We woke up a week ago tomorrow to three inches of snow on the ground and frozen, crappy roads about half the way of my 45 mile commute to work. The irony of this is that it wasn't that long ago I was begging for snow, and the minute I woke up and looked out the window, all I could think of was strangling a small burrowing mammal in Pennsylvania.
Over it now. Enough with the winter already.
And then yesterday and today, I've had to drive with my windows down because its so warm.
Ahhh. Spring. Or as we like to call it in the Tri-Cities, mud season.
The arrival of snow was mitigated by the arrival of my parents, who returned this week from their annual winter sojourn in Yuma. This was the last one for a while, my dad is increasingly less mobile, it takes an act of God to get him on an airplane, and the 1200 mile drive is getting increasingly more difficult for him. I'm selfish enough to be grateful for this. Their annual October departure is really hard, and not having family nearby makes me feel a little empty in the middle. Now they're home, and not surprisingly I notice the absence of my brother far more acutely. There's an empty seat at the table, we all know it, and we all struggle with it in our own way. They're back though, that's what really matters right now.
Their timing was excellent, as SG left Friday for a six week job in Arizona. (ARIZONA: You are on notice. Please stop borrowing the people I love. Thank you very much.) I hope this is the last road trip. He's starting a new venture when he gets back, and I'm hopeful that it will work out well enough to keep him from ever needing to do another outage. Life is full of The Crazy as it is, and not having him here to balance out the Doing of Things That Need Doing makes for a very busy me. Plus, the last couple of road jobs had him gone so very long, it was really a low time for me. I'm struggling with it, I suppose I should know better, but there it is. I hate it when he's gone.
I've managed (as usual) to complicate things by taking on two horses on a care lease. I wouldn't have normally done this, because we all know I don't need two more horses. These girls, though, are in need of some TLC. Their owner is a very young woman who has had some issues and some difficulty, and they haven't been receiving the level of care they need. They're severely underweight and need some vet care. Sweet mares, both of them.
Its never not a zoo around here. Sometimes it surprises me how well SG has adapted to my chaotic life. I think he has nerves of steel. Or perhaps he can cope with it because he knows he can run away every few months and get a little vacay from the cray cray. God knows I wish I could have one.
SG's departure and the bigger sense of loss I've felt around my brother with my parents return have me thinking about loss and the changing nature of life. As David Richo reminds us in The Five Things We Cannot Change, "everything begins and ends," and you know - the beginning is always the easy part. The ending not so much. I took Tasha, my brother's dachshund, to my parents today so that they can care for her while SG is gone. (She's used to having someone home, she's elderly, and I am gone 11+ hours a day when I'm working. She needs someone to keep company with). She's doing really well, considering, but we all know its a matter of time with her. Truth is, its just a matter of time for all of us - and for all things in our lives and in our world.
Everything changes and ends. Its a simple fact of life that its hard to embrace some days. But I know that fighting it only leads to increased pain and stress. Accepting it just means I can grieve and then, at some point, let go.
Its just...the last few months seem to have been so filled with loss. My brother, SG's grandma, a close family friend, Hercules, a smart and talented blogger, someone's husband, someone's father, someone's wife, someone's child I read about in the paper. Half my chickens. Even famous people who I normally wouldn't think twice about, but when your mind is dwelling on loss, their passing seems to only compound the egregiousness of it all. I'd just like us all to have a break, thanks, even knowing that its not at all likely.
The changing and ending aren't always bad things. Winter ends so spring can arrive with the scent of growing things on the warm breezes and the return of the birds and eggs in the chicken coop on a regular basis. Spring ends so we can bask in the heat of summer and enjoy the great outdoors in all her glory, and then summer bows her head and gives way to the lovely burnished hues of fall.
The seasons and all of nature, they just roll with it. As should we all.