It was silent and grey when I left the house around 8 a.m. this morning.
I was heading out to our former town, the countryside one, so to pick up a prescription for Tom at our old pharmacy (he's not switched to a new one yet, there's some kind of time factor involved). But Tom needed me to drive out there because he got no sleep last night. He has a stomach flu (we think) and his back/arm have been messed up since we moved here and the pain keeps him awake, even after having had both a chiropractor adjustment then a therapeutic massage.
All this came after his bout with the heat exhaustion thing for the first 30 hours we lived here. I am loving our new home and Tom would love it, too, if only he could feel better! But mostly he's been in his recliner watching tv and watching me unpack--which I've not minded at all, actually. The watching part, I mean. He'd only get caught in my decorating whirlwind otherwise, though in all the whirlwind, there's been a sadness to see him in that chair.
And may this serve as a reminder--no one has a perfect life. No one. Each person you know has at least one custom-made trial to contend with. Whether they speak of it or not, it's there. We all have something.
But already I'm experiencing one of those times when I'm grateful we have only a small home and yard--both which I can care for alone if I have to. And I've had to a lot these past two weeks-- Tom has been that laid-up. But the days these sorts of things happened out at the farm? Oh, they used to worry me, for I knew I could never care for those four acres alone if the need arose. We did have two extremely helpful neighbors (and thanked God for them often), but it's a hard thing to keep asking them for help, even when they always seemed happy to do so.
Anyway, back to this morning. The roads were quiet as I drove back to the ol' farm town, a route I'd never driven alone before. (Can you believe that in the more than three years we lived out there, I probably drove our car just fifteen times?). Then when I finally arrived upon the main street of our former tiny town, well, I got a bit misty-eyed. That sweet little place where people greeted us like friends wherever we went! Ah, I've missed that. I've not missed our farm, only that friendly, tiny-town feeling.
And then as I walked out of Rite-Aid with Tom's prescription (still a bit teary) I reminded myself that these past two weeks I've been so at home. Haven't even taken one walk yet. Only a couple trips to the supermarket. Haven't gone out of my way to meet more neighbors (we did meet a few).
We're still so new here! And there's plenty of time to get to know the people of our new town. We already know our way around, having shopped here for years (something I've loved doing since 1993, even, the year we moved to New York). But a town is much more than it's stores, just as a church is much more than its building. Mostly, a town is its people. And that is why I missed our former country town this early morning--it was the memories of all those sweet greetings and smiles over the years.
And so to offset that, it's the people here in our new place that I'll need to open up to and get to know. They will make it feel like home. They will make me (even more) grateful to live within the borders of this new place. The getting to know them, their smiles and greetings yet to come.
Any prayers for Tom would be deeply appreciated. Thanks so much.
He's scheduled for more injections into his back on Monday. They usually relieve a lot of pain.