Saturday, March 06, 2021

28 Day Retrospective

 


As you are reading this missive, I am undoubtedly on my way back to New Home, whether driving to, waiting, flying to, waiting at again, or driving home from the airport. It has been precisely one month since I arrived here.

What a long, strange trip it has been in 28 days.

In 28 days I have gone from both of my parents being in the home they have been in for over 20 years to moving my mother into a memory care facility followed by my father into an assisted living home followed by (in less than 24 hours) my father going into the hospital for 9 days and then into a skilled nursing facility where he is waiting for clearance to move back into the assisted living home.

I have not spent this much time at home in almost 12 years.  I have not done a lot - been to visit my parents, to see my sister, to see a few friends.  Other than that, I have largely just been here, alone and in the quiet.

I found some things out about myself - for example, the skill of bringing a fire back from a few coals is one that is very much like riding a bicycle in that it does not take a lot to bring it back.  That stacking wood is also something that you do not lose.  That I can live surprisingly content and well here at The Ranch, alone by myself (largely) if need be.  And that those lines I try to draw between work and home in terms of time need to be drawn a lot more firmly:  whether here or there, I can still spend too much time at work.

I go back, in some very fundamental ways, a changed man.

What is next?  I wish I had a better crystal ball.  For the short term, continuing to return here at least once a month.  See my mother and father.  Sort things.  Build that list of things that need to be done here now, and start to address them.  Talk with The Ravishing Mrs. TB about what we want to do about the near term.

Sometimes life gives you moment like this, hard stops that simply make everything else grind to a halt and give one nothing to do but sit and think and take stock.  There has been a fair amount of thinking and stock taking in the last month, walking around in a world where there are far more birds and trees than people and one can go the bulk of the day without seeing a single soul.

The "real world" seems very unreal to me right now.  I wonder if it will ever seem "real" again.

14 comments:

  1. I don't even know what "reality" is any more. But it sounds like you used your time very well, accepting the negatives but not focusing on them as though they were the dominant species. Things change, and that, seems unchangeable.

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    1. It is odd Leigh - I flew home today. The airport from was almost at pre-Plague levels. I have not been around that many people in a month. Coming home, surrounded by urbanity - is this real?

      Trees and wind and grass and fires are real. This, this - "human feedlot" from Karen at Hillbillly Hobo - surely this is not the real world.

      The nature of life is change. I forget that sometimes.

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  2. Hope your journey home goes smoothly! Right now, the "real world" is a very strange place, so good luck with it seeming real!

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    1. Thanks sbrgirl. The trip was fine, if far too many people around me. And so much talking!

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  3. Part of the experience with elder parents was to realize that "tomorrow" could be a second from now.
    Our near term and long term planning and paperwork is now in much better shape.
    But even though we can paint a picture of the future, that picture is only broad strokes and will only generally foresee what will happen.
    As long as we can stay on the right side of obsession, having a plan and a list are good things.

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    1. John - Yes, it certainly does ground one in the fact that "tomorrow" really could be today. But even then,, as you say, it is only broad strokes. One plans as one can for the widest range of possibilities, and hopes for the best.

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  4. Hard stops... I wonder if God puts them there for that purpose. I had two major hard stops last year, and two minor ones. Minor in that, they weren't as big as the major. Any other year, tho...

    I hope the path is clearer after the cogitation...

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    1. STxAR, I think God does put them there for a purpose, if for no other reason than to pull our attention from what is going on and get us to take a moment, stop, and know that He is God.

      I am hopeful for clarity as well - but intend to push the boundaries to try and find it.

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  5. Our paths are much different, TB, but the changes they induce are much the same... believe it or not. I sometimes read your stuff and compare them: in some instances yours has been much more difficult. In others it has been much easier. I have changed too. You have emerged a better man from your travels. As for me... I have just changed.

    Real solitude is not easy - at least for me. Given the current social climate though, it probably is the safer and more preferable place to be given the way things are going.

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    1. Glen - I think you are correct in that our paths have been different, we are coming to the same place. I do not know that you have emerged from it not a better man, just as I am unsure that I have emerged a better man: the hardest thing to see sometimes are the changes in ourselves.

      Certainly solitude is something enjoyed in varying degrees, some more and some less. I do not wonder that in some cases the separation is almost instinctual at this point.

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  6. I'm sure you family will be happy to have you back.

    I know already that some events in my life in recent years will be always easily dated because one side or the other was bookended by the year 2020. I'm guessing this will be one of those easily dated years in your future as well.

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    1. They were Ed, they were. Even Joy the Rabbit, who is usually standoffish when I come back, almost let me know she was glad I had returned.

      I think you are correct Ed, although I will have bookend to bookend to bookend (2020, 2021, whenever the heck this ends).

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  7. Nothing wrong with going back changed. I would not be surprised.
    I hope the home and property will stay in the family.
    Be safe and God bless as you travel the new found roads ahead of you.

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    1. Thanks Linda. I do not think it is surprising - yet I am surprised by it.

      For now, nothing needs happen with the home and property. Thankfully.

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