Over here, behind the floor plant, leaning to my extreme right, trying to get some lamplight onto my knitting in order to save my sight until I finish this baby blanket. The yarn is very soft and slippery and slides very easily off my needles, so I can't do this job by feel. The blanket is for one of the poor souls who is still employed at Small Pond, and whose baby is due in January. I hope to have this project finished and delivered long, long before the baby's here. Or rather . . . there . . . with her. Not here, please God.
I, myself, am no longer employed at Small Pond. I retired on my 65th birthday, the soonest I was eligible to collect my pension. I continued to work two days per week for three months. On the morning of the twentieth of September, as my boss and I were chatting pre-actual-work, I said, "Bill. I think I'm finished."
"Yes. I think I am."
"Do you have a date for this?"
"Yes. Today. At four o'clock."
And so it was done. My whole week, my whole life: my own.
I have been having The Time of My Life enjoying the freedom of being socially acceptably unemployed! I love it when people say to me that I have earned it. Oh my, have I ever earned this. My retirement routine is still evolving. I'm still just doing small things that I want to when I want to, spending much too much of my time cuddling with and talking to Molly and Peep, but then, that's what they're here for, isn't it?
I feel sure that the following two items are related somehow.
1. I was gobsmacked by the results of the presidential election. Sick at heart and stomach. For a few days I engaged in commenting on news stories, but that just makes me angrier, so I think I've stopped that.
2. Today, on a full moon impulse, after I finished at the supermarket, I took the hour-long drive to my childhood home.
Just to see, just to breathe the air there.
It's been more than forty years since I've driven past the old farmhouse, although I've Google Earth'd it many times. The route there and back revealed such changes, yet the geography alone pulled me onto the proper roads. ("Is that the road? That's the hill...") And it was. Amazing.
It's no surprise that the space between the house and the road (the space that I ran madly across to try to get on the school bus before I was old enough to go to school, lunch bucket full of rocks rattling in my hand) is not acres wide, that the tree that held our rope and board swing is not The Big Tree of memory, but only a reasonably sized tree. It's dead now, the top all wrecked and broken, covered with vines. The pond appears to be much larger than it was when I was nine or ten, probably because more of that area was then swamp and less of it pond. It's where we gathered up frog eggs and jarred them, watching as they turned into pollywogs and then set them free back in their home.
Maybe the moral of my story is simply that all things change, but I'm still here. Still breathing. (Thank you, Friko.)