A housekeeping note: Yes, after nearly a year of deliberation I'm changing the name of my blog to something I feel is a better expression of the things I share here. I love seeing a pie cooling on my kitchen windowsill on a clear day. I enjoy watching swarms of blackbirds out of my picture window, and I adore the massive blue sky that frames my house from all sides. I won't declare in detail how poorly the "brarian" part of my former moniker fits my current life. But you can still call me the Mennobrarian if that makes you feel comfortable. I will always answer. Also, no need to update any bookmarks. Visitors are automatically redirected to my new address: www.blueskiesandshooflypies.com
Speaking of new addresses, I've been trying to relocate.
It was just a few days before Christmas that I caught my first glimpse of the journey.
Maybe it was when I was emptying the dishwasher and not only noticed, but cared, that the dishes in the cabinet weren't exactly how I usually stacked them. Perhaps it was that moment when, with firm resolve, I decided I was going to wear a dress and not a pair of pajama pants again. Somewhere between those two moments I began to rediscover the town of Normal.
For six weeks I had been off my feet, getting around with the help of a walker. Hauling my painful, swollen and badly fractured ankle along for the ride as I shouted out for the hundredth time, "Don't put fabric softener in the bath towels!" to whoever was standing by the washing machine. Nothing was normal.
Then, Normal was coming closer and I eagerly anticipated that moment when I would hobble with such confidence that the walker would be in the way and pushed away so I could begin to reclaim my old life. I wanted to walk Normal's streets, stop in at the general store, and feel like it was my town again. I wanted to move back to Normal so bad. I wanted to somehow fly there, although it has no airport.
I'm still not in the heart of Normal. Maybe I'm residing in a suburb of it at this point. When I try to pry a shoe onto my misshapen foot attached to the ankle disfigured by surgery, the sign still reads: Normal: 12 miles.
But I'm in the neighborhood. I'm on my way back home, reclaiming my favorite places, Routine, Convenience, and Productivity.
Here are a few things I missed about Normal:
Making my own coffee. Not having to ask for more sweetener.
Walking my dogs.
Granola. Baked oatmeal. Everything I cook.
Getting into the shower without an audience
Going to a store.
Seeing a cloud of dust on the floor and being able to sweep it up and not having to look at it for a week because no one else sees it, until finally, you look like a maniac when you tell someone how the dust tumbleweed has been wearing you down.
Lord, I wondered, did it really take a broken ankle to be thankful for a list of basic amenities? Did I have to move so far away from Normal in order to appreciate its clean streets, many conveniences, and sunny skies? It's amazing what you notice when you're out of town. One can never retain enough gratitude to knowingly appreciate home comforts. We are truly leaky vessels.
My luggage is packed with thankfulness to be heading home to Normal. I want to arrive safely, without a limp, so I'm taking my time. I have a map and oh so many plans. I'll call you when I arrive.