|photo credit: my dear friend Laurie Erickson|
It is difficult to acknowledge, much less write about; then again, the writing gods have been partying elsewhere for so long, might as well.
"Might as well, as well as not, once the pants is down." I cannot say 'might as well' without hearing my sainted mother-in-law's voice. "Might as well, as well as not, once the pants is down." Who knows where she got that, but it still makes me laugh.
I live in a southern city. On a river. I grew up, first in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, and then in the rolling horse country north of Baltimore, Maryland. My family was full of generations of educational snobs. Princeton, Vassar. My ancestors were Presbyterians and Quakers. I was confirmed in the Episcopalian church. I now work at a Baptist hospital. One of my co-workers, who was worried for my soul, asked, "Episcopalian? I've never heard of that. Is that like Amish?"
I sound funny here. Though I must admit to saying, more than once, at the end of a twelve hour shift, "Yes, I'm fixin' to get your pain medicine now." I'm fixin'. I've always been a parrot.
I love the people I work with. They are good people. Smart, caring, funny, highly skilled, and professional. Dedicated. And they are kind to me. In our crowded nursing station when someone asked who I would vote for, and I said, "President Obama," there was a stunned silence. Eyes met each others' but not mine. "Are you really?" They were still nice to me.
And then I say I have eight dogs. Two fifteen and a half year olds, a twelve year old, a ten year old, two six year olds, an almost two year old, and a yearling. Are any of them indoor dogs? "They all sleep in our bedroom," I say. Really! They say. They look at me a little sideways, with an involuntary narrowing of their eyelids. They feel compelled to tell me about a wonderful dog they used to have, who got hit by a car in front of their house.
I feel like I have landed on a planet that looks like Earth.
If you had ever told me that I'd be living without horses in a city, I'd have told you to keep smoking whatever you were smoking. Me without a horse? Not in this lifetime. After that lifetime of nothing but wide open countryside, I walk my dogs on sidewalks. The same sidewalks as the day before, and the day before that, and now it's been ten years of day before that.
I love it here. I love the people, and the spirit, and the heart of this place. I love Victoria's Secret push-up Angels Fantasies bras, too, but that doesn't mean they fit! Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! If I'm going to shop at Victoria's Secret, I better find myself a pair of flannel PJs and the free matching slippers; or maybe just go for the slippers and call it a day!
I need a hair cut. Badly. Maybe that's all it is. There are times when I feel I fit just right. Any time I'm with my husband. (Oh, alright. Almost all of the time. That's the worst whack-a-doodle - when Bill and I get out of sync.) Being on the couch under a pile of whippets fits just fine, you may have noticed from my incessant Facebook photos. When I am listening to my patient who has just received a horrible diagnosis, or news of a cure, and my empathy makes a difference, or I'm re-positioning my hospice patient and am able to make them comfortable, that feels like a perfect fit.I sail through those moments.
Howsa bout it? Does your life fit? Is it just me being a spaz?
I know one thing that helps, so I'll pass it on:
hug your hounds