I was having a beer with several of the neighbours, chatting idly about how life has changed since Owen left. I said that I was thinking about getting another dog.
Thinking, mind you. Thinking enough to look at Mastiff Breeders, not thinking so much about actually getting one. Just. . . thinking.
My one neighbour immediately suggested that I should have fewer animals. This would free me up to travel.
I am bewildered. It isn’t as if I have been wandering around telling everyone I wanted to travel. I don’t think I’ve told anyone that. I’ve told people that I need to re-stain the back deck and the front porch and build a small path out to the car. The neighbour and I are planning on staining the fence. I’m going to grow wax beans. I haven’t talked about travelling. I’ve talked about home.
I had a profound realization.
I like going away. I like going away and seeing new places doing new things. Mostly I like the idea of coming home. Of the cats on the newel post and the dog barking from the bathroom – where she has locked herself in again. I love the idea of home.
You may call it small and boring and even fussy and punctilious. I like the part where I put my clothes out the night before, I like packing a lunch, making some toast and putting the dishes in the sink. I like doing a bit of yard work here and there, doing laundry on Sunday morning and cleaning the cat litter on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I remember to take the garbage out, I hang the towels up and I haven’t run out of coffee or cat food, yet. I figured out how to unplug the bathroom sink.
I have lived with chaos and sorrow. Not Owen, but for longer stretches of my life, there as chaos and sorrow. My life is quiet. Unexciting. There is me and the pets and work and school. It’s frankly boring.
I love it.
There’s nothing wrong with small and quiet and boring.
My neighbour? She has itchy feet. She wants to go, to be free.
I told her I’d watch their dog.