Monday, December 21, 2009

One Year Ago Today

Stuck on I-96It's funny how some anniversaries stick with us. Last Wednesday was the anniversary of my dad's death. Next week I'll pass the day that my husband walked out on our marriage more than 20 years ago. Both these dates dampen the joy of the holidays a little for me as much as I still love to celebrate all things Christmas.

And one year ago today, I left Michigan in a UHaul truck, towing my car on a trailer, with my two cats sitting in their carriers in the cab with me.

Breakdown on I-96Maybe that first difficult day on the road was a clue to what lay ahead. I didn't get an early start because I had to wait for a big storm to pass and the snow plow to come dig out the apartment complex and then, about as soon as I got to the highway, I was on stuck on the shoulder with a flat tire . . . and waiting three hours for UHaul to come fix their broken equipment.

I woke up this morning and realized it has been exactly a year since my big move began. I wondered If I'd known then that the year ahead would be so challenging, would I have still chosen to make the trip?

I'm not sure there's always a best choice and that often in life we are simply choosing between two paths, both potentially the right one. The potential in my choice to move to Dallas has yet to be identified or realized. Despite the challenges of this year, I hang onto my optimism.

After I arrived in Dallas, my immediate concerns were to find a good doctor, a place to live and a job. The cats and I lived in a Motel 6–because they are pet friendly and would allow two pets when none others would, no matter how small my cats–while I looked at apartments and started making contacts.

Motel Cats

The cats still often hang out together . . . until Grace Hopper tires of Johnny Be Good's aggressive attention. Today, as the sunshine streamed in through the French doors, they enjoyed some of that warmth together.

Johnny & Grace share a sunny spot

Grace has remained the petite, delicate little girl kitty . . . I think her big bruiser brother may be packing on some more weight. This blissful moment lasted until he wrapped his front paws around her neck, holding her in a kitty head lock, and began aggressively grooming her face.

Kitty Lumps She still escapes to high places . . . and in the past year, he has become confident enough to follow her wherever she goes. They've learned to stay off the fridge and the Kitchen cabinets which is a good thing and they still sometimes hide under the covers. I recently pulled out this flannel quilt to put back on the bed . . . I think it must be one of THEIR favorites and even though it may not be the logical thing to do on winter days like today when the sun warms my loft up to 80 degrees, I keep thinking about making another flannel bed quilt.


Rian said...

Sophie, this is a most poignant post. It's a dark time of the year, and I can relate on some level because I have the same issues with Thanksgiving. My mom, grandma, and FIL all died on Thanksgiving. T-Day was not a fun time when I was a child because nothing good ever happened. My dad would slowly and surreptitiously get drunk and ruin the day, and my mom and grandma, both vegetarians, could not cook turkey. But they tried.

For years I eschewed the holiday and loathed the sounds (football) and smells (turkey) associated with the day. Thanksgiving will never be my favorite holiday. But enough time has passed, and with it the bad memories.

I hope that some day Christmastime will no longer bring darkness and will eventually be joyful for you once again.

Hugs my friend.

Barbara C said...

Keep your chin up Sophie. It's been a tough year, but no one can know what's in the future.

Your two kitties are precious together. None of mine are siblings, and so they never get that close to each other. They look like they would enjoy a nice flannel quilt. The one on your bed is a real gem.

lj_cox said...

What a beautiful quilt! (and pretty cats too.) I hope the New Year will bring a ton of good things your way, and that you have a beautiful Christmas, too.

Christine Thresh said...

I love that quilt (and the kitty lumps).
December must be a very hard month for you. I am sorry.

I remember following your journey from Michigan last year. It made me sit on the edge of my chair. I was so happy when you finally settled in.

Hilda said...

I love your flannel quilt. Your Grace reminds me of our Frances, who is keeping kitty heaven free of mice. Hope the coming year brings you all good things.

Andee said...

The flannel quilt is gorgeous...just wanted to tell you I can relate..I lost my dad this year (though in Sept. not at Christmas) and my ex left me on New Year's Eve ten years ago...I often think about the forks in the road and wonder what if...I am happier today for it all and I hope you are too, and if not then I hope soon you will be!

Cyndee said...

I check your blog every day. Today's post says it all. I can relate to the sadness of this time of year. Last year was really bad for me but this year is more tolerable. I can't believe you left Lansing a year ago. It doesn't seem like that long to me. I know that it has been a challenge but I am reassured by your continued optimism. Just be happy that the sun is shining and it is warmer in Dallas than it is in Lansing - 24 degrees last I heard. Have a Merry Christmas or as Merry as possible.

sophie said...

Cyndee, check the weather . . . today our temps are dropping into the 20's and snow is predicted . . . and the wind is blowing hard enough that the wind chill factor is unbelievably low for Dallas . . . so why am I smiling?

Moira said...

Love the flannel quilt. And I'm hoping that things change for the better early this year for you!

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