Sunday, January 8, 2023

Home Sweet Home

Timing is everything when one travels and this time our timing was off, through no fault of anyone.  But my daughter was in frequent touch during our 2-day trek home, and that was much appreciated.  Once certain that her partner was, indeed, going to survive, she was able to better cope.  Although my coping skills are a lot better than hers, I remember the feelings when Jack had his stroke five years ago and I sympathized with her sense of being overwhelmed.    Unfortunately, when her partner was released from the hospital he had forgotten a few days and didn’t remember cashing and spending his own check (which he did while we were still there).  As a result, he became paranoid and angry with her, a problem that has increased since his cancer treatment, and she was overwhelmed in a whole different direction.  What a week of whirlwind emotions, swinging from fear for him to fearing from him in the span of a few days.  I would give most anything to free her of this life she refuses or is unable to abandon.  But enough of that - like Prince Harry, I am prone to overshare.

Neither Jack nor I slept as well on the homebound train-ride north as we did on the way down, but we enjoyed each other's company.  I took a train selfie in the mirror of our tiny bedroom.  

After another day and a half on the "City of New Orleans," we arrived in Chicago and were reminded mid-way through our seven-hour layover there that we are not as young as we used to be and will need a bit of time to recover!  My knees stiffened back up as soon as we hit the cold northern air  and since I’d read both of the books I brought on the way down, the hours dragged by.  We were both eager to be home, even though I was not looking forward to continued cold.  Still, I amused myself by noticing couples who were sitting together, and how many of them had taken on each other’s facial expressions.  A woman and a man reading their books with identical frowns, another couple doing different things, but both with the same half smile.   I wondered whether Jack and I have (or will) come to resemble each other.  

The two of us played “ten thousand,” a dice game, on the final train home, a game that he regularly beat me at until this trip, when I took three games out of four.  When we arrived at our destination station, my car doors were frozen shut, the car was covered with ice, and we needed to charge the battery before we could put this “vacation” behind us.  But Jack talked about how much he enjoyed a variety of the experiences in New Orleans, and I was happy to hear it.  It was a very long day but we arrived home just before midnight, and very happy to be here.

Tomorrow we will get our own lives back on track.  I still need to take down the Christmas tree and you can bet that there is laundry to do!   But most important of all, Dominoes Season is about to begin!

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