Not a book title. A feeling. Of homesickness. It's what I have currently. I don't know if it's because if I was back in Illinois right now, the weather would be brisk and clean, I would be watching the tree in my front yard turn the colors of red, then orange, then yellow. I remember being in my living room, year after year and thinking how it would look if I took a picture of that tree every day of the year -- I loved that tree and how it would change every single day and yet, every year it would turn and change and go from colorful to bare and snow-covered to full and green again.
That doesn't happen here in Arizona.
Also, not happening here in Arizona is the gaggle of girlfriends in my old neighborhood. We'd all stand at the bus stop in our jammies, gloved hands grasping coffee cups. None of us cared that we were in our jammies. It was the joke, who bothered to put on a bra that day? We were a family of sorts. Bundled and huddled together to keep warm while our children laughed and waited for Mr. Pickles, the most awesome bus driver in the world.
The kids would get on the bus, and we'd stand outside for a while longer, as long as we could, and laugh and chat, then be on our way, but we knew we'd talk again. We were a neighborhood family. I knew I would see these women later that morning, either through a walk, or at the gym, or we'd go for coffee, or have lunch we'd run into each other at the grocery store. This group of women had become my family there. It was the midwest. This is how we did things. We were a neighborhood connected. We had bonded, we were a sisterhood. I knew that no matter what, I could comfortably go to any one of their homes, ring the bell, and go flop onto their couch, raid their fridge, fall into their arms and cry if I needed a good cry.
Here. Only two, maybe three people can I do that with. And I've been here almost a year and a half. I need an extended family here. People are different. Or maybe I'm older. People have made their connections. They're busy. They don't have the time. Or maybe I'm not making the effort? I'm not trying hard enough. But it's too hard. No one is close enough. No one is friendly enough. Maybe I'm not friendly enough? Either way, it's exhausting to miss friends this much. It's disheartening to see the people here as I see them. I can see right through them. They're superficial. Not the ones I care about. Not the ones I want to get to know.
And of course, I have no family here. Family these days, are all over the place. It's just how it is. Like in this example, like this woman's choice to move away from her family. I didn't choose this. We had to go. I didn't want to. I don't know where I'll end up. I never thought it would be here, out west. I always thought if anything, we'd be back to the east, where my two younger children were born. I'm glad I have my internet family. Truly. Thank you all for being a part of my daily life. I feel so connected to you all in more ways than you can possibly know.
OK, enough pouting. Thanks for listening. More books, less whining next week! xo
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