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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Being Warm While I'm Dying (I'm not dying. Or, not any faster than the rest of you).

Home.

I've moved around a fair amount in my life.  Not like, military-family moving but around the Maritimes growing up and as an adult around the US a little.

Suffice to say I’m no stranger to getting settled in a new space.  It’s strange because I am such a home-body.  My home really is like my shell, and me the happy little crab scuttling around inside.  There are constants to every space I move into.  My books.  My laptop.  A striving to create a peaceful place for my children to grow up in.

A sanctuary, a safe area where love and hugs are encouraged, a base we can all come back to for relief from the world outside.

I’m struck that the most important aspects of making a house a home can be applied to making the community I live in cozy too.  I want it clean, and safe.  A peaceful place everyone’s children can grow up in.

This last visit ‘home’ to Canada has reinforced the surprising revelation that I am making a home here in Texas.  A life with connections to friends and community that I hadn’t realized I was forging.  I am…happy here.

Ba ba baaaaaa.  

Even though the entire animal kingdom is trying to kill me.  Even though trying to grow flowers and plants in this sandy soil, in this oppressive desert heat and swampy seasons is like spending money on the lottery.  (Will this one pan out?  Who knows for sure but…probably not.)  The only thing I’ve managed to keep from dying are Sage and Rosemary, Chives and Boxwood bushes.  Peppers and Tomatoes and Peas tend to do well despite the hostile environment and my lazy gardening but I’ve managed to kill everything else I’ve tried.

Growing up in an apostolic pentecostal church community has prepared me for the political and emotional arena most of my neighbors operate in.  I may not agree with everything they believe but I feel like I completely understand where they’re coming from and so I’m not threatened by it.

When I first moved here two and a half years ago I didn’t know if this place would ever feel like ‘home’.  Snakes that can kill me?  Spiders the size of my hands?  Sweating walking to the mailbox at 7:00am?  No beautiful change of seasons from Summer to Fall to Winter?  No snow at Christmas?  BILL WHERE HAVE YOU TAKEN ME!?

But here I am, Ellie has school in the morning, I’ve got bookclub next week and friends to share a Saturday evening with from time to time.  I’ve got play dates for Ellie on occasion and a concert I’m looking forward to in the summer.  I’m so blessed.  

Is this new revelation at least in part because I will never have to get the kids suited up in snow pants and jackets, hats and mitts, boots and scarves JUST TO GO TO THE GROCERY STORE?

I will never have to spend 10 minutes cleaning off the car so I can drive 6 minutes to get to the drug store for Blistex.

Wait…am I becoming a BIG WIMP?  Yes, yes I am.  Canada - I love you.  I will always love you.  I will always be at heart a Canadian - expansive, tough, resourceful, practical, polite, friendly, laid-back.  Forgiving and easy going.

But sweetie you can keep your cold.  Your 10 foot snow drifts.  Your black ice and your freezing temperatures.  Texas you may kill me yet with your poisonous…everything.  I may yet get eaten alive by red ants or burned to a crisp in the July sun.

But darn it I’ll be warm while I’m dying and that’s no small thing.