Friday, March 07, 2008

Out of Body

I keep having the weirdest sensation here.

I'll be at my old local Panera's and I'll look over at the Petco and think, "I have to pick up some dog treats for Atticus..."

Then I remember. "Oh, yeah, we don't live here anymore."

Or I'll be walking around Whole Foods looking for some of the witch hazel I keep in my suitcase and I'll think, "Hey, I'd better pick up some of that salad dressing Gerry likes..." And then I remember.

I'm leaving on Monday to fly home - and I want to go because I miss Gerry, the kids and the menagerie like crazy - but I also have this feeling that I'm not GOING home, I AM home.

I loved living in NJ so much. I love the spice in folks here, I love my friends, I love seeing the old places.

And I love my new life in St. Paul! I love the calm, kind and generous folks we've met, I love our new friends, and I love being able to afford to stay in our house (something that would not have been possible with Gerry's sickness this past year in NJ)

I know what we've done is for the best - I'm at peace with it.

But I think in a deeper way I really, REALLY just want to go back to life the way it was when we lived here. Back before Gerry was sick. Back before we'd have to contemplate what life might be like in a new state, a new city, without G. And it makes me sad and a little heart sore.

DRIVING
I drove up to Mass on Wed after my classes at Knitty City on Tues and gave a lecture to a rousing, rowdy bunch of ladies (Ladies?) from the Nashoba Valley Knitters Guild in Harvard, MA.

What a fun group - they really kept me on my toes, and they were among the most skilled groups I've taught.

They kept up, they did a lot of new stuff, and it was a BIG group. Yay, NVKG! I meant to join while I was there and I forgot - can I still join, Barb?

I stayed with a very kind woman named Jean, and we got home JUST in time to see Project Runway that evening. I wasn't thrilled with the end (I wanted Gillian to at least come in 2nd) but Christian was SO overwhelmed with his win that he won me over.

PRW were advertising the next round of auditions, and for maybe 10 seconds I considered it, but this is not the year.

I wonder if they take 50 year olds...


Thursday I drove back to NJ (that is the MOST driving I've done for a 3 hour class. But I'd promised the ladies of NVKG, and I'd backed out once before this summer, and I'm SO glad I went!)

I arrived in time to see a friend and then showed up with 30 seconds to spare to teach a class in Finishing at Knit Knack last evening.

A small class, but a lovely class. One of the students wanted to come on Saturday morning when I'm teaching Combo Knitting, so we let her be #10 in the class. I'm really looking forward to that tomorrow!

It's part of the whole heart sore thing, but I feel a bit of a failure when I'm not able to allow someone in a class to see how much knowledge they already posses about knitting. Sometimes I tell folks that I'm not teaching them anything that they don't already know deep down - I'm just finding a way for them to make the connection between what they know, and what their intuition will tell them.

But sometimes I'm not able to make that connection. As a teacher, this is the main thing I need to work on.

Eating With Friends!
Today I had the day off and have been eating with friends. I had breakfast with a dear friend, Audrey, and we hardly recognized each other. She was one of the last folks I saw before we left town last Valentine's Day, so you'd think we'd be able to spot each other!

She walked past me, staring. I stared back at her wondering, "Why is this woman staring at me..?"

And then it dawned on both of us at the same time that WE KNEW EACH OTHER! She looks younger - her hair looks different. She said I looked glamorous. Evidently she doesn't get out much...

We had a wonderful meal - talked about everything and solved all the problems of South Orange - then I ran off to Panera's to check email. Thank heaven for Panera's.

THEN!
Off to NYC to have lunch with Nicky Epstein and her wonderful husband. We had SUCH a delicious meal (see the Peking Duck? I brought some home!)

And we had a lovely visit (once I got past the 911 security) You have to go through several checkpoints to get to her compound - (she's quite well known, you know...)

Chinese food and laughing so hard we both almost choked - what is better than that?

And then home - er - back to NJ. And I'm back at Panera's, listening to my favorite radio show on the computer and checking email, blogging, holding back heavy sighs. I need to buy stock in Panera's.

Tonight I get to spend time with the most wonderful kid in the world; Jaiden. Hannah's friend is a magnificent girl; kind, funny, supportive, talented, poised, and above all a true friend. She gets it all from her mom.

So I'll run over to their house after dinner to have dessert with them, and have a chance to just relax with two of the nicest women in New Jersey.

Being here is bittersweet.

Leaving New Jersey again will be more so.
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posted by Annie at

7 Comments:

Anonymous Marie said...

Yesterday I walked through the supermarket I used to frequent when my youngest was a preschooler. He ALWAYS went shopping in costumes of his own design and construction - knights, firefighters, cowbows, superheros, mechanics. They were magical days. He is only 13 now but in that store I felt just as you describe! Heartsick and really helpless despite being so thankful for the wonderful young man he is now!

Memories can be such a double edged sword!

March 07, 2008 5:04 PM  
Blogger Got Here As Fast As I Could said...

I think it is very difficult to go back to "another" life when you have left that life due to great stress or sadness. Just trying to say that I think all your feelings are perfectly normal and that I care. I am beginning to feel that I know you and Gerry and the kids after reading your blog. You are all in my thoughts.
Debra , Charlotte NC
Mackie on Ravelry

March 07, 2008 5:06 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

Annie,
You'll be coming home just as the temps here are warming up, and though you may not recall because last spring was so hard on your family as you were figuring out Gerry's health, there is nothing like spring in Minnesota. You will feel like you are home again.

Of course, some years spring is only about two days long in Minnesota, so be ready to pay attention when you get back!

March 07, 2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger Palmer Public Library said...

Ah, Annie. The first year post-transplant is the hardest in my opinion. And we're just finishing the 8th! My wish for you is to have as many - or more!

Your knitting classes sound like so much fun. How do you feel about traveling to Alaska?

March 07, 2008 6:35 PM  
Blogger Mary Lou said...

I just got back to St. Paul from a visit home to NJ - I thought of you when I was taking the train to hoboken thru South Orange, and sent you some positive vibes.

March 08, 2008 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Paneras. Me too! Turkey Bacon Bravo is where its at! Yum.

March 08, 2008 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

I think you captured your feelings so well when you said it made you "a little heart sore." I'm sure it did. Stay brave, lady. You're amazing.

Signed, a regular reader in NY.

March 09, 2008 10:26 PM  

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