My heart felt the leaden weight of sorrow because my safe-place, my home, my warm hug, my protective cloak, call it what you will has gone.
When she posted again, I didn’t even go read it. I couldn’t — I was still grieving over her move. Then she posted again, and I read it. In fact, she started re-blogging a series about her home, and the renovations there, and I binged. She’s posting day by day. Like a glutton, I looked the whole series up and read it, laughing — actually revelling with her — at the great adventure she has been on for some time. (Start here: Coup de Coeur: Part One)
Sorry, Osyth, for not waiting for you to repost them all. I’m just the kind of person who likes to read the end of the book before I read the middle.
Home is something so dear to me. One of my many started-and-discarded blogs had the tagline, “I love where I live.” And I do. I love upstate New York. I love Cooperstown. I love the four seasons, the Susquehanna River, Otsego Lake, the trees, the village streets, the country roads, the people, the cows, even the tourists. This is my home — and the thought of living elsewhere is almost unthinkable.
My father keeps asking me what brought me to Cooperstown.
“What do you mean?” I ask him.
“What made you come here?” he’ll say, as if that clarifies anything.
“Are you asking about why I first moved to Cooperstown?”
“Yes,” he replies.
“We moved here as a family in 1967,” I say. “You took a job at Bassett Hospital as the head of their General Services department.”
“Yes, that’s right,” he replies, every time, remembering, or acknowledging the plausibility of this story.
“I was a child,” I remind him, “your child. I didn’t have a choice.”
“Where did Bud come from?” my father asks, trying to piece together my family.
We’ve gone through this many times now. I know the questions that are coming, but it’s sad because he has lost a large chunk of my life.
“I took a year off from college and met Bud while I was working at Bassett,” I say.
He nods, but I’m not sure he remembers anything about this.
Long pauses punctuate our conversation.
“Where did you come from?” This question often comes next. It’s another one that needs clarification. I’m sure he’s not asking about the birds and the bees, so I name the army base where I was born.
“How long did you live there?”
“Six weeks,” I tell him. “When I was a baby, Mom loaded me, Stewart, Donabeth, and Peter into a station wagon to join you in Fort Riley.”
Yes, I was 6 weeks old. My oldest brother was 5 years old, my sister not quite 4, and my middle brother only 21 months old. Whenever I asked my mother about my birth and first year of life, all she would say to me was, “That was a hard time.” I’ll bet it was. The legend of a super mom.
“I don’t remember any of that,” my father says, and, of course, he wouldn’t because he was busy working at his fledgling career as an army doctor.
Another long pause. I begin to focus on whatever it was I had been doing before this conversation began.
“So what made you come here?” my father will ask, and we’ll start the whole thing again.
“You did, Dad,” I tell him. “You did.”