Before change can happen, a clear choice must be made. I believe we all have the freedom to choose the direction of our lives and the values we stand for. We have only to embrace our beliefs at a deep level and our path of change will open. Profound change begins in the heart. From the moment we embrace the clear intention for change, each of us according to our individual natures is inspired to act in a way to bring about a healthy and benign outcome. All life will conspire to bring this about. If enough of us decide to make the change, to surrender ourselves to it, transformation will happen. I have faith in our capacity, as beings of love, to transcend the challenges we face on Earth, should we choose to.
~ Ranchor Prime, The Eight Elements
M and I arrived home about an hour before sunset on Monday evening. There wasn’t much to see. There had been rain for much of the trip, training along with us as we headed east, which resulted in a heavy cloud cover. Other than the rain, which came down in heavy sheets at time, the drive was relatively boring. That’s okay. We don’t want too much excitement on a long drive.
As expected, things are overgrown and wild around here. We did have mowers come about every two weeks while we were away. They kept the area around the house mowed so that our house- and pet-sitter wouldn’t have to deal with the wild trying to creep (or slither, in the case of snakes) in on her. There are areas, however, that we left wild, to grow as they would. The trail through the woods and out to the dock, for instance, is quite overgrown with grasses and some flowers have sprung up, too. The area around the flower garden has gone back to the jungle it was when we moved here over seven years ago. (Seven years ago??!! Can it really be that long?? Wow.)
It felt, still feels, a little surreal to be here. The only thing that felt familiar were Izzy and Bella, the cats. I missed them while we were away. They were happy to see us and resumed their normal activities/schedule immediately, not missing a beat. Leaving them home was the right thing to do given their age (13) and aversion to travel. Carting them back and forth would have been too much, particularly for Izzy. I’m not sure how we would have managed it, anyhow. We took the pickup truck, which is a relatively small truck (not one of those big brutes you usually see around here), and there was not a lot of space available by the time we packed up everything that needed to go out to Ohio with us and everything that needed to come back. In fact, we left some things behind and there still wasn’t much in the way of extra space. That’s partially because of the need for a loo area (the bucket we used instead of public restrooms).
I wasn’t expecting the need for a transition when it comes to being home. But two months is a good amount of time to be away. There is also the transition in weather and the pace of the seasons. When we left the Bogs, it was clear that autumn was approaching. On the Eastern Shore it is still very hot, very steamy, and very much like the depths and dog days of summer. I already miss the cool mornings we were experiencing in NE Ohio.
I picked up a virus of some kind before leaving Ohio. The Little Wookie woke up stuffy on Saturday morning. It was worse on Sunday. Sneezy, sniffly, stuffy. As M the Younger put it after he started having symptoms, a weird cold-like illness. My symptoms began on Monday on the way home, got worse on Tuesday and Wednesday, and are now receding. Because of the body aches, I was afraid it was some variation of Covid-19, but there has not been a fever. A slight rise in temperature, but nothing to write home about. My temperature runs low (about 96.5 degrees F low). It only got as high as 98.3.
At any rate, I’m on the mend and will consider this my first cold of the season. As soon as this clears up, I will get a flu shot. I will not be volunteering for the Covid-19 vaccination that the U.S. government is saying states should get ready to distribute as soon as November 1. I hate to say that since I am NOT an anti-vaxxer. However, I have little trust in anything the current administration might be behind, and little trust in the drug companies that are rushing out a vaccination without the usual time to test for safety and efficacy. I will continue to isolate, wear a mask, wash my hands, and wait to see how it goes. (Note: I am not advocating one way or the other in regards to getting the early release of a vaccine. This is my choice. Everyone has their own choice to make.)
There are other doctor-related activities I need to take care of, including setting up another colonoscopy (ugh!!). I was supposed to have another within 4-6 months of the procedure I had in March, but they are booked up through September and into October.
M had to be tested for Covid-19 for work. It takes 3-5 days to get the results. He will have to go into work from time to time in order to teach. The teaching will be done remotely (no students in the classroom), probably from his office. Our internet connection here at home just isn’t good enough. For meetings, yes. For teaching, no. They have been testing on campus and so far, only 1% of students have tested positive.
Another thing I miss about the Bogs is related to grocery shopping. The stores there were very well stocked for the most part. Every now and then something odd would be hard to find. Canned beets, for instance, or soy sauce. But a week or so later, they would be back on the shelves. We did our first grocery run (since our return) here today and I was shocked by the fact that toilet paper is still an issue. Are the people of the Eastern Shore heavily stocking up on the stuff? Selling it on the black market? What gives? The produce didn’t look too great, either. That is also shocking given that farming is a big thing here. We’ll hit up the farmers market later. Perhaps we’ll do better there.
I have lifestyle changes I need to make now that we’re home. We ate meat and dairy quite a bit while in Ohio, mostly because the boys eat meat (the Little Peanut is quite the carnivore) and dairy. During our time there, we alternated making dinner with M the Younger’s family, and during the last week or so I gave them the gift of buying the ingredients and preparing all of our dinners just to give them a break.
The plan is to switch back to our mostly vegan diet. A couple of days of fasting might be in order, too. I need to get well and settled first. I experimented with a home retreat schedule yesterday. I’ll be doing that next week. I just wanted to see how I could best fit in the walks, meditations, dharma talks, yoga, etc. I had been looking at meditation retreats in the mountains of Western Maryland for this fall, but that’s been put on hold because of the strange times we live in.
I would like to restock our freezer and pantry, too. I brought home about 20 lbs. of roma tomatoes from M the Younger’s experiment with gardening. It’s amazing how much food he grew and canned. Green beans, cucumbers, cabbage, and tomatoes. He also grew corn but it was tough for some reason he was working on figuring out. He’ll have a lot of pumpkins to deal with in another month, and I think he’s planning on growing some greens and broccoli now that the weather is cooling.
This post is getting terribly long. My apologies. We have a lot of catching up to do. I probably shouldn’t try to do it all at once. Thank you so much for visiting with me. If you’ve read this far, thank you even more for putting up with all of my rambling. I am still using the laptop I took with me on the trip since all of my photos are on it. I will not be able to upload them to my regular PC because there is no room at the inn, so to speak. Because there are so many photos left from our time in Ohio, I might be sharing them for a while. I hope you don’t mind. I’ll try to intersperse a few from here every now and then.
Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. It’s hot as hell (the “feels like” temperature is currently 105 degrees F), but maybe it will be cooler by the water. Sunset is scheduled for 7:31 PM. We lost about a half hour of evening daylight when we came east.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,516) Safe and uneventful travels. 1,517) Missing out on all the rain. They had nearly 12 inches of rain here during the month of August. 1,518) Bouncing back to good health. I’m not there yet, but getting there. 1,519) Izzy and Bella, and their excitement at having us back at home. It’s good to be loved. 1,520) The doors that open when others close.