Good morning, dear ones! It is Monday morning, and I am back at my desk in my office again, after being away for two weeks. The office is quiet; so far there are only four of us here, scattered throughout the suite. I don’t think any of us is within about 40 feet of the next closest coworker. My officemate is not here today, and her desk is very, very clean. I wonder if her Reserve duty started this week instead of next. I have my halogen lamps on rather than the fluorescent overheads, so my desk is lit softly, and I have my “Soothing Sacred” playlist accompanying my typing. I look around this room, at the things on my desk, and I know that I only have five days in this space before I’m away for six weeks, maybe more. I’ve intentionally decorated my desk with touches of family, of faith, of humor, of beauty. I’m working on decorating my apartment with similar touches, and it is very satisfying to have it develop from a rented apartment into a home.
I got home about 10:45pm Friday night, after driving through Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia, then crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel into Virginia Beach. I hadn’t headed south on the Bridge-Tunnel since the new trestles had been added in the 90s, so that was cool. In fact, the portion of the trip from Philadelphia south is a trip I’d ridden many times, but never driven, so that was a small thrill.
So on this trip, I got to see
- the National Mall in Washington, DC, including the Lincoln Memorial – the highlight of this was watching a thunderstorm roll in, with all kinds of lightning around the Capitol
- Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia
- Chautauqua Institution in New York
- Horne’s Ferry / Wolfe Island Ferry
- the Rideau Canal, both at Ottawa and at Kingston
- 1000 Islands Parkway
- Ottawa River
- Parliament Hill, on Canada Day, no less
- Canadian Museum of Civilization
- Rideau Hall
- Madawaska River
- Mississippi River (no, the other one)
- Tay River
- Quyon Ferry
- Gatineau Park
- Meech Lake – closer than originally intended due to (IMO) poor signage
- the swinging bridge over the Bonnechere River
- Muskrat Lake
- 1000 Islands International Bridge
- the Lehigh Tunnel through Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania
- some of my favorite rivers in Pennsylvania – the Susquehanna, the Schuylkill, and of course the Delaware
- the Delaware Memorial Bridge, though for once on this trip I didn’t cross it
I’d had my mail held while I was away, so Saturday afternoon I got a great big pile of stuff. In it was my new voter registration card, my first New Scientist magazine, assorted “we have changed your address” notices, and the new license plates in this picture. After doing piles and piles of laundry, I spent Saturday and Sunday picking up stuff for the new place and getting it situated. I didn’t have any food yet – after moving in, and four days later going on a ten-day trip – so I made a $300 trip to the grocery store that completely filled up my trunk. So now I have salt and pepper to go into the shakers I bought a few weeks ago. And food I can actually eat in my own home, without having to call out – yay! I also got a water cooler, since the water in Virginia Beach tastes terrible. And assorted other linens and household things. It adds up so incredibly quickly. My credit card is starting to feel a little floppy now.
I am rather bummed, though, because while I was away, my soon-to-be-ex decided that he and the kids would take a weeklong trip to visit his sister in Texas. They left Friday evening, while I was still on the Delmarva Peninsula, and won’t be back until this coming Sunday, in the evening. So I haven’t seen my munchkins since June 24, and I won’t see them again until after my surgery. If I’d known this before I’d left, it wouldn’t bother me so much, but I wasn’t successful at shifting my expectations, so now I really really miss them. Especially when I go over to their house to feed the dogs. That’s kind of hard, too, because the house has nothing of me left in it. It was my home for eight years, and now it is… not. But my new space has rapidly become home for me, and I’m glad of that. Of course, I’ve been working on that intentionally, trying to make it homey as quickly as possible before the surgery, because I will really need a safe refuge then.
But I’m glad to be home, glad to see my kitty and my hedgehog again – I’ll have to get some pictures of them in their new digs! – and even glad to be in the office. (Hee hee – especially since I’ll only be in the office for a week before leaving again!) I’m glad to be on my own, testing my wings, finding my strength and confidence while also having this very potent lesson in interdependence next week. I’m glad to know myself as lovable in the face of what’s happening in my life, and I’m glad for all the friends who surround me. Thank you, Friends! 🙂