Three Years

Today is March first, meteorological spring. Tonight, we should get one of the worst storms of the astronomical (until the vernal equinox) winter. At last check, it would start off with rain, then freezing rain, then by morning, it should start to snow. Could be interesting going to church tomorrow, assuming I do. I meant to get some ice melter yesterday, payday, but I realized I needed to check my account, first. There’s a bill I have to pay that should be gone in the next six months. Until then, well, it’s going to be very tight. Kinda broke already, and March has the added bonus of my insurance bill and water bill both due. Yay. No idea where that’s going to come from. Oh, and another art show at work. I need to work on my portfolio and exposure. I have permission to use portraits from a couple of sessions I’ve done as examples, so that’s good. Just need to finish editing one of them. It’s from November. I’d edited quite a few photos, but not the way I’d like. I have been learning more and more about my editing program, and I think I can make them better. I’ll keep the original edits – I like to be able to compare, see if maybe I liked my original edit better. Happens sometimes.

Leaving Colorado
US 24, leaving Colorado Springs, shot from the car. No, I wasn’t driving.

February was a long month for me. So many things going on, things that just weren’t fun, things at work, things at home. March might be a little better, aside from the aforementioned money thing.When I woke up this morning, though, I wasn’t thinking about that so much as what I would write about today. It’s always a bit of a challenge, which is why I found that writing prompts website. It serves a couple of functions – one, it gives me a topic when I’m stumped, and two, some of those prompts force me to be creative, something I’ve not been particularly good at for years.

This morning marks an anniversary – three years ago, I moved back to Ohio from Colorado. I’ve mentioned before, if not here then in my old blog, and certainly in real life, that at some point, I knew I would return. As much as I wanted to get away, I also wanted to be home. I made a trip back on average once every couple of years. Maybe just for a long weekend, but I did. Even when I really couldn’t afford it. I needed the visit. Moving back, however, was not under the most auspicious circumstances. I’ve mentioned that before, too. Instead of coming back on my own terms, I had to be fetched like a naughty child who finally has to face the music. It wasn’t the best feeling. I was pretty miserable for a while. Nothing but an added burden, nothing of my own to bring to the table.

Bushes after Rain 005b
No idea what this white flower is, only that it was pretty.

My first couple of months back, I stayed with my father and stepmother. After twenty years of living alone, it wasn’t easy. Fortunately, one of my sisters had a house that various family members had used off and on for the last several years. It was empty and available. Needed a little work. My father, stepmother, sister and I worked together to make it livable. Doors were replaced, cabinets installed, along with a sink (that I helped connect – that was cool), some drywall installed, and a bit of painting done. Three years later, the main room still isn’t finished. Don’t really have a good reason for that. Right now, between my feet (plantar fasciitis – wear shoes that fit and support, people) and my knees, climbing up on a ladder is not particularly comfortable anymore. That means there are things that have to be done outside that I can’t do. I have to pay someone to mow my lawn, since I don’t have a working lawnmower – there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s the main point – and I have no garden to speak of. Gardening was never really my thing anyway. I like the results, and love the smell of rich soil, just not the actual gardening.

South Gateway and Pikes Peak
My anti-social mountain – Pikes Peak behind South Gateway at Garden of the Gods

For over a year, I couldn’t find a job. Well, I had some things to resolve first anyway, specifically health things, things I couldn’t get addressed in Colorado. It’s a beautiful state, but if you’re broke and ill, there’s really nothing there for you. Meanwhile, there was a clinic just two blocks away from where I am now; I didn’t even need to worry about coming up with gas money to get there. I did find a temporary job, giving me a couple bucks here and there. Enough to drive to the grocery store, at least. To get to the nearest one without a car, I would have to walk a mile (measured it) to the bus stop, then ride the bus for another mile or two, get off, and walk another half-mile to get to Walmart. What that means is in the summer, frozen food is pretty much out of the question. The nearest grocery store as the crow flies would require walking that mile to the bus stop (there’s a closer one, but not for the bus I need), then transferring to another bus, after walking another half mile or mile, and paying extra because it goes outside of the city. Food desert. Still, I managed. After getting the health squared away, I finally found something I couldn’t find for years in Colorado – a steady income. Home just over a year and I was working again. Relief. At the end of March, I’ll have been with my current employer for over two years as a temp and a permanent employee. Finally able to pay my own bills. Well, until one of the old ones I couldn’t pay for years caught up with me anyway. Six months. Or less.

Three years ago, I left Colorado and came home. Miserable as I was at the time, as much as I miss seeing my anti-social mountain every day, and being with my Colorado friends, it was a good thing for me.

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