I’m back in my hometown today, having church at Panera Bread. Yum. Spinach souffle, crunchy cinnamon bagel, and hot hot coffee are certainly hitting the spot. The van I borrowed from a good and generous friend is enormous, drafty, and handles like a kite in a hurricane (only slower). Therefore, because it’s sofa king cold outside (easily 20 below the BFP) and I don’t have an abundance of Jacksons to keep feeding it gas, I’ll stay on this side of town for a while and skip today’s sermon.

The trip here went smoothly, except for having one of the zippers ripped off my duffel bag by baggage handlers. It’s the one that holds in a net for carrying basketballs or a spare leg or other ungainly crap that won’t fit in the bag proper. The net is dragging out the back like entrails from roadkill still attached to a speeding truck. I think I’ll just cut out the net.

It was a chilly 35 degrees when I stepped from the curb into the airport. It was a chilly 15-below-zero when I stepped from the airport to the curb at my destination. There are people playing football outdoors in this weather tonight. Heh. The plane was populated with cheeseheads on the first leg of my trip; about half the passengers were going to the Green Bay game, and 80% were sporting green & yellow fanwear. Even though I recently found out that Brett Favre is a pussy,* I’d like to see them win. I may get to see the game at a friend’s house tonight.

*The link does not describe this firmly held belief or theory, but it takes you to the professor of this school of thought.

Since my last post, things have settled down considerably in some areas of life, and fermented into bubbling noxious goo in others. Let’s review:

  • The love of my life is turning out to be better than advertised, better than expected, and far exceeds the joy I thought possible in human relationships. That’s sofa king cool, if ya ask me.
  • I’ve started a new business, and while it’s taking a while to ‘fill the pipeline’ from first contact to estimate to paying work, it should turn into something wonderfully viable and eventually lead to me paying my bills.
  • I’ve mowed the lawn and ridden my motorcycle. In the freaking winter. Woot!
  • There are 3 tracks I’m pursuing for work. One is idle, one is producing, and one is expected to produce well in the next month.
  • Connected to the business, I have the use of an awesome and shiny work van and a shiny new computer. Which means I can dust off my writing jones and put him to good use.
  • While starting said business and new life in a foreign state, bill paying has slowed down. Feels like riding in the last car on a roller coaster, going up the big hill, and the tow chain quits. Then breaks. Then the little ratchet safety latch that makes the clicking noise bends and creaks, letting the train edge backwards. Oh and by the way, they removed the track behind us after we started climbing the hill. There’s nowhere to go but forward, but it’s gonna take some kind of gravity defiance.
  • I had my first Christmas without any immediate family members present. It was very nice, but impossible to ignore the significance. It’s difficult to describe that, because words don’t capture the fluid swirl of thoughts, feelings, emotions that mixed together. I’m a big fan of great flavor, but the warmth and sweetness of the actual celebration was muted to nearly unbearable blandness by the bitter bubbling stockpot of knowledge that it’ll never be ‘the same’ as it was before. That’s partly the point; I couldn’t take another half-life of same as it was before. But it wasn’t all wretched, and there are parts and people in my old life I miss.

It’s time to pack up soon and go back into the icy gale. I’m visiting my mom today, and I’m told it may be one of the last times. She has MS, and it has decimated her body. She’s been in a nursing home for years, unable to leave her bed, completely dependent, and either in constant pain or drugged to sleep. Quality of life has been pretty low for a while now, and the doctors say her body is shutting down and we should prepare ourselves for the inevitable. My dad says they have agreed not to take heroic life-saving measures, but try to keep her comfortable through it all. There’s much to think about, but not much to say – conversation with her is rare, difficult, and seldom lucid.

It’s hard coming back here this time.