Ah, we are home.
Home to my funky old house where my chickens are, my cats, my heart.
I'm all unpacked and have laundry going and Mr. Moon has gone off to a basketball game and I am at peace. It was a beautiful and perfect get-away in Apalachicola but it's nice to be home again. Last night it stormed and rained and the place we were staying is built right over the water and we could hear the whitecapping waves gulping beneath our room as the rain pounded above us which was really pretty awesome. After our breakfast this morning we drove around Apalach as we do, this time looking for some possible place to rent to stay in part time while we're building the house. Apalachicola has a long and rich history and there are beautiful old mansions and equally beautiful tiny old shotgun shacks, each with their own particular charm. But nothing at all seems to be for rent. It's a town of Real Big Money and not much money at all. This fact bothers me sometimes. I shop in places where the price for one blouse would probably pay someone's rent for a week. This disparity is troubling and not unlike being in Mexico, to tell you the truth. But it is what it is and I've seen so much change and so much more prosperity in the thirty years I've been visiting down there. It's lovely to see old buildings restored and given new life, the new parks that have been built, the lovely, thriving community garden. The number of people in town this weekend amazed me and all of them were spending money hand over fist at the cook-off, at the new brewery in town, at the restaurants and probably the shops although I did almost no shopping. I went in to two different places I love and one was having no sales and was too crowded and the other requires concentration and I wanted to be with my husband more than I wanted to be looking at stuff I wasn't going to buy anyway.
So this weekend we ate some excellent food, we rested, we laughed, we had some much-needed time alone together.
And it was good.
A funny thing happened on Saturday morning. We ran into some people we used to know back in the old, old days and as we were catching up, the wife asked Mr. Moon if he had retired. He said that no, he had not and then she asked me if I had retired.
I had no idea what to say! But I laughed. And then I said that no, and I probably never would, seeing as how I just keep getting more and more grandchildren. How does a housewife and mother retire? Is that even possible? I guess if we move to Apalachicola, at least part time, that will be a sort of retirement although I'm pretty sure I'll still be cooking and cleaning and trying to grow something in the dirt and also, Owen has already picked out his room in the house plans. But I do wonder what exactly it is I'll be doing down there. Sometimes I wish I'd never found this house which I have settled into with such joy. These trees, these pretty chickens, this peace. The camellias I've planted, my garden which is how I measure the seasons according to what is being picked and by what it's time to plant. These porches and rooms which slant and tilt due to shifting of the earth beneath it. The comfort I find here, the shelter it offers me.
Mr. Moon has said that we do not have to sell this house of mine here. That we can keep it. He even jokes that he's building himself a house in Apalachicola where hopefully, I will come and visit him. Although he loves this house and our life here, he is not as wedded to it as I am.
Sometimes I think that I am as house-monogamous as I am man-monogamous. How can one make a life, a full and complete life spent between two places? The things I love here are not things that I can pick up and leave for days or weeks at a time. Not chickens or cats or yard, and houses themselves grow lonely if not fully lived in. Sometimes I think it would be better if, when we build that house, I just cut myself off from Lloyd entirely and pledged myself to living on the Apalachicola Bay.
Am I being ridiculous?
Well, I am pondering these things
just as August appeared to be pondering when I took his picture on Friday when his mama was getting her hair cut.
And of course, I haven't even mentioned how I can possibly leave my children and grandchildren to live an hour and a half away although they are all for us having a house in Apalachicola. And it would be so much fun for us all to be together there, celebrating this and that with a park right down the road from either side of us, the river to go down in Boppy's boat, the coffee shops to visit, the bookstore, the restaurants and bars. I can imagine the grandkids coming to stay with us, fishing off the dock with their grandfather, having a place to come and stay which is filled with sky and water and history and slower moving ways.
Let's face it- it's all an embarrassment of riches and the bottom line is this- that house is my husband's dream and his goal and I would be a sad and sorry wife if I denied him the pleasure of fulfilling it.
Where he is is my home. I pledged my troth to him all of those years ago and I meant it.
And hell- if I get bored, I can always get a job tending bar.
Or maybe Tamara would hire me to work at the coffee shop or perhaps I could bake goodies for her to sell or maybe the bookstore lady would employee me very part time to work in her beautiful little store.
I am not dead yet, nor do I plan to be so any time soon. And as such, I should be open to change.
All right. I'll shut up now. I think I'm going to make a little pasta with fresh tomatoes and capers and mushrooms. And finish the laundry and get in my cozy bed and read. And then probably to sleep and dream of houses and chickens.
I am so lucky and I know it.
Here comes the train. If Gibson were here, he would find me and say, "The train, Mer! Hold me!"
And I would. By now, it is our sweet little joke.
And I will see that boy tomorrow along with his brother and his sister and perhaps his cousin.
Take care, y'all.