In the grand tradition of bloggers who are paranoid, I didn’t announce that I was leaving my house empty and possessions largely unguarded before I went on vacation.
Now that I’m back, I can safely put all your minds at ease. I was neither dead nor nearing death; merely visiting my parents’ home in Indiana.
They have a swimming pool, two full refrigerators and an HDTV with cable. So all in all it had the makings of a very nice vacation–had it not been for two guys.
Guy #1 is my husband. He is (unlike me) able-bodied, so he went further north to a music festival in the Michigan Dunes. That meant that for the first time in our married life we took separate vacations. Now, there have been many times that I have gone on a vacation while he stayed home to work. I’ve been to the Jersey Shore and the mountains of Gatlinburg and Colorado without him. But I’ve never been on vacation in one place while he’s been on vacation in another. Something about it was like a sad song for me; it carved into my heart a bit. At my nephew’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon I overheard my marriage being discussed by two other people who (wrongly) surmised–despite what they’d been told–that we were separated. With a capital S. As in “on the way to Divorce”. Not true in the least, of course, but I’ve seldom been angrier at my physical limitations.
The other guy–Guy #2–is my puppy Gob. Since my parents don’t have a dog-proof fence (unless the dog is old and fat like my lovely fuzzy Quinn), I couldn’t (wouldn’t) let Gob off-leash. I spent the better part of five days tethered to a puppy. I promise you that is the strangest way to have a vacation you’ll ever experience. I sat on the top step of the pool and read while Gob lay a leash’s distance away, sunning himself like a supermodel. Why on earth does a BLACK dog love to be in the sun? Sometimes I think he’s part charcoal briquette.
It was a good change of scenery, but the truth of the matter is that the older I get the more attached I become to my Tennessee home and lifestyle. When I was younger I used to dream about moving back to live close to the rest of my family. I wanted to have babies that I could drop off at my parents’ house on Saturday night while my husband and I went to the movies. I essentially fantasised about reliving my parents’ life like some sort of Broadway revival. “Ladies and Gentlemen, this decade the role of Adult will be played by Katherine Coble.”
I don’t have those dreams anymore. In fact, they strike me as the dream a person has when they haven’t fully awakened; one of those lucid fantasies where reality and fantasy blur into a comforting haze. Now my dreams are more along the lines of chomping at the bit to get back to my keyboard and bang out the germ of the story that started to grow in my head while I sat in my parents’ pool. Being a writer is another sort of odd fantastic dream to have. It might even be more fantastic than the simpler “grow up and have babies” dream of my youth. But it’s my dream, formed in my adulthood. Formed out of my likes and dislikes and the friends I’ve made in the place I made for myself.