I’ve been in a funk lately, just a borderline blue mood. I’ve been thinking a lot about moving closer to home. That’s even crept into a few earlier journal entries. Everytime I go home and drive back here, it seems… I dunno, like I’m driving a thousand miles instead of 150. Add to that my last trip home included a day-trip to Dothan, AL, to see my grandmother a couple of days prior to her 92nd birthday. It was a long reminder of how fragile life is and how short our time really is. I feel like it was yesterday that Granny was doting after her grandchildren and seeing her in a nursing home facing down the end of her time with us didn’t help my mood any.
I hope that doesn’t sound like I wasn’t glad to see her. I treasure our time together. I plan to cling to all of these memories in the years ahead. I think much of my interest in genealogy is a desire to record not just names and dates but faces. I don’t want Granny’s great and great, great grandchildren to wonder who she was. I hope those of us who have known her will be able to tell them. She’s a woman who cares so much for her loved ones that I truly believe that’s why she’s still with us today. She doesn’t want to let us go anymore than we want to let her go.
While we were in Dothan, we went by Granny’s little trailer and went through some of her belongings. My cousin bought the trailer and has been living there the past couple of years. He’s just now moved to the Atlanta area and the time has come for us to finish closing up a chapter of Granny’s life. I grew up with an odd piece of her furnishing, like a dresser that’s in my living room now but was in my bedroom from earliest memories. And two years ago when she moved in with my Aunt, she gave me a quilt she sewed somewhere around 40 to 60 years ago. These are things I’ll treasure all my life. The look on her face as she described how she had sewn that quilt. The pride and love came through. Being the second of the grandchildren to get to pick, I had to have that one. Now, I’ve picked up the other odd and end. Cake plates, iron skillets, some old stainless steel and plates and a couple of night-stands. All things that I could either use or which reminded me of the years with my grandmother or both. I also dug up a couple of cuttings form the old azaleas by my grandmother’s home. These were the same azaleas she had gotten cuttings from my mom’s mother before I was ever born. I’ve got one in a pot here and another in a pot back home. I hope we’ll be able to keep them alive and I’ll have something to remember both of my grandmothers.
So, will I move closer to home? I don’t know. I’ve looked into both Macon and Columbus. Macon is about 40 minutes from home by interestate. Columbus is probably a little further at 60 miles and all back-roads. I probably have a better chance job-wise with the latter. I’ve pretty much decided to wait until Spring for a couple of reasons, both financial and just plain to see if I still feel this way. I constantly battle over how sensible the idea is. I doubt I’ll ever come back to ATL if I leave. And for the most part I’ve been happy enough here. Saturday as I made my rounds to the comic shop and grocery shopping, I’d about convinced myself that I was being silly. Then I passed by a motorist on the side of the road having car trouble. Keep in mind, he wasn’t blocking the road, just a road-side spot near an intersection that people in their haste will often use to get around cars that are turning left. This kid looked to be high school age, had a cell phone and all and was off the road. I’m not sure I would stop anyway, but all looked in hand. Then I watched two cars in front of me where drivers who couldn’t get around cars turning left were leaning out their windows cursing this young lad. And I remembered how alien life here is to me somedays. I came from somewhere that even if they hadn’t known you, someone would have helped you move your car off the road or driven you to town, etc. And here someone who wasn’t even blocking the roadway was getting cursed. It wasn’t like he was having a good day, anyway. I’m sure he had no DESIRE to have a broken down car. And I remembered two years ago soon after I moved here, I was over in Duluth when my car’s alternator died. This wasn’t my fault. It was a two year old car and no lights had given me any warning. The battery charge didn’t show problems. Then I just died in an intersection of a road that’s 6 lanes wide not counting the turn lanes… Great… I had to push my car through the intersection with one hand through the window steering. And people drove by screaming at me. I couldn’t believe how heartless people could be.
Alien… Much of life in the city is alien. This Friday, I’m going with friends to wander around a maze in a corn field – maize maze… get it… My first reaction to this, to all my citified friends puzzlement I’m sure, was that surely the corn had been harvested by now… erm… okay, it’s the city, they planted corn just for a maze… It’s some sort of citified farm with hay rides and bonfires and learning activities for city kids. And everywhere I look lately little fake pumpkin patches have sprung up on street corners as if trying to capture the spirit of the road-side stands back home. The one down the street from me is complete with a giant inflatable pumpkin that kids can bounce inside… Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games…