Joe is gone for the weekend. That means Baby & I are chillin’ on the couch together, watching The Office Season 1 while my nails dry. While it doesn’t sound like it at the moment, this has been a big weekend for me.
I lived with friends while in college, graduated, moved back in with my parents until the wedding, then moved into a studio apartment with my husband. From ages one to seven, I had my own room. For my last two years of college, I had a room directly across the hallway from my best friend. I sort of forget what it’s like to be on my own. Five minutes after Joe left on Friday, I had the door locked & music on, trying to stop imagining someone breaking into the apartment.
Saturday morning, I put myself to work–collecting the recycling from our first few weeks here, boxing up a Goodwill donation, vacuuming & vacuuming & vacuuming. I had yet to drive out to the recycling center, & I have to say: I’ve never enjoyed recycling so much.
On my way, I passed through downtown & saw groups of people going heading to the farmers’ market. I drove through the green, hilly outskirts of Bloomington, listening to a local radio station’s bluegrass hour, realizing that I’m falling in love with this town.
By the time I got back, my dear friend Sam, who worked through a difficult semester-long project & two years at a café with me, drove down from Indianapolis with tons of surprises from her new garden: collard greens & cherry tomatoes sweeter than grapes; cucumbers & multicolored peppers. I cannot wait to see her place, learn from her & get my own garden growing.
I was glad she could be here yesterday, since we got invited to a party outside of town. After 20 minutes of driving through winding roads, past fields of cows & clusters of farm houses, we walked down a large hill to the dock, where the sun was setting & a fire was going. We were the only people seen or heard around the lake, & we made the most of it. Roasting hot dogs. Jumping into the clay-bottom lake & feeling our feet slip into the sludge. Sipping sweet moscato & seeing my first shooting star.
This place is changing me. I feel myself slipping into a more calm state of mind, allowing me to enjoy all of the wonderful things happening around us & realizing that I’m learning from them. Today, I’m taking a break from my homework reading to walk through the Fourth Street Art Festival. This weekend is a turning point for me in Bloomington; it’s starting to open up to me, make me feel at home & give me a whole new understanding of what is possible in nonprofit/sustainable development at a local level.
Baby & I have some cleaning up to do. More soon.