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country lifeIt was a long weekend. Or, should I say it was a long Sunday. Due to some changes with our healthcare provider, we had a large group of individuals who were reflected as being terminated when they weren’t. To be honest, I am still in shock at the number of individuals who apparently visit the pharmacy every weekend.

But I also took my baby sister to the ER with anxiety, breathing, dizziness symptoms. I’m sure it’s not unusual to spend two hours just waiting in the ER, but eventually she was seen and sent home. We still aren’t sure what was wrong, and we may never know. It can be chalked up to ‘just one of those things’ or even a fine blend of Zyrtec, Flonase and mid-age weariness.

Regardless, Monday morning was busy before I left home with checking in, giving updates and juggling emails. I was so very grateful that I draw a line when it comes to driving and refuse to answer emails when stopped at traffic lights.

Instead, it was filled with reflection and introspection – about what I’m doing and what I’m not (or not doing enough).

I thought of how much I would prefer (even at this later time in my life) the things I rejected earlier in my life. I was filled with longing – for the little town with the bigger heart, people who I knew the same as my own hand, worry for the few things worth worrying about. I contemplated what it would be like to work at the hometown grocery store, or restocking cards at the only card shop in town. I fantasized about evening bond fires and weekend card games; fishing lines and flannel shirts; feather beds and catfish fries; weekends at the lake; pancake breakfasts and quilting circles.

I imagined a breadth of friends that would know everything about me, and love me (still). Friends who share their best recipes and spare bedrooms; who know the real difference between listening and hearing; friends eager to spend a Saturday morning picking blackberries, shopping at the nearest second-hand store, laughing as we gobble down a second serving of french toast, or crying over a movie we’ve seen twenty times.

Late nights with no make-up; mornings with no schedule to keep.

There’s another life out there; one with a smaller price tag. Sure – I won’t make as much, but it will cost me less – less of what matters; less of my years; less of whatever time I have left to spend.

I may be a long way from that leap, but I’m much closer to realizing there is one to be made – and of a life that surely exists beyond the fall.

in spite of time
my aching rests
with want for one last summer
one late July
you wanted me
I lived beyond the fire
when the party ended
backward to your arms
forward into all
the grace
you are

. . .