This is how I know I’m avoiding work.
I took Skippy for a walk around the neighborhood this evening, just as the fireflies were outing themselves, and felt so perfectly at home. When I was a youngster, I lived in Maryland and Virginia. Fireflies, man. I’d forgotten about them.
Don’t get me wrong. Boise, Idaho, is a delightful, happening city with a strong cultural scene, people I love, foothills, and a big sky. It’s held my interest for thirty years, a feat accomplished by only a few family members, plus Vladimir Nabokov, David Bowie, Springsteen, Collette, Rudyard Kipling, Frederic Fucking Chopin, the moon, and growing things from seeds. I left Boise about five weeks ago with my daughter, my dog, and my cat at my side in my not-yet-paid-for Elantra, hoping for the best, and where we landed was Lexington, Kentucky, where my firstborn, her husband, and their two young daughters live.
The change is monumental. I’m a stranger here, for one thing. The knowledge that I will never encounter somebody downtown whom I’ve known for more than ten minutes is at once daunting and comforting. Former husbands, leeches, abusers, and bores are two thousand miles away, right? Also, I know nothing of the local scene, and I have no special place to go, nor anyone to phone for a spontaneous get-together, nor gainful employment. However, there are things about Kentucky that get to me.
So sue me. I like the local dialect. People I encounter every day, at the coffee drive-thru or in traffic, are sunshiny and friendly. A ninety-something in a red pickup with white flames on the doors gave me a full-on wave when I let him through the intersection first. The cashier at Big Lots knows I left most of my kitchen supplies in Boise and that’s why I visit nearly every day. Today, a young man in the waiting area in the headache clinic asked my knitting daughter what she was working on and was interested to hear that she was preparing a knit-bomb for a plastic flamingo in our front yard. I mean, really interested. Clerks, sandwich counter workers, passers-by ask me how I’m doing, and pay attention to my response. The humidity is unbelievable, and the landscape is so green, I am constantly making comparisons to Ireland. I didn’t even know I liked horses until now, along with the rudimentary white fences that magically contain them in their scrumptious pastures. Don’t even get me started on the subject of my granddaughters.
It’s heartening to know I can embrace a new situation, and really-o truly-o find joy in the novelty. I love the town I left; I love the new one too.