holiday “restrictions” give way to a new way of celebrating The Season. Spending so much time in a Rehabilitation Center observing so many dealing with huge obstacles and pain makes me realize what is important and realigns my priorities. Observances and holidays become more focused and reflective.
I know the coming months will bring additional challenges with more travels. But during it all, I will continue to embrace my new rural life and all the promise that it brings and appreciate all who’ve helped me through each stage.
Have a good weekend and Thanksgiving holiday.