Like the Billy Joel song by the same name, “And so it goes,” sums up a sort of resignation to what is and a letting go of control. Unlike the song, though, I’m not resigning myself to uncertainty. I’m just coming to accept the strange new realities of life. I had a conversation a few days ago that made me reflect on my life, the decisions I’ve made, and my thoughts and feelings about where I find myself now. And I’m happy. I’m not sure of much, but I’m sure that where I find myself now is HOME. That’s a powerful word, for four tiny little letters. I am home, because home is a state of mind, and wherever I share my life with my best friend is home. I know I’m where I belong, even if I’ve left some bits of my heart scattered across far too many miles of this continent.
Life is still strange and rather small. I’m pretty sure “DRIVEWAY!” was one of the first words I said to my husband upon waking this morning. Yes, yes, I’m obsessed! Winter ever endeavors to steal away my driveway, and I toil nearly daily to break winter’s freezing, snowy grip. Today, I am victorious! We’ve had some warm weather lately. HAHAHAHAHAHA! “Warm!” What I mean to say is that the high the last couple of days has been around -2°C/28°F, so the snow has softened a bit. I was able to take my battle from the usual battlefield of the asphalt driveway to the looming snowmountains near the road, and thanks to the warm-up I was able redistribute them a bit today. That’s a big win, as they were getting high enough in some places that my plucky little snowblower couldn’t shoot the driveway snow high enough to make it over them anymore. It’s supposed to get up to 0°C on Saturday. I may have to do some major snowscaping out there! Hell, perhaps in short sleeves!
The husband told me last night that he thinks I’m doing very well here. That means more to me than words can express. He’s NOT one to tell me nice things just to be nice. It’s not that he’s never sweet to me; he is. It’s just that he doesn’t make an effort to say sweet things. He only says what comes to his odd, whirling, busy mind whenever the thought pops up. But it means a lot that he thinks I’m doing well. I’m definitely trying. I’ve set my will on being happy here. And especially now that he’s back up here with me, where he belongs, it’s HOME. And so, instead of dreading the next snowfall and the tasks of de-icing vehicles and clearing the driveway, I see them as battles in the war against the Saguenay winter. And then, instead of just doing chores, I’m winning freaking BATTLES, people!
There are little challenges, victories, and defeats throughout life here. Yesterday, I needed a paper bag to try to try to help some avocados ripen more quickly. While I’m sure I seemed a little nutty as I wandered around a couple of stores, muttering to myself under my breath (I was rehearsing my french!), I was able to ask two store clerks if they had a paper bag. Both understood my french on the first try, and the second one even had a paper bag for me! I shared my victory with the husband, using the french words I’d used at the store. He corrected my preposition (I’ll be conversational in french LONG before I keep those damned prepositions straight!) but said the rest was just right. More importantly, I was able to ask a question and get an answer in french. It’s super-slow progress, but it’s progress.
As I get back to a bit of a routine, now that the husband is at work again, I’m preparing to start some weekly tutoring, and I’m going to get into the learning aids I have on the computer (a program called “Tell Me More” and Rosetta Stone). I have a study date tomorrow with a friend who was in my first french class, and my fingers are crossed that I’ll get into another class in late January. I’m getting back to exercising and being a little more productive around the house, which is helping with my attitude. I’d been a little bitchy since returning from Ontario. I suppose some of it was that it was more of an adjustment than I’d realized to have the husband back at home, especially since he was here just three weeks before he was gone for four and a half months. But I’m feeling pretty great, and that kind of tight, ready to be irritated tenseness at the base of my brain is loosening up nicely.
I even got a credit card in the mail today. A real, plastic CREDIT CARD with my very own name on it! A fancy Canadian credit card, with the technologically advanced chip in it! I feel like such an adult again, hahaha! Not that I make any money…but it’s a relief to have a credit card for emergencies. Like back on the day when NONE of the Bank of Montreal debit cards were working, which I learned AFTER pumping $60 worth of gas. Thankfully, I’m a regular at that dépanneur, and the sweet clerk, Isabelle, knew me well enough to let me go get cash from the bank to pay. But it was a bad feeling to be stuck in a foreign land without any real command of the language and to stand there owing a business $60 I couldn’t pay at the moment!
And so it goes. Life marches along nicely. A strange life, but one that fits better all the time. It’s funny to think about. I cried after the move because I missed Oklahoma and the life I knew there. I know there is a time in the future when I’ll be in a new home at our next posting, and I’ll cry because I’ll miss Saguenay and the life I knew here!