Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who, me, brave?

Over the past couple of months I've been surprised by the number of people who think my extended time on the road is a brave thing to do. This is a mystery to me. I sure don't see it that way. What it is is the only option that felt right. When the ex-husband began his song and dance in December and it became clear there was a girlfriend after all (his third over the years, BTW, *that I know of*, and shame on me for staying with him, and please, isn't there always one, only I was too stupid to see it), and I wasn't going to change the outcome, I tried to think of where to go and what to do. I looked for jobs although I was so fortunate that I didn't have to find work. If I forgot just how fortunate I was, I was reminded pretty quickly and forcefully that he "gave" me more than he had to. "Deserve" or "earned" was not a word in his vocabulary. Forgive me the bitterness. Six years from now it should be gone.

I applied for several jobs around the country and gave up when even the bottom of the barrel came up dry. I had high hopes for an archivist's job in Chapel Hill that was exactly, and I mean to the letter, of the work I did at the museum in DC, but nada. There was nothing on my application to indicate my advancing age and probable decrepitude, so I don't know the reason. 

The next foray into salvaging something of my life was a possible move to New York, which I L.O.V.E., and where a good friend lives, but putting finger to calculator showed me I *would* have to find work, which we've already seen was not forthcoming and I'd had enough of rejection for a while so I didn't keep looking.

Next up was an apartment, probably in Gig Harbor, Washington, where one of my good friends lives. She is re-retiring next week and we could work in the yard of her new house, or play in the Girls' Clubhouse. Or walk around the harbor. Or volunteer somewhere. It didn't matter. I enjoy every minute I spend with her, to the point an acquaintance asked if we were lesbians. Uh, no. We're just two great chicks over 60 who are on the same wavelength. She's more over 60 than I am but I never, ever say it. The thing was, I didn't want to be locked into an apartment for a year. 

As an aside, no one ever asks if my New York friend and I are lesbians. No, they just assume I'm her mother.

On to a weensy little house in Gig Harbor. There's that industry term again, if you've been paying attention. It had just come on the market and was in walking distance to downtown Gig Harbor, an unheard-of  bounty. Also within maybe half a mile of my not-a-lesbian friend. (I have nothing against lesbians. I'm just not one and neither is she.) But there's always a catch, isn't there? I could afford the place only if I pulled a ton of money out of my IRA and it needed a lot of work which of course isn't free. Thanks to all the remodeling jobs the ex-husband and I had done, projects I thought we more or less enjoyed doing together, my bad, I had the skills and tools to take on most of the work myself but you still have to buy the stuff. I dilly-dallied to the point someone else beat me to an offer on the place. I'm a believer that things happen for a reason. I honestly don't know what that means but I believe it. Of course everything happens for a reason, whether it's fate or karma or God. Whatever, I was not meant to have that house. The trouble was I was now out of ideas.

I've been asked why I didn't stay in the house, a pretty nice waterfront job on Hood Canal with fruit trees, raspberries and blueberries and great neighbors, and which had a brand new fantastic kitchen finished oh, two months before he told me he didn't love me, had never loved me, etc., etc. Two reasons. The first, I didn't like the house nine months out of the year because on the rare occcasions we got sun in the winter, we got no sun on the house. That happened only when the sun was very far to the north. It was so bad I bought an expensive light box to get me through the winter. The other reason was I couldn't afford it. Both reasons were good enough to me to encourage going somewhere else.

I do not remember how the idea of the van came to me. All of a sudden it was there and it was perfect. The good Sisters at St. Rita in Detroit might say it was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I didn't argue with them then and they still scare me. I decided to travel while I still could and here I am. I already talked about my choice not to use our Winnebago, a decision I sometimes already question because Grace's walls can close in, but this is the choice I made and it will work out. Now here's the kicker: after I'd made the van decision and had committed to it in my mind if not with an actual purchase, the first deal on that little fixer in Gig Harbor fell through. How's that for fate or karma or God?

Thought of the day:

There is a certain logic to events that push you along a certain path. You go along the path that feels the most true, and most according to the principles that are guiding you, and that's the way the decisions are made. (Michael Nesmith (of The Monkees fame and cripes, he's 70))